Southmoreland quartet makes all-conference team
It may have been a disappointing season on the gridiron for the Southmoreland Scotties this year, finishing with a 3-6 record after an 0-4 start.
But optimism runs high for the 2013 campaign due to the large number of underclassmen who contributed in 2012. That was reflected in the selection of the Class AA Interstate Conference all-conference team. Four Southmoreland players were named to the squad, three of whom were underclassmen.
Joining senior Dakota Datz were sophomores Jake Pisula and Chas King and freshman Jake Beistel.
”It's great,” King said about the underclassmen being recognized. “It's just saying we have something to come up to. We've got people coming up. We're a young team. We're growing together better.”
Datz led the Scotties in rushing and passing this past season. The senior signal caller completed 35 of 76 passes for 595 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 881 yards and 10 touchdowns on 138 carries.
Pisula started at cornerback throughout the season, but was pressed into full-time duty as a running back when starter Tyler Ramsey suffered an injury in the fifth week of the season.
Pisula finished the reason with 760 yards on 137 carries and scored eight touchdowns. His highlight came in a 42-22 win over Charleroi in Week 8, when he toted the ball 27 times for 220 yards and two scores.
“Being named all-(conference) is a dream come true,” Pisula said. “It's an honor being up there with all of those great (Southmoreland players of the past) like Russ Grimm and my uncle, Allen Pisula.”
King saw time as a linebacker and tight end for the Scotties.
“I'm excited,” King said about being named all-conference. “They deserved what they got.”
Beistel saw time at center and middle linebacker during his freshman campaign.
“I think it's an honor they picked me as a freshman to be all-conference,” Beistel said. “I want to make it every single year now. I want to make first-team next year.”
Coach Dominic Pecora said seeing these young players recognized is a good sign for his program,
“We're headed in the right direction. It shows that,” Pecora said. “I'm not afraid to play young players...I've got to play the best 11 regardless of grade. We have a very young team next year. Our whole team's back after that. We're building toward a very good team. But I don't want to take anything from Bo, he's our best player.”
The Interstate Conference was among the toughest in the WPIAL this past season. Two of the conference's teams — Jeannette and Washington — advanced to the Class AA semifinals, with Washington moving to the title game.
“It's something to build on, something to be excited for,” Pisula said of the success of the young players. “It's good for this team and program. We can build on that for this coming season.”
Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.