Move to daunting Parkway doesn't faze Chartiers Valley
Chartiers Valley coach Chris Saluga doesn't deny his squad will face a tall task as it prepares for a season in the Parkway Conference.
The 12th-year Colts coach praised the coaches, programs and teams his squad will face in its new home thanks to the WPIAL's latest two-year realignment cycle.
Despite the challenge of the talented conference, Saluga has the same goals once again.
“We expect to be in the playoffs,” Saluga said. “We have been in the playoffs eight out of the nine previous seasons. It is the expectation. It is a solid goal to have in the Parkway Conference.”
The path to the postseason will have to be led by a new quarterback after the graduation of Arizona recruit Wayne Capers. Senior Michael Boulos and junior Andreo Coury battled for the position during camp.
Boulos was the team's running back last season, and Saluga said both have the ability to fill in the role of either running back or quarterback.
Whoever wins out will have a talented target in junior receiver Anthony Voss, a player Saluga said is primed for a big season.
“He has huge hands,” Saluga said. “He is a utility player who will be used on both sides of the ball.”
The run game will be boosted by seniors Joe Ragni and Nick Gillot, who will fill in at fullback.
The line will be one of the most experienced areas for Chartiers Valley. Seniors Mitch Zajicek and Dom Giuntini, along with junior Hunter Steele, all return, and junior Ben Kump will see an extended role. The team also has 6-foot-6 tight end/defense end Spencer Casson.
“We are very confident in our line,” Saluga said. “We feel it could be a strength.”
The defense will be boosted by a solid linebacker corps. Ragni, Gillot and Connor Lindsay, also a senior, will bring experience; Gillot was named to the Big Eight All-Conference first team for his play at linebacker last season.