Expectations high for Laurel after again joining Big 7
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Laurel may keep changing classifications, but at least the Spartans are familiar with their latest landing spot.
Two seasons after jumping to Class AA, Laurel finds itself back in the Big 7 Conference — its former home — as a result of the WPIAL's realignment.
“It's just a learning thing all over again when you go into a new conference,” coach Jerry Holzhauser said. “You learn from good scouting. The reputations of those schools are there already, so we know there'll be good, tough football players and good coaching.”
In 2009, Laurel's last season in the Big 7, the Spartans finished in second and advanced to the WPIAL semifinals.
To duplicate that feat, Laurel will have to replace the production of running back Dylan Jones, who had 1,176 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, when the Spartans finished tied for fifth in Class AA's Midwestern Conference.
Laurel will lean on an experienced offensive line to help whoever steps into that void, Holzhauser said.
“It's hard to replace Dylan — he set all the school records at running back, and he was just an exceptional player for us,” Holzhauser said. “We know we're not going to replace him, but hopefully some kids will step up.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Pine-Richland has new look for defending champ St. Joseph’s Prep
- High school notebook: WPIAL adjusts to accommodate Armstrong merger
- High school notebook: Records tumble during PIAA football title games
- Close loss in title game cannot diminish Clairton’s ‘great season’
- Clairton, Bishop Guilfoyle football teams match vaunted defenses
- WPIAL’s Top 10 football champions of all time
- Frazier, Beth-Center lead Tri-County South football squad
- Strong 4th quarter carries Pine-Richland into PIAA championship game
- Clairton falls short vs. Bishop Guilfoyle in PIAA Class A title game
- RB Hayes boosts South Fayette to 2nd straight state title