Transformed tight end bolsters Springdale's wing-T attack
No matter what era it is, there's one commonality between high school football coaches: Get your best athletes to touch the ball as often as possible.
That mantra goes for Dave Leasure, Springdale's third-year coach.
Leasure has decided to move two-time, all-conference tight end Adam Lock to a right halfback in Springdale's wing-T offense.
The tight end position will be manned by Eric Lovic.
“The reason we are able to move Adam is because Eric's a very good football player,” Leasure said. “We want to get the ball to Adam as much as possible.”
One player Leasure doesn't have to worry about changing positions is quarterback Daniel Franskousky, who returns for his senior season.
Despite missing time with an injury, Franskousky led the Dynamos in passing with 395 yards and in rushing with 409.
“We're going to put a lot on Daniel, but he's had some people around him grow and jell,” Leasure said.
While Springdale was plagued by injuries in the latter stages of 2013 en route to a 3-5 Eastern Conference record (3-6 overall), Leasure got a chance to look at some promising underclassmen.
Among them is sophomore Sammy Carey, who started the final three games at quarterback last year. Carey will see some time at quarterback and start at cornerback.
Sophomore lineman Zak Igo and juniors Dante Muhlmeister and Jake Shrader have become linemen to build around, particularly up front in Springdale's 3-3-5 Stack defense.
Defensive keys include Lock at the hero position and Austin Klein at rover.
Manning the offensive backfield positions will be Joel Wunnenberg at left halfback and Kline at fullback, spelled by Ben Sowinski.
Mike Banachoski will be at split end.
Last season ended Springdale's run of 11 consecutive WPIAL Class A playoff appearances. But if the Dynamos are to return to the postseason, they'll have to navigate a conference bolstered by a number of storied programs under the WPIAL's biennial realignment.
One of those is Monessen, a school Springdale played and defeated six times in the WPIAL playoffs from 2003-11.
Moving down from Class AA is Jeannette, winner of six straight over the Dynamos from 1980-85 and Greensburg Central Catholic, which sports an all-time mark of 7-1 against Springdale.
“Our focus is Serra Catholic right now,” Leasure said of his team's Friday opener. “You have to be ready to take the field. I know I won't be disappointed at the effort we put out.”
Leasure also welcomes back the man he replaced, Chuck Wagner, who's returned as a volunteer coach this season.
Wagner will reunite with assistant and long-time friend Don ‘Pappy' Boulton.
“He and Pappy bring a lot of pride here,” Leasure said. “And I've been able to keep the same staff here for three years.”
Wagner has 270 coaching victories, fifth all-time in the WPIAL.