Shady Side Academy aims to keep playoff string alive
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Dave Havern enters his eighth season as head football coach at Shady Side Academy with a string of six straight playoff appearances.
He is confident that this season's team can make it seven straight.
“We have 18 lettermen returning,” Havern said. “There are eight offensive starters and six defensive starters coming back, though some of them may be at different positions.”
SSA also boasts quite a few returning Allegheny Conference first and second team conference all-stars.
The senior running back combo of Jarred Brevard and Dennis Briggs were both chosen to the first team.
Briggs, who made a verbal commitment to Pitt, rushed for 473 yards while mainly blocking for Brevard, who has drawn interest from Penn, Cornell and Fordham. Briggs also made first team on defense at inside linebacker.
Senior Charles Calabrese made first team inside linebacker as well as making the second team at tight end and punter.
Wide receiver Tyrell Hill made honorable mention as did junior running back and defensive back Jackson Fitzgerald. Junior offensive lineman Pat Loughran also received honorable mention.
Senior Tucker Gillman will take over for Matt Granato at quarterback and the versatile Calabrese may also see some snaps.
“Both are real good athletes who can play multiple positions pretty well,” Havern said.
In the past, the Indians have treated the forward pass as an oddity.
That could change this year as they return a pair of talented receivers in Hill and Louis Berry IV.
“They're serious deep threats and very athletic,” Havern said.
Havern does have concerns about his offensive line.
“It's a concern as usual,” he said. “We have two returning starters. Loughran will start at tackle while another junior, Sky Baxter, will start at guard. They'll be joined by Zach Cosbie and Logan Platt and the fifth spot is a four-way battle up for grabs for whoever has the best camp.”
On defense, Briggs will be moved from safety to the inside.
“He's so versatile and he'll help us there,” Havern said. “Overall, we will have some talented guys on both sides of the ball, but our younger guys, especially up front, will have to grow up real fast. Our upper class numbers will be pretty slim, so some of these younger guys will have to play with the big boys on Friday nights.
“We like the chemistry of the group. We have some acknowledged talent, but our depth could become a problem as the season progresses. We have some decent size up front — nothing massive but functional. We are real fast this year and we're looking forward to another tough Allegheny Conference weekly battle.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or 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.