O'Brien: Explaining MaST Charter's unusual situation

While a regular-season member of the suburban Bicentennial Athletic League, MaST Community Charter, located on Byberry Road in Northeast Philly, is officially part of the PIAA's District 12. All the other BAL schools fall under District 1's umbrella.

"It's been an arrangement over the years for them to play in the Bicentennial," District 1 executive secretary Bob Ruoff said. "They're able to compete against similar sized schools close to them."

Accepted by the Public League to compete in its playoffs in order to qualify for the state tournament, the Panthers made noise in baseball this season by advancing to the semifinals. They clinched the program's first berth in the Class AA state tournament with a 4-0 win over Science Leadership Academy.

Since MaST had accomplished its goal of qualifying for the state playoffs and is not permitted to vie for the league crown, it stepped aside after its semifinal triumph.

"We knew some people were upset about us being involved in the Pub playoffs," MaST senior Bryan Kaelin said. "We kind of accepted the role of outsider."

Said Panthers coach Derrick Savage: "Our intent was never to disrupt the Public League playoffs. We just wanted the opportunity for our kids to have a shot at playing in states."

After suffering a 10-0 loss to Neumann-Goretti in the District 12 AA final on Wednesday, MaST hopes to rebound in states. The Panthers (16-8) open against District 11 champ Schuylkill Haven at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Pottsville.

As a righthanded pitcher and corner infielder, Kaelin has been the catalyst. "He goes out and does everything you ask of him," MaST assistant coach Mark Roth said.

On the mound, the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder is 5-2 with a 2.02 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 52 innings. He mixes a fastball clocked in the low-80-m.p.h. range, change-up, and curveball.

Kaelin is batting .493 with 39 RBIs and 18 runs. He has a .568 on-base percentage and .816 slugging percentage.

Other key contributors for the Panthers are outfielder and pitcher Ryan Conner, designated hitter and third baseman Kalen Mundy, shortstop Matt Carter, catcher Jack Lawson, and junior utility man Tim Kaelin, Bryan's brother.

Bryan Kaelin, who lives in Torresdale, plans to play baseball and study business at Burlington County College in Pemberton, N.J.

Ginter headed to GA. Tim Ginter, who guided Father Judge for nine seasons, has accepted the top spot at Germantown Academy.

"I'll always be a Judge guy, but this is an opportunity that doesn't come around too often," the 38-year-old said.

Ginter, who was an outfielder at Judge (Class of 1994) and Scranton, was a social studies teacher at Solly and Rowland Avenues for 16 years. He will teach the same at GA and assist in the school's athletic department.

Former George Washington skipper Joe O'Hara coached GA on an interim basis this season following Tyler Stampone's resignation.

Stepping down. Shannon Gunby has stepped down as Wissahickon's coach after nine years for personal reasons.

"The biggest thing is I have a one-year-old at home and want to focus more on my family," he said.

Gunby, a science teacher at Wissahickon, led the Trojans a 14-6 record and a share of the Suburban One League American Conference title this season.

robrien@phillynews.com