Shady Side Academy football scrimmage answers some question; others still unresolved

Marty Stewart
| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Coach Dave Havern's Shady Side Academy football team scrimmaged Carrick High School at home on Saturday.

When it was over, Havern said he was pleased with some of the play but added he still has some concerns about this season's squad.

“Our first scrimmage went pretty much like all first scrimmages,” he said., “We still have a few questions to be answered.”

The strong play the Indians will get from their upperclassmen will not be one of those questions.

“Dennis (Briggs), Jarred (Brevard), Chuck Calabrese, and Tyrel Hill have been starting for us for a few years. They're all ready to go,” Havern said.

“Tight end, outside linebacker Matt O'Connor and Jackson Fitzgerald each had a real good first week. Matty has really stepped up at both positions and Fitz is just so darn versatile that we have to determine just where we're going to play him.

“It's a good problem to have.”

One place the Indians could have a bit of problem is in the trenches.

Right now, Havern is wishing that former SSA and Penn State lineman Mike Farrell still had some eligibility left at SSA.

“If I had a magic lamp, I'd be rubbing the heck out of it, trying to get a couple linemen to materialize,” Havern said. “Not being in possession of that device, however, we're working real hard with our young linemen to see if somebody wants to jump in and be a grown up. We've got a couple weeks until our opener with Ford City. I hope it's enough time.”

Once conference play does begin, Havern knows his team must be ready to battle.

“The conference will again be a dogfight and there won't be any easy games,” he said.

Shady Side does have one more exhibition scheduled before the games start to count. The Indians will host Our Lady of the Sacred Heart on Friday at 7 p.m.

“There's still some question marks about this team and, hopefully, we'll get some answers,” Havern said. “That's what the scrimmages are all about. We know what the veterans can do. We need to see if the younger kids can handle it.”

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or

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