South Park to emphasize rushing attack
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Run the ball, and stop the run.
This concept is old-school football at its best, and it's what South Park will use as the basis for its 2013 season.
“We want to throw the ball some, but we're not really a passing team,” coach Tom Loughran said. “We prefer to run the ball first.”
Keying the Eagles' emphasis on the ground game will be a pair of junior linemen — Ryan Podgorski and Robbie Wolak. The pair will anchor the left side of the offensive line, with Podgorski slated to start at left tackle and Wolak at left guard.
“They will be the backbone of both our offensive and defensive lines,” Loughran said of his two returning starters.
With the departure of last year's leading rusher, Jared Becker, the line will be clearing the way for a new tailback in senior Greg Pantuso. Last season, Pantuso carried the ball 24 times for 131 yards and four touchdowns in a reserve role.
Loughran has a couple of options at quarterback this season. Junior Nick Scholle figures to be the starter, and last year's leading passer — senior Mike McLaughlin — has been lining up at wide receiver.
“We're going to use Mike more at wide receiver and see how that works,” Loughran said.
Along with McLaughlin, South Park's senior leadership will come from fullback/linebacker Brandon Umenhofer and two-way lineman Chris Boff.
“They were starters on defense last year,” Loughran said of Umenhofer and Boff. “We need them to step up and be leaders this year.”
Loughran had Boff penciled in at center, but he could wind up sliding to another position up front.
“Every year is a new puzzle,” Loughran said. “We just need to figure out where these kids fit.”
South Park's 2012 campaign concluded with a 3-6 record and a 3-5 mark in Century Conference play.
The high point of the Eagles' season was back-to-back road victories over McGuffey and Keystone Oaks.
The Eagles were competitive in nearly every game last season, but breakdowns in key situations led to some tough losses.
“We did more things to hurt ourselves than our opponents did,” Loughran said. “We did too many things that were counterproductive.
“We have to eliminate the physical and mental mistakes and put ourselves in a position to be successful.”
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.
- Through the years: Bell-Avon rings out in program’s finale
- High school notebook: WPIAL adjusts to accommodate Armstrong merger
- Clairton falls short vs. Bishop Guilfoyle in PIAA Class A title game
- Close loss in title game cannot diminish Clairton’s ‘great season’
- Pine-Richland falls short in PIAA Class AAAA final
- High school notebook: Records tumble during PIAA football title games
- WPIAL’s Top 10 football champions of all time
- PIAA quarterfinalists Central Valley, Conneaut sharing success after mergers
- Clairton, Bishop Guilfoyle football teams match vaunted defenses