Butler building momentum under 2nd-year coach
By Jason Mackey
Published: Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 9:04 p.m.
Two wins may not sound like much, but at Butler, which hasn't had a winning season since 1997, hasn't beaten an Allegheny County team since 2004 and has gone winless three of the past five years, two victories matter.
So, too, does having the same coaching staff in consecutive years.
“I think the kids are a little more comfortable with the fact that they have some continuity with the coaching staff this year,” said second-year coach Clyde Conti, who became the program's fifth coach since 2000 when he was hired prior to last season. “I'm excited for it.”
Butler knocked off New Castle and Canon-McMillan last year within the first three weeks before finishing on a six-game losing streak, allowing 34 points or more each time and scoring more than a single touchdown only once.
The schedule isn't easy: Besides games against the Quad North, which produced two of four 2011 WPIAL semifinalists, Butler will host Class AAAA runner-up Upper St. Clair on Oct. 5.
“We have a very challenging schedule this year,” said Conti, who also will match wits with his nephew, Fox Chapel coach Eric Ravotti, on Oct. 19.
Playing pivotal roles will be two senior captains: Bob Vernick and Jake Olenick. Vernick is a three-year starter at linebacker and led the team in rushing last fall. Olenick could see time as a wingback and also anchors the secondary from his strong safety spot.
Senior Jordan Cratty and junior Thomas Jendesky will compete at quarterback, forcing Conti into a decision after scrimmages against Woodland Hills and Blackhawk.
Canan Roskovski and Jake Alston are two talented receivers — basketball player Luke Hartung joined the team and could fit into the receiving mix — but the focus will be finding lineman, Conti said.
Others in the Conti's backfield-by-committee approach include seniors Claude Clark and Kolby Kreiss, as well as Robert Burdine, who anchored Butler's 400-meter relay team this past spring as a freshman.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Big Ben’s contract clock ticking
- Parking tickets in Downtown Pittsburgh spark outrage
- Analysis: Kesler still on Pens’ radar as Shero aims to bring back ‘Big 3’
- Talented center Sutter is proving to be ‘pretty important’ for Penguins
- Taillon among 6 Pirates send to minor league camp
- Pirates reserve outfielder Dickerson is also at home on soccer pitch
- Penguins notebook: Beau Bennett returns to practice
- Ex-Colts executive Polian: Approach free agency with caution
- Pitt looking to enhance profile at ACC tourney
- Starkey: Steelers know when to say goodbye
- With so many needs, Steelers can ill afford to miss in draft