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Player shortage a major problem for Brownsville

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Brownsville's Marcellis Grooms gains yardage during a practice session at Brownsville Middle School on Aug.13, 2013, in Brownsville.

After finishing last season without a win, the losses for the Brownsville football team continue to pile up.

In this case, it is the loss of players at summer workouts. Coach Von Braddock said it will be hard to field a competitive team — or a team at all — without more desire shown by the players.

“Summer workouts have been bad,” Braddock said. “No participation.”

Braddock said summer workouts averaged about 15 players per session. He expects 30-35 players on the roster this season.

“If not, they can cancel the season,” Braddock said. “We can't play in my conference with 20-25.”

That conference is the Class AA Interstate, which features a slew of tough teams, including Washington (12-1 last year), Jeannette (10-2) and Mt. Pleasant (8-3). Braddock expects Greensburg Central Catholic (6-4) to compete for a title, as well.

To compete in the Interstate Conference, the Falcons will need a quick turnaround from last season, when they were shut out three times and allowed 35 or more points in all but one contest. The Falcons have not posted more than two victories in a season since 2005.

Adding to the challenge is the fact the Falcons have just two seniors on the team.

However, among the many underclassmen is standout sophomore Marcellis Grooms, the team's rushing leader last season.

Also returning are leading receivers Devin Braddock, Von's son, and Jacob Rechichar.

Grooms and Byron Mayers will carry the load at running back, and Shane Roebuck most likely will be behind center.

But will that be enough?

The Falcons will need some other players from their junior-laden team to step up — or show up, for that matter — as well. Once training camp rolled around, Braddock employed the simple ethos of football for all his players.

“If you want to be on the football team, we're going to make you accountable,” Braddock said. “You have a job to do, and you need to do your job.”

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