Shaler showing hunger, desire to improve

Jerry Clark
| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

If there is a positive to an 0-9 season, it has to be the hunger and desire to improve.

That is the task at hand for coach Chris Siegle and the Shaler Titans.

“We have learned how to bond and are now working on a complete culture change,” Siegle said. “That is the biggest difference.

“The kids have grown as individuals and as players. They are maturing and at this point, they have bought in.”

Siegle is sticking with his formula of building from the front of the team to the back, and that means beginning with the play on the offensive and defensive lines.

Senior swing tackle Tom Taylor has aspirations of playing college football, and he knows his growth and success this season will not only help his current team, but his future as well.

“We are working hard (as upperclassmen) to help get the young guys straight,” Taylor said.

“(As a swing tackle) I want to be able to do whatever the coaching staff asks of me. I want to be ready.”

Taylor will move from linebacker to defensive end and said although he has to learn a few things, he will make time to help the younger players in their transitions.

“I want to be ready for what I have to do, but as a senior I will help get the younger players straight,” Taylor said.

Having quality depth also is something Siegle is making a top priority this season.

“The more guys you can get on the field, the more opportunities there are for people to play,” Siegle said. “Once we build depth along the lines and succeed there, you can build behind that.”

The defense also has shown improvement, beginning with senior linebacker Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“We have to hit and get to the ball,” Fitzpatrick said. “Getting turnovers will be important. Our offense is decent, but it will be better if we can get them the ball back.”

Increased opportunities were not a regular occurrence last season, something Siegle and his players are set on changing.

“We are going to need a lot of younger guys to step up,” Fitzpatrick said.

“The seniors last year set the program. Now we have to build on the progress from last year.”

Siegle said this team has good depth and his players have grown since last season, including senior quarterback Josh Crawford.

But, as Siegle has preached since he took over, he is building a program where players have to work to earn their opportunities.

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