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Kasperowicz plans offensive changes at Pine-Richland

- Pine-Richland’s Ben DiNucci works out during practice Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, at Pine-Richland.
Pine-Richland’s Ben DiNucci works out during practice Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, at Pine-Richland.
- Pine-Richland’s Connor Slomka works out during practice Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, at Pine-Richland.
Pine-Richland’s Connor Slomka works out during practice Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, at Pine-Richland.

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Schedule

Coach: Eric Kasperowicz

2012 record: 4-5, 2-5

Date Opponent Time

8.30 at Fox Chapel* 7

9.5 Seneca Valley* 7

9.13 Butler* 7:30

9.20 at North Allegheny* 7:30

9.27 at Kiski Area 7:30

10.4 Central Catholic* 7:30

10.11 Shaler* 7:30

10.18 at North Hills* 7:30

10.25 at Plum 7

*conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing Ben DiNucci

103-175, 1,219 yards, 11 TDs

Rushing Connor Slomka

192-1,031 yards, 7 TDs

Receiving Luke Merhut*

51-628 yards, 4 TDs

*Graduated

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

The retirement of coach Clair Altemus marked the end of an era at Pine-Richland, and now a new regime begins headed by offensive guru Eric Kasperowicz.

Kasperowicz, best known for his heroics in the 1993 PIAA championship game that brought a state title to North Hills, will be trying to accomplish that same feat, but this time as a head coach.

“It is definitely a big thing to build a culture here,” Kasperowicz said. “I want football to be important, I want it to be special at Pine-Richland, and I will build it from the bottom up.”

One thing Kasperowicz has going for him is the youthful roster at his disposal. The team lacks a large senior class, but that is something he is using as a positive.

“I played a lot on offense as a sophomore,” right guard John Kohley said. “There were six or seven sophomores starting on each side of the ball, so that is exciting.”

Kohley will be playing defense for the first time on varsity this season, and added he hopes some of what he learned on offense translates over and leads to success.

Kasperowicz said that with the wealth of young, experienced players, it's almost like having several seniors from an experience standpoint.

To help get the offense primed, the Rams played a lot of seven-on-seven, according to receiver Mike Merhut.

“Coach Kasperowicz knows offense,” Merhut said. “We have been building to be a better team, and we are leaving it all on the field.”

Kasperowicz said his offense will be predicated by the talent he has, but one thing the Rams will feature is a commitment to running the football.

That's good news for returning starter Connor Slomka, a junior running back who surpassed 1,000 yards as a sophomore.

“We will be a physical, down-hill running team,” Kasperowicz said. “We will always be physical and make sure we do the little things right.”

Another plus for the offense will be the return of junior quarterback Ben DiNucci, who threw for more than 1,200 yards last year.

All the offensive weapons have Kasperowicz excited to get started.

“It's been great,” he said. “I am happy with the number of kids who came out and their overall understanding of what we are doing. That is the best thing.

“We definitely hit the ground running, and I can't wait to get the season started.”

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