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Bentworth again battling shorthanded roster

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

As is usually the case with Class A schools, Bentworth enters the season hurting for players.

Last season, then first-year coach Bob Niziol and his staff had 27 players, but nine graduated.

“We are only replacing (the nine seniors) with seven new bodies,” Niziol said. “Most of the new bodies have no high school experience.”

Expecting about 25 for the roster, Niziol still wants to see his team improve.

“Throughout the offseason, we have stressed competition and are getting better than we previously were,” he said. “A core group of the guys have really gone all-in with these concepts and will hopefully lead us to better performances in games and to a better overall record than I have seen.”

Senior Mason Shumaker, an offensive and defensive lineman, is a four-year starter, and Niziol is hoping he can lead up front.

Sophomore running backs Darius Hays and Ethan Tush will battle for time in the backfield, and junior Angelo Rios-Lopez will move from receiver to quarterback to lead the offense.

“We are returning one starter on the offensive line and three skill players who will move around,” Niziol said.

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