Schoppe looking to carry on Canevin tradition

Nathan Smith
| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

For the first time since 1973, Bishop Canevin welcomes a coach into his first season.

Darren Schoppe will be leading the Crusaders onto the field this fall after 40-year veteran Bob Jacoby retired from coaching in January.

“I was not expecting Mr. Jacoby to retire,” senior Tyler Reddy said. “We were worried about who the new coaches would be, but after meeting them we really like them.”

Schoppe is a former Bishop Canevin player and was an assistant coach under Jacoby for 13 years. He most recently was the defensive coordinator at South Fayette.

“Bishop Canevin has been known for having hard-nosed kids,” Schoppe said. “We want to continue that tradition.”

Schoppe will wait until after camp to announce the starters for a team that returns talent across the field despite having just five seniors on the roster.

Reddy is the most versatile offensive player returning for Bishop Canevin. As a junior, he recorded 360 yards on the ground, 179 through the air and averaged 16 yards on kick returns. He also threw for 162 yards and two touchdowns on specially designed pass plays.

“I liked doing whatever I could to help the team,” Reddy said.

Junior running back Giovanni Demarzo returns after gaining more then 500 all-purpose yards in 2012, and senior Tanner Richardson and junior Aaron Alke return to the line.

“We want to fit the system to the kids we have on the field,” Schoppe said. “At South Fayette, we ran a bit more of a run-and-gun style of play. As a defensive coordinator, we would like to control the clock more. It was two different worlds. We want to find a happy medium between the two.”

Senior Mark De Schon will be a presence at linebacker after finishing with 64 tackles and two sacks last season. Richardson (27 tackles) and junior defensive back Reed Relosky (35 tackles) also will provide experience.

The Crusaders finished the 2012 regular season with three losses in their final five games before falling to North Catholic, 21-0, in the WPIAL playoffs. It is a run the players haven't forgotten.

“We know we are better than that,” Reddy said. “A lot of that happened because of injuries. That is something we hope doesn't happen again. We still have the same goals we have every year. We want to compete for the conference title and make the playoffs. From there, anything can happen.”

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