Springdale to rely on returning starters up front
Springdale coach Dave Leasure admits his roster doesn't include a player the rest of the Eastern Conference would consider a superstar.
But Leasure, entering his second year in charge, knows his team's opponents have to admit the most recognizable of the Dynamos' returning starters are supersized by Class A standards.
Experienced big-bodied linemen will lead the way for Springdale, which must find effective replacements for several skill position players — including 2012 Eastern Conference Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year Sean Dugan — to extend its playoff-qualifying streak to 12 years.
“We've got a lot of yards to come up with,” Leasure said, “and we don't have another one of those guys (like Dugan), but we have guys who are capable of making contributions in their own ways.”
The majority of the linemen who allowed Dugan to rush for 1,637 yards and 19 touchdowns are back and even bigger this fall.
Seniors Robbie Korzon and Hunter Steihler will occupy the strong side tackle and guard position, respectively.
Senior Tyler Igo returns at center. And senior Nate Shaw again steps in at the “quick” tackle position. Junior Brady McNally, expected to fill the “quick” guard role, is the lone new addition.
“We're going to be strong, and there's great chemistry between us,” Igo said.
All five weigh at least 220 pounds and stand near or taller than 6 feet.
Leasure, who initially tried to use them in a Wing-T scheme last season, plans to stick with the straightforward I-formation playbook that contributed to the Dynamos' late-season offensive success.
Springdale scored more than 20 points just once in its first four games and finished with at least 22 points in each of its final five games during the regular season.
Springdale used Dugan as a one-man wrecking machine last season. He averaged 20 carries per game in part because two other running backs went down with injuries. This fall, several backs will share the workload.
Junior Austin Kline, senior Cory English, senior Matt Mikus and senior Justin Wilson might see touches in the backfield. Junior Dan Franskousky likely will carry on Springdale's tradition of mobile quarterbacks.
In a departure from recent seasons, Springdale might throw the ball more often. The Dynamos, Leasure said, have a capable quarterback and enough receiving options to tweak their notoriously ground-oriented attack.
Junior Adam Lock, a 6-1 tight end, is an attractive target over the middle. He had seven receptions for 131 yards and one touchdown last season.
Junior Michael Banachowski is another lanky target, one who usually will line up at wide receiver.
“It's nice because haven't really been a throwing team because we've had so many good running backs,” Lock said. “It'll be nice to have some diversity.”
Senior linebackers Billy Barker, John Nicholson and Alex Demonte will spearhead a defense that the team hopes will rank among the conference's best.
Senior kicker Adam Winklmann, who made five of six field goal attempts and 20 of 22 extra-point attempts, gives the team an edge at the Class A level, where special teams often are an afterthought.
Even without a slew of returning all-conference selections, Springdale's boys are confident they'll keep their playoff streak alive.
“It's been my experience overall,” Leasure said, “that these Dynamos find a way to get it done.”