Alle-Kiski Valley HS football notebook: Deer Lakes' Wiley says 'Why not us?'
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 9:18 p.m.
T.J. Wiley has coached at several WPIAL programs, but he said his first training camp as Deer Lakes' coach was the best he's seen.
“The kids showed up and did their work with no complaints,” Wiley said. “And nobody quit. We have a lot of committed kids.”
That might have been due to a more compact camp schedule. Rather than two- and three-a-day practices, Wiley had his team work out from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with one, 20-minute break (and lunch), each day.
Wiley wants his team to embrace wholesale change.
He ordered new uniforms and has modified even the most minute details within the program.
“If I want a kid to walk up to the line (on the field), their toes had better be right up to the line,” Wiley said. “The little things matter.
“These kids are itching to win again. We could go 16-0 and win the state title and I'd still be nit-picking.”
Deer Lakes will be a young team. Its entire starting defensive line is sophomores and four 10th-graders will start on offense.
Wiley thinks he is building a foundation for change in Lancerland.
“There's a black cloud over this program; the kids are probably tired of hearing me say it,” he said. “Only 11 winning seasons and one playoff trip; blah, blah, blah. The basketball team won a section title (last season), the baseball team is good, our girls teams win. Why not us?”
It's no secret Apollo-Ridge could have its hands full with North Catholic's backfield featuring junior P.J. Fulmore and senior Jarred Fragapane.
Seeing both might have been inevitable. Apollo-Ridge probably wouldn't have escaped either player, even though the Vikings dropped to Class A.
Fulmore considered enrolling at Shady Side Academy, while Fragapane transferred from Deer Lakes. Shady Side and Deer Lakes used to play in the Allegheny Conference, as did Apollo-Ridge.
Several local players were named to the Trib Total Media high school football All-preseason team.
They are: Knoch lineman Connor Shinsky, Highlands tight end Allan Cratsenberg, Kiski Area linebacker Shane Kuhn, North Catholic linebacker Jarred Fragapane (West Deer), Central Catholic quarterback J.J. Cosentino (Washington Township), Apollo-Ridge defensive back Tre Tipton, Fox Chapel's Brandon Mitchell, who is listed as an athlete, and Kiski Area kicker/punter Adam Mitcheson.
All are seniors, except for Tipton, who is a junior.
Valley has added a pair of Gateway transfers to its football roster. One could make an impact right away. Junior Adrian Morris joined the team last week and played in Saturday's scrimmage against Hampton.
“He's finding his way through,” Valley coach Chad Walsh said. “As each day goes by, he gets more acclimated.”
Walsh said the speedy Morris is a quarterback but will see time at receiver and as a returner.
The other transfer is Morris's brother, Awaoun, who is a freshman.
Walsh said the boys lived briefly in a shelter in Tarentum before finding a place to live in New Kensington.
Riverview will have a pair of guest speakers visit the locker room Saturday morning before the Raiders play Northgate in Oakmont.
Former Oakmont football player Skip Cady, the vice president of sales and marketing for Consolidated Resorts out of Hawaii and Las Vegas, and former Pitt star defensive end and All-Pro NFL linebacker Hugh Green will talk to the team before kickoff.
Riverview assistant Chuck Wagner, the longtime coach at Springdale who came out of retirement this season, helped orchestrate the special guests. Green has spoken to teams in the past.
Valley center Terrell Fields has been cleared to play at Deer Lakes Friday. He suffered a hyper-extended left knee in a scrimmage. .... Freeport's game at Shady Side Academy in Week 5 has been moved from Friday to Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on Sept 28. ... Knoch plans to use two quarterbacks in the opener. Dan Farinelli will start with Troy Hixon also seeing time.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com.
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.
- Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Apollo-Ridge’s Tipton gets offer from Toledo
- Colosimo looking to build Valley into perennial contender