ShareThis Page

Chartiers Valley offense continues to evolve

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Josh Lapiana threw for 1,036 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior. He has already recorded 522 yards and four touchdowns this year.
File photo
Josh Lapiana threw for 1,036 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior. He has already recorded 522 yards and four touchdowns this year.
Chartiers Valley senior Dom Castello returns a kickoff during the Colts' 56-23 loss to Moon on Friday, Aug. 30, at Chartiers Valley Stadium.
Randy Jarosz | for the Signal Item
Chartiers Valley senior Dom Castello returns a kickoff during the Colts' 56-23 loss to Moon on Friday, Aug. 30, at Chartiers Valley Stadium.

After Niel Loebig was named the Chartiers Valley football coach during the offseason, he decided an uptempo spread offense would best fit the program.

The coaches of the middle school program expressed concern about running a similar style, but Loebig said picking it up is as easy as learning the lyrics of a hit song.

“If a kid hears a song twice, they know all the words because it is important to them,” Loebig said. “We believe the players will learn what you expect them to learn. We stress the importance of signals and communication.”

While the team struggled with turnovers in a Week 1, 56-23 loss to Moon and a 49-0 setback to Central Valley in Week 3, the team showed its capabilities in a 34-14 win over Hopewell in between. Loebig said the win showed that when the Colts are executing, they will be able to control the flow of the game.

“As a staff, we believe there are certain things we can control,” Loebig said. “Things like the tempo of the game and being in shape. Since we can control that, we want to definitely control (tempo) in games.”

And while it took time to learn, the Colts love the concept.

“Last year we ran more of a triple-option,” senior receiver Anthony Voss said. “We didn't really have the quarterback for that. He is more of a thrower. It fits better.”

The success of the offense will come down to increased passes from senior Josh Lapiana. The second-year starter threw for 1,036 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011.

He has thrown for 647 yards and four touchdowns this season.

“He matured over the summer — not as a person but as a player,” Loebig said. “He is understanding more each week and becoming more comfortable. Our backup Jake Collins is pushing him every day.

“There is nothing better than having competition.”

Lapiana said he spent the offseason improving his physical tools for this season.

But he credits his success so far this season to increased play from the rest of the offense.

“The offensive line has been great,” the gunslinger said. “Everyone from the left tackle to the right tackle is stepping up. And the receivers are making plays. We have a great relationship.”

The receiver core is led by Dom Castello, who is making a return to the gridiron after sitting out several seasons. The senior recorded eight receptions for 200 yards and a pair of scores during the first two weeks of the season.

“It wasn't hard to build a relationship with Lapiana,” Castello said. “We played basketball and baseball together last season. We were already pretty close.”

He is joined by Voss, junior Anthony Egnatz and sophomore Delmar King.

While the team isn't afraid to run plays without a huddle, Chartiers Valley won't shy away from slowing the offensive attack if the game calls for it.

The team is continuing its development of the rushing attack with senior Andreo Coury, junior Tanner Garris and sophomores Austin Gromeck and Phil Pesano pounding it out on the ground.

“The running back position is still to be determined,” Loebig said. “We have several guys battling for playing time.

“I am happy with the guys we have. We are young and getting better.”

As the team moves deeper into the Parkway Conference and battles the likes of Blackhawk, Montour and West Allegheny, the Colts offense will need to continue improving to find success.

But if the players can continue doing their jobs, Chartiers Valley will be in position to clinch its first playoff berth since 2011.

“Everyone has a responsibility,” Lapiana said. “It doesn't matter if you have the most talented guy in the world or least (talented). If guys take care of their responsibility, you will make plays.

“It is the nature of football.”

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.