Despite shorthanded roster, Avella vying for playoff berth
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Avella coach Ryan Cecchini enters the season with a roster of just 20 players, but his key contributors from last season are back to make a run at a WPIAL playoff berth.
The Eagles have a legitimate game-breaker in senior wide receiver Zach Thompson, who accounted for more than 1,000 total yards last season in receiving and kick returns.
“He's always a threat to go the distance,” Cecchini said of Thompson, who returned a pair of punts for scores in addition to his six receiving touchdowns.
Junior Santino Paris returns at quarterback, and Cecchini is looking forward to seeing him develop.
“He still has a lot of room to grow,” Cecchini said. “We might open up the offense a little bit more to take advantage of Santino's arm strength.”
In the backfield, junior Nick Kusich once again will carry the load at tailback, with senior Shawn Carl at fullback. Kusich and Carl also start at linebacker.
A 5-3 record in Tri-County South Conference play last season left Avella just outside the playoff picture, but Cecchini is hoping the Eagles' fortunes will change in 2013.
“Everybody knows what the goal is,” Cecchini said. “We haven't made the playoffs since 1976.
“The goal is to break the streak and take the next step forward.”
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.