South Fayette hoping to leave lasting impression in Class AA
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With South Fayette preparing for a jump to Class AAA next year, the Lions have a clear goal in mind — going out on top in Class AA.
“Every year, one of our goals is to win the conference,” quarterback Brett Brumbaugh said.
“But being in our last year in Double-A and the Century Conference, it will be our last chance to get the Double-A ring.”
Brumbaugh returns after having a strong sophomore season, completing 63 percent of his passes (154 for 245) for nearly 2,900 yards.
The junior lost Zach Challingsworth — his top target in 2012 — to graduation but has plenty of weapons to keep the high-flying offense going strong and try to replace his nearly 1,200 receiving yards and 19 scores.
Senior Justin Watson, who had 592 receiving yards and eight touchdowns last year, is getting attention from MAC, Patriot League and Ivy League programs. Conner Beck also returns after a 457-yard, four-touchdown season.
“(Challingsworth) is hard to replace just because of the caliber of player he was,” Brumbaugh said.
“But we have some talented guys coming back. Hayden Orler has looked good. Logan Sharp is at tight end, which will be nice because we didn't use one much last year because of injuries.”
While the passing attack will be strong, opposing teams cannot sleep on the Lions' run game.
The team returns four of its top five rushers from 2012 — Grant Fetchet (932 yards), Nick Ponikvar (258), Zach Walker (163) and Jared Walker (134). The foursome combined for 27 touchdowns.
“We feel that when we need the tough yards, those guys can get them,” coach Joe Rossi said. “We also return four of the five staters on the offensive line, which we're really excited about.”
The defense was hit hard by graduation, losing all four linemen and three of four linebackers from 2012. Zach Walker (59 tackles) is the only returning linebacker.
Beck returns to the secondary after recording 51 tackles last season. Orler also is back in the defensive backfield after seeing playing time in key spots last season.
If the new faces on the defense can step up, the Lions could be on the fast track to a second straight Century Conference title.
“Our No. 1 goal is to win the conference,” Rossi said. “It will be our last chance to do it. To say we won the conference title four of the last five years would be a tremendous feat.”
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.
- Playoff hopes hang in balance as Hempfield plays host to Altoona
- A-K Valley football notebook: Christy has best of both worlds as coach, father
- Gorman: Billy Holt’s big moment for Albert Gallatin