Kiski School trying to develop stronger, deeper roster
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Jim Perry begins his second season as football coach at Kiski School with a simple goal: “Win more games than we did last year.”
Kiski School, a prep school near Saltsburg in Westmoreland County, finished 2-6 a year ago.
While the results weren't what Perry had envisioned during his first season, the Pittsburgh native saw what needed to be done to become competitive.
“We need to develop more depth and get stronger,” he said. “We were in almost all our games until halftime, but the larger schools' depth wore us down because we were forced to play a lot of freshmen and sophomores.
“We have to build a football culture here. I want to reduce the reliance of post-graduates.”
Perry gets to see how much the team has improved Friday in a scrimmage against Niagara (Canada) Academy.
The season opener is Sept. 7 at the Columbus Crusaders.
Perry will be counting on all-around player Augie Luptak (Sewickley), quarterback Darrik Martin (Bakersfield, Calif.) and middle linebacker Blanford Paul (Texas) to lead the team. All three are seniors.
Luptak, whose sophomore brother, Artie, started at weakside linebacker last year, plays free safety, quarterback and wide receiver. He also punts.
“Augie is a three-sport athlete and is being recruited by Ivy League schools,” Perry said. “He's been very productive for us.”
Martin is more of a thrower, completing 56-of-130 passes for 1,556 yards and 15 touchdowns last year. Luptak completed only 8 for 20 for 120 yards and four touchdowns.
One of the team's biggest losses was running back/wide receiver Malcolm Hill (Pittsburgh), who is playing at Morgan State. Hill rushed for 550 yards and caught 20 passes for 517 yards. He scored 12 touchdowns.
“Malcolm is a big loss,” Perry said. “But we have players ready to step in. I wouldn't be surprised if we run the ball more.”
Augie Luptak caught 14 passes for 208 yards, and Dan Swank had nine catches for 241 yards.
James Burke (Penn Hills), who started at linebacker as a freshman, junior Raekwon Grant (Canada) and sophomore Joe Carter (Murrysville) are the top candidates at running back.
Some of the other defensive players returning include linebacker Shawn Kissell (Latrobe), defensive end Connor Grady, nose tackle Jason Wright and defensive back Tristan Colaire.
The Kiski roster consists of three players from New York, two from Canada and one each from California, Texas, Delaware and Ohio. The remaining 27 are from Pennsylvania.
“We have quality, but we struggle with our depth,” Perry said. “We should be more experienced.”
Kiski School has only two home games scheduled this season.
Perry said there are two reasons: they want more home games next season to celebrate the 125th year of the school, and they want to dedicate a new stadium turf surface and track, which will be installed after the season.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-836-5095.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.