Trib HS Insider Q&A: Knoch's Luke Kroneberg
Luke Kroneberg spent much of last season as a blocking tight end for Knoch as the Knights willed their way to a runner-up finish in the WPIAL.
This season, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior has become more involved offensively, catching a team-leading 19 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns, in helping Knoch (6-2) return to the Class AAA postseason.
Q: When did you have an idea you'd be in more of a pass-catching role?
A: All through Spartans, me and (quarterback) Dakota (Bruggeman) would make plays. He was always the quarterback, and I was always the tight end. We've been doing that since we were 8 years old. I knew he'd throw to me this year.
Q: Knoch has been a sound running team behind seniors Ben Tackett and Mike Cunningham. Would you prefer the team opened things up more?
A: We need to stay balanced. Our big plays seem to come from the pass. I mean, Ben has had some big runs. But we know if we struggle on the ground, we can come through in the air.
Q: You close the regular season Friday against Highlands. Do you consider Highlands a rivalry?
A: Yes, definitely. Anyone who gets in our way is a rivalry.
Q: What was the atmosphere like when you upset No. 4-ranked Mars, 21-0?
A: Emotions were crazy. We practiced hard all week. We had in our minds that we didn't want them to have an undefeated season. There were some words and some pushing. It's always a big game for us.
Q: You're also part of one of the top linebacking corps in Class AAA as a middle linebacker. How good is this group?
A: We were unhealthy early in the season. We got Joe Colonello back and that's helped us. He had a dislocated shoulder and then got sick.
Q: Did you know the late Tim McNerney?
A: No, but I watched him play, and he was amazing.
Q: How did the team deal with McNerney's death on a game day?
A: It was kind of surreal. It was another tragedy to hit Knoch during the season. We wanted to come out and beat Franklin Regional. We came up short, but made sure we beat Mars for him.
Q: You'll play baseball again this spring?
A: Yes. I played first base last year. I was supposed to pitch but tore two muscles in my shoulder. I missed five games.
Q: Are you a decent pitcher?
A: Can be. But I can get wild. I guess that works better for football.
Q: Coach Mike King's pregame speeches are intense. What's he said that sticks with you?
A: He's a great motivator. I always get chills in pregame. He told us, about (McNerney) to never waste a day.
Q: Knoch is one of the few Class AAA teams that still has a natural-grass field. Would you like to see turf?
A: I always wanted turf, yes. But you always end up with those rugburns. We seem to do just fine on grass.