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Transfer from Florida gives Riverview versatile weapon

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 12:46 a.m.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Riverview wide receiver Zach Hanus runs the ball during practice at Riverside Park in Oakmont on Thursday, August 15, 2013.

Riverview is known for running the football, but the Raiders may have added a receiving weapon in out-of-state transfer Zach Hanus.

The senior is expected to contribute right away.

“My first reaction is Zach (Hanus) is a good athlete. He's still learning our system,” coach Todd Massack said. “I think that's going to take a little bit of time, but I'm impressed with his athletic ability.”

Hanus joins Riverview after moving with his family from Belleview, Fla.

Belleview High School, a Class 6A school, is an up-and-coming program in central Florida. There, Hanus played receiver.

“It's really competitive (in Florida). Every school has a lot of great athletes,” Hanus said. “Most schools are really good, too.”

That shouldn't hinder Hanus' adjustment to the style of football in the WPIAL.

“In Florida, we had a spring football game,” Hanus said. “Other than that, everything is pretty much the same to me.”

That big-school style could help the 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior, who will be looked upon to fill in the pass-catching void left by the graduation of Tim Wagner and Vinny Piccolino. The pair combined for 306 yards and three touchdowns, primarily out of the backfield.

“He's a big boy,” Massack said of Hanus. “He's tall and he can jump.”

Massack thinks Hanus' skills are good enough to keep him split wide.

“With the strength of our offensive line, I think we're going to be a running team,“ Massack said. “But, we are able to throw the football too. It is comforting to know we have a player like Zach.”

Hanus also will serve as the backup quarterback, but filling in for junior Tyler Nigro may be the only time Hanus is in the backfield. Riverview intends to buck a recent trend of local teams, forgoing any type of Wildcat package for Hanus.

Hanus' size and athletic ability allows him to fill multiple roles on the defensive side as well. Penciled in as a defensive back, most likely at safety, he will be counted on to make stops in the air, as well as on the ground.

“In Single A, the Eastern Conference in particular, you have to defend against the run,” Massack said.

Dave Yohe is a freelance writer.

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