‘Not a stepping stone’: New McDonald head coach looks to continue program’s success

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Jimmy Franceschelli is excited for the chance to lead the program for the years to come

MCDONALD, Ohio (WKBN) – Things will certainly look and sound a bit different on the McDonald boys basketball sidelines next season.

“I am pretty intense on game night as well,” says new Blue Devils head coach Jimmy Franceschelli. “But I don’t think I am anywhere near Jeff. So yes, it will be a little quieter.”

Franceschelli was named McDonald’s new head man Thursday night. He has been with the Blue Devils program the last two years as an assistant to Jeff Rasile, the school’s all-time wins leader who stepped down last month.

“It was really, really fun,” says Franceschelli. “I learned so many life lessons from them, more than just basketball, honestly. I will continue, hopefully, what Coach Rasile has done. I know this, I will work as hard as anybody moving forward and so will my staff.”

Franceschelli inherits a team coming off a Regional Semifinal appearance but is losing Big 22 winner Zach Rasile, the school’s all-time leading scorer.

However, they do bring back three senior starters from last year’s squad.

“Jake Portolese, Dom Carkido and Eli Street, those guys are good basketball players,” Franceschelli says. “They got overshadowed a little bit because we had one of the best players ever in the area. They got overshadowed by that so they are going to need to step up and continue but, I will tell you, they are ready to get to work.”

Franceschelli said not only is he excited to be a Blue Devil, but is all-in for the long haul.

“This is a golden opportunity for me and my family,” Franceschelli says. “This isn’t a stepping stone by any means. This isn’t a one or two-year thing and ‘hey, what job is going to be better?’ I am in it for the long haul, and hopefully, my son, Chaplin who is 5 years old will be able to play for me like Zach did for his dad.”

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