Laurel Highlands looking for replacement players after graduation losses
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Laurel Highlands second-year coach Zack Just is looking for playmakers.
The Mustangs lost a significant portion of their offense after quarterback Jake Riddell and all-everything back Danzel Beasley graduated.
“We knew we could count on those two,” Just said. “That's two big holes to fill.”
Several seniors — left tackle Shane Guthrie, left guard George Teslovich, tight end/wide receiver Keith Liptock and wide receiver and Joe Pegg — are returning starters on offense.
Just has two candidates to replace Riddell — senior Nick Copeland and junior Raphael Cannon.
“Both have done some really good things,” Just said. “Nick is a very smart football player. He understands the game and is an extremely hard worker. His work ethic makes him a natural leader. Raphael is a great athlete, and he brings a different dimension to the position. He can run the option, we can call plays designed specifically for him to run or we can roll him out. Having an athlete like Raphael makes your offense more diversified.”
Beasley was diminutive at 5-foot-7, but he was also a threat to break off a big play every time he touched the ball. His playmaking ability earned him first-team Keystone Conference honors.
For now, it looks as if senior Brandon Williams will get the nod as being the Mustangs' go-to back.
“He hasn't missed one workout, and he's shown flashes of having pretty good ability,” Just said.
Just believes Liptock's and Pegg's experience could pay dividends.
“The fact that these guys know what it's like to play at a high level means they can give the quarterback a little bit of guidance,” Just said. “He can put the ball up, and they will make a bad play turn out good.”
Laurel Highlands also returns four senior starters on defense — defensive end Xavier Daniels, defensive tackle Zach Delpinto, middle linebacker Jake Kearns and cornerback Steve Deli.
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.
- Pine-Richland’s ‘Neil’ the ram has happy home
- High school football notebook: Official’s decision impacts WPIAL Class AAAA title game
- WPIAL’s Top 10 football champions of all time
- WPIAL Class AAA notebook: Central Valley to face another merger in PIAA playoffs
- WPIAL Class A notebook: Clairton climbs all-time title list
- WPIAL Class AA notebook: South Fayette’s Brumbaugh closes in on state passing record
- Central Valley beats rival West Allegheny to win WPIAL Class AAA championship
- Pine-Richland tops defending champ Central Catholic to capture WPIAL title
- WPIAL Class AAAA notebook: Pine-Richland has titles in 3 classifications
- Avonworth faces ‘tall order’ against unbeaten Clairton
- WPIAL final wins over Aliquippa haven’t changed South Fayette’s underdog mentality