Experience a strength this season for Western Beaver
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With most of its starters returning, prospects are bright for Western Beaver.
“With only three seniors, we were very young last year,” coach Matt Gray said. “This year, we have experience.
“We're in a conference (Big 7) that's difficult from top to bottom. The key will be staying injury-free.”
The Golden Beavers return most of their skill-position players, including quarterback Steve Robison.
At 6-foot, 145 pounds, Robison is a senior who started at quarterback after Hunter Roknich, the team's top passer a year ago, got hurt late in the season.
Roknich, a 5-9, 165-pound junior, will move to running back.
“Being a pitcher on the baseball team, I have a pretty accurate arm, but I'll play wherever they put me,” said Robison, who began last season at wide receiver.
Senior Nick Miller, the Golden Beavers' top receiver a year ago, also returns. At 6-2, Miller is Western Beaver's tallest player.
Seniors Billy Drear and Ed Doyle will return to play fullback and wide receiver, respectively.
The offensive line of center Ken Gailey, guards Anthony Ward and Matt Girting and tackles Nick DeDominicus and Zach Paine also returns intact.
All are seniors except Ward, who is a sophomore.
DeDominicus (240 pounds) and Paine (250 pounds) are Western Beaver's largest linemen.
Bob Halvin, a 5-10, 180-pound junior linebacker, joins the lineup defensively.
With 28 to 29 players expected for opening night at Neshannock, depth isn't expected to be a problem for the Golden Beavers.
“We have a lot of kids,” Gray said.
Western Beaver has qualified for the WPIAL Class A playoffs nine times in 13 seasons, including 2010 and '11, when the Golden Beavers were eliminated in the first round.
Robison said he thinks it will help that he and other players were on the Western Beaver baseball team that won the WPIAL Class A title this past spring.
“It gives us confidence,” Robison said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- WPIAL’s Top 10 football champions of all time
- Karns City uses bruising running game to gain comeback win over Chestnut Ridge
- Liotta, Petrishen represent AK-Valley at WPIAL football finals
- Gorman: Central Catholic faces ‘phenomenon’
- Unbeaten Clairton not taking Avonworth lightly
- Pine-Richland tops defending champ Central Catholic to capture WPIAL title
- Central Valley beats rival West Allegheny to win WPIAL Class AAA championship
- WPIAL Class AAA notebook: Central Valley to face another merger in PIAA playoffs
- Gorman: Clairton QB delivers on dream
- Apollo-Ridge stands tall in 58-40 victory over Beaver Falls
- Aliquippa quarterback Fields ready when number is called