Mt. Pleasant's Mellors won't surprise opponents this season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Mt. Pleasant doesn't intend to surprise a lot of teams this season.
Running back Tyler Mellors has taken the guesswork out of the offense. A year ago as a junior, Mellors ran for 1,490 yards and scored 25 touchdowns. He ranked among WPIAL leaders in both categories, and the Vikings will be counting on Mellors again in hopes of making a return to the postseason.
“Tyler is one of the shiftiest and explosive backs I've been around,” Mt. Pleasant coach Bo Ruffner said. “He has the ability to make people miss and he has the ability to find holes. Tyler is strong, quick and agile, and he knows how to get yards.”
Seniors Ryan Ballew and Brett Fess will comprise the remainder of the Vikings' backfield.
Ballew and Fess will line up at halfback, with Mellors seeing the bulk of the action at fullback.
“They've all played together since their freshman year and they understand our scheme and system,” Ruffner said. “We're looking for big things from all three and have very high expectations.”
Center Dante Porter, left tackle Eric Klejka and tight end Marcus Malara, all seniors, will try to open holes for Mellors.
“Your running backs are only as good as your front line,” Ruffner said. “We have a couple kids back and we have to fill some holes, but we have some capable kids to turn to. Our offensive line coach, Jason Fazekas, does a great job in camp and lets the kids compete for the positions.”
Senior Ryan Gumbita returns at quarterback. Last season, he completed 44 of 86 pass attempts for 787 yards and seven touchdowns.
Ruffner said Gumbita's experience is like having a coach on the field.
“He's been around since the seventh grade, and he's been in our system and understands the concepts we're striving for,” Ruffner said.
“He has the ability at this point to almost run the offense himself, and that's definitely an advantage.”
Defensively, Mt. Pleasant returns four starters, all seniors.
Anchoring the unit will be defensive tackles Jeff Leonard and Klejka, inside linebacker Luke Liprando and safety Ballew.
Last season, Mt. Pleasant went 6-2 in the Interstate Conference and finished in third place. The Vikings won a first-round playoff game over Burrell before losing in the WPIAL quarterfinals to eventual Class AA champion Aliquippa.
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.
- HSFB preview by position: Familiar faces coaching in new places
- New coach hopes to start new tradition at Shaler
- Experienced players hope to lead Penn-Trafford to title
- Class AAAA breakdown: Trio of contenders could challenge perennial powers Woodland Hills, Central Catholic
- Class AA breakdown: Revamped Allegheny Conference among many changes
- Gorman: McNeilly Road rivalry renewed
- Dudek adds explosiveness to trio of Kittanning backs
- Class A breakdown: WPIAL realignment shakes up conferences
- Century-old rivalry ending this season with Kittanning, Ford City meeting one last time
- Led by top QB, South Fayette offense among WPIAL’s all-time best
- Class AAA breakdown: With perennial contender Gateway joining Greater Allegheny, trend of championship Parkway teams could be challenged