Share This Page

Indiana hopes to cause matchup problems

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Lindsay Dill | Tribune-Review
Indiana HIgh School football player Riley Stapleton runs with the ball during practice Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, at the Kiski Area High School football field.

Inexperience and injuries contributed to an adventurous 2012 season for Indiana, yet the Little Indians still made a serious challenge for the final WPIAL Class AAA playoff spot, losing out in the closing week of the regular season despite getting their third victory.

Coach Mark Zilinskas predicted they'll be a better team this year because of it.

“We feel like we took our lumps, and we feel like we made some progress,” he said. “Our kids fought through that.”

Quarterback-turned-running-back Dequan West is healthy again — he missed much of the previous season with hip and toe ailments — and his replacement, Sean Thompson, will try to build on a productive second half behind center.

Thompson, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound senior, will have some sizable targets at wide receiver.

Darrious Carter, a 6-5, 205-pound senior who is committed to Temple, and Riley Stapleton, a 6-5, 195-pound junior, could cause matchup problems for opponents.

“Both of those guys can do some things athletically. Both can go up and get the ball,” Zilinskas said. “Both of them had great days at a seven-on-seven (tournament) at Pitt (in July). It was a good experience for all of us.”

Senior Derek Stapleton (Riley's brother), junior Noah Mohney and sophomore Jacob Zilinskas (the coach's son) should see plenty of time at wideout, too.

“We feel like we've got five kids we can work in and out,” Coach Zilinskas said.

In the backfield, several candidates are hoping to complement West — a 6-1, 200-pound senior — including seniors Jordan Casses and Ian Scott and junior Miles Dietz.

“In a flex-run offense, any one of those guys can play slot or running back,” Zilinskas said.

This season, Indiana should benefit by the return of eight returning players on offense and nine on defense.

“We certainly had to play last year with a lot of first-year starters,” Zilinskas said. “We really came on at the end of the year.”

On the offensive line, Cody Squiric, a 6-2, 305-pound senior is getting interest from FBS and FCS schools, including Akron, Temple and Youngstown State, despite playing last season with a torn labrum.

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.