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First-year Charleroi coach familiar with new team

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 6:32 p.m.
Charleroi Brandon Bowman photographed during practice on August 15, 2012 in Charleroi.
Charleroi Dakota Moorer eyes a touchdown reception over David Nuzzo during practice on August 15, 2012 in Charleroi.

Ed Jenkins may be entering his first year as the football coach at Charleroi, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know the players.

“Being a coach at Southmoreland, I was able to game plan against Charleroi,” he said.

“So I am familiar with what the guys can do.”

Jenkins said he has a nice mix of experience coming back to go along with some young players.

“The guys coming back will bring the young guys along,” he said. “We have experience and they need to step up. Thus far, the older kids have done just that with our offseason program.”

Jenkins and the Cougars hit the ground running in January.

“I am happy with the turnout and effort,” he said. “We placed expectations on our kids with the offseason program, and for the large part the kids have responded.

“We are getting stronger. Guys are committed to getting this on the right track. I couldn't be happier.”

Jenkins will lean on a trio of juniors to lead, including fullback/middle linebacker Brandon Bowman, center Chase McKevitt and Eric Johnson, who is transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver.

With Johnson's move, junior Brennan Matthews, who filled in last year for an injured Johnson, will be the signal caller and will have junior Dakota Moorer among his targets.

Jenkins, who was head coach at Leechburg in 2005, said his team has to get off to a quick start in the Interstate Conference as the Cougars play three of their first four games at home.

“It is very important to get off to a fast start at home,” Jenkins said. “Our schedule is challenging early, but we are fortunate to have three of them at home.

“I would rather do that in the confines of Cougar Stadium instead of on the road.”

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