When the seniors let him down, Carmichaels coach John Menhart turned to his underclassmen last season, many of whom now are seniors.
“Our key is our senior leadership,” Menhart said. “We're not going to dwell on last year. We lacked senior leadership. I challenged them to step up, and it didn't happen.”
The result was a regression by Carmichaels, which is hoping to improve on a 4-5 record and make a return to the WPIAL playoffs, where it last appeared in 2010.
“We lost probably six seniors who played a lot, but we can replace them,” Menhart said. “We'll be more athletic this year.
“We've always taken pride in competing here, but it just didn't happen last year. The team goes as the seniors go.
“The biggest disappointment was that our linemen didn't get it done.”
Running backs Brennan McMinn and Josh Mundell head a list of returnees. The two combined to rush for nearly 1,000 yards, though Mundell, a senior, missed time with a broken arm.
As a sophomore last year, McMinn was Carmichaels' leading rusher with 758 yards on 164 carries.
“We have some good seniors, and we have a good junior class,” Menhart said.
If the line, which will be led by seniors Mike Mitchell and Luke Moskal and junior Joel Tekar, can protect quarterback Brandon Lawless, Carmichaels will look to mix an effective passing game with what Menhart hopes will be a strong ground attack.
It all could lead to a return to the postseason for the Mikes.
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