ShareThis Page

Injuries already hurting Fox Chapel's chances for success

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:56 p.m.
Fox Chapel running back Chad Garnett runs the ball during practice at Fox Chapel High School on Tuesday, August 13, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Fox Chapel running back Chad Garnett runs the ball during practice at Fox Chapel High School on Tuesday, August 13, 2013.
Fox Chapel quarterback Brandon Mitchell throws a pass during practice at Fox Chapel High School on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Fox Chapel quarterback Brandon Mitchell throws a pass during practice at Fox Chapel High School on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.

Before a block was thrown in preseason camp, Fox Chapel had more than its share of injuries.

Third-year coach Eric Ravotti had to deal with season-ending injuries to five projected starters, including tight end/linebacker Quinton Wirginis, who committed to Pitt.

Wirginis sustained a broken bone and a torn tendon to his foot in late July.

Also, safety Tyler Heasley, wide receiver/defensive back Brian O'Brien, linebacker and team captain Cory Camarote and tackle Cullen Higgins had their seasons end prior to the official start of training camp.

“It's tough,” Ravotti said. “We have (several) potential starters out for the year, and we have five other starters gone from graduation.”

Ravotti is faced with the tricky situation of finding a balance between hitting hard at practice and limiting contact, while not risking additional injuries.

Reporting to camp healthy as the Foxes hope to improve on last year's 1-8 record are four key players to build around.

Brandon Mitchell (6-6, 210) can play a variety of positions, including quarterback and running back.

Also getting looks by colleges are senior twins Nigel and Chad Garrett, both three-year starters.

Ravotti is pleased with the progress of quarterback Billy Urso, who led the team with 408 passing yards.

“Billy's a rising leader and he's coming on strong,” Ravotti said. “He'll be leading our offense along with (Mitchell).”

Also back and healthy is junior inside linebacker/tight end David Brown.

Carrington Vaughn, a junior, is already a three-year veteran at running back, and junior outside linebacker Greg Yaksich “has really transformed himself into a lockdown receiver,” Ravotti said.

There's more good news at Fox Chapel: a ninth-grade team will be formed.

Recently, ninth graders have been moved up to junior varsity. Now they'll be able to develop on their own.

Numbers continue to grow for Ravotti and the Foxes.

Two years ago, there were about 30 players suiting up. Now, the team has more than doubled its player turnout, despite last year's record.

Fox Chapel will begin its 53rd season Friday at home against Pine-Richland.

For the first time since 1995, Fox Chapel will have two regularly scheduled Saturday afternoon games. One is Sept. 21 at Carnegie Mellon University against Central Catholic, and the other a week later at Shaler in that school's traditional homecoming day contest.

In one staff change, Andy Dunlap will be the defensive backs coach. Ravotti's brother, Chad, will be coming on board after 13 years as a Freeport assistant.

Chad Ravotti will be used in a variety of coaching duties.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.