Running game likely to replace Greensburg Salem's high-scoring attack
Gone is a host of familiar names, quarterback Josh Falatovich and running back Michael Kizzie among them.
With those two 1,000-yard producers out of the picture and enrolled at Seton Hill, prepare for a new-look Greensburg Salem.
“We have a lot of gaps to fill. We have a glaring area in our skill positions,” coach Casey Cavanaugh said.
The Golden Lions will head into the year without wide receiver Michael Nowicki and tight end/defensive end Waylon Fink, who enters his first year at the University of Buffalo.
But with experience on the offensive and defensive lines, Greensburg Salem has a head start to reinvent itself from last year's high-powered team that averaged 43 points per game while relying on a potent passing attack.
The names aren't as familiar, but Cavanaugh is comfortable with the personnel up front, among them seniors Nick Holtzer (6-foot-2, 230), Tanner Hahn (6-3, 225) and Anthony Sorbin (6-0, 225), and junior Donnie Chedrick (6-0, 245).
“We're going to be a different kind of team,” Cavanaugh said. “We'll have to play better defense and be strong up front to run the football.”
Greensburg Salem, which ended a 7-3 season with a pair of losses, capped by a 34-28 decision to Thomas Jefferson in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs, will join Derry, Franklin Regional and Hollidaysburg this year in a move to the Greater Allegheny Conference.
Two solid contenders are vying to fill Kizzie's spot in the Greensburg Salem backfield, from where he gained 1,238 yards and scored 17 touchdowns last season, including Kizzie's main backup a year ago, senior Tyler Shook, who rushed for 552 yards and seven touchdowns.
The other is Dom McKinley, a junior who played on Greensburg Salem's junior varsity team.
“It's big shoes to fill, but we feel comfortable,” Cavanaugh said.