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
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.