Penn Hills hopes to rebound from injury-riddled season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It's hard to find a football coach who likes making excuses.
But if anybody is justified doing that, it's Penn Hills coach John Peterman.
Peterman's Indians saw a promising 2012 season derailed by injuries. At various times, 12 Penn Hills starters were sidelined with an assortment of injuries.
It all added up to a 3-5 record in conference play. It was the first time since 1997 that the Indians missed qualifying for the WPIAL playoffs.
“Last year we were trying to install a new offense, and all those injuries held us back,” Peterman said. “We were thin in some positions, especially in the line.”
With so many starters missing time last year, a considerable number of juniors and sophomores took advantage of extended playing time and are ready to drive Penn Hills back to playoff contention.
One is sophomore quarterback Billy Kisner, who saw varsity time as a freshman.
Candidates to catch Kisner's passes include seniors Shawn Featherstone, Michael Anthony and tight end Marshall Thompson. All three also will spend time in the defensive backfield.
Vying for time at running back will be sophomore Te'Shan Johnson and junior Cody Allen, who has returned to the school district from Central Catholic.
Senior Jon Pawlowski will anchor the Penn Hills line as a 3-5 defense will be employed.
“We've had a very good offseason turnout,” Peterman said. “We've gone to seven-on-seven camps at West Virginia, Pitt and Youngstown State to work on our passing game.”
Peterman said the true test will come during full-contact practices and games.
“As Steelers coach Mike Tomlin likes to say, ‘Football is played with pads on.' ”
Another favorable factor as Penn Hills prepares for its 76th football season is the return of the entire coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Joe Noll, whose task is to improve an attack that averaged only 11 points per game last season.
Peterman feels conference contenders will consist of familiar faces like last year's co-champions, Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon, last year's WPIAL runner-up, Woodland Hills, and Bethel Park.
This also will be the second season the Indians will be playing at the revamped Yuhas-McGinley Stadium, where artificial turf was installed last year and a set of visitors' bleachers are now erected.
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.
- Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close
- WPIAL Class AAAA final preview: Penn-Trafford looking to reverse trend of playoff losses to Central Catholic
- WPIAL Class AAA final preview: Big-play passing attack paying off for defending WPIAL champion Central Valley
- WPIAL Class A final preview: Jeannette proved it was up to challenge of facing Clairton during Eastern Conference matchup
- WPIAL Class AA final preview: Rivals South Fayette, Aliquippa to play for title for record 3rd straight season
- Karns City tops Bedford in state football playoffs
- Belle Vernon’s Sweitzer commits to Georgetown
- WPIAL history full of football dynasties
- Jeannette junior Swinton says ‘football is my life’
- High school football statewide notebook: Bishop Guilfoyle chasing another unbeaten season
- Powerful Clairton blocks Frazier’s path to title game