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Gorman: Woodland Hills deep on defensive line

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Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, 9:30 p.m.
 

The running joke at Woodland Hills is about the player wearing No. 6.

He's big, strong and fast. He's all over the field. He makes every tackle in every practice.

And he's only getting better.

Who wears No. 6?

“Everybody does,” said Daniel Gibson, a 6-foot-3, 265-pound senior defensive tackle. “We've only had five WPIAL titles. We're going for six.”

Nonetheless, Gibson stood out in Woody High's scrimmage with Butler on Saturday. Not just because his sleeves were rolled up to expose his shoulder pads but rather for his disruptive play on a defensive line with the potential to be the WPIAL's best.

“If we win the battle up front,” Gibson said, “that sets the tone for the rest of the game.”

The Wolverines return three-year starters in Gibson and Kevin Solomon at defensive tackle, as well as senior ends Akira McClean and Will Fletcher.

“It sets up the whole defense really well,” said McClean, who had 14 sacks last season. “Woodland Hills has traditionally had a strong defensive line, and that's what we bring this year.”

What the Wolverines have in abundance is defensive line depth and experience. Senior Jaymier Scarborough, a 310-pound McKeesport transfer, is joined by junior tackles Amon Baldwin-Youngblood (6-4, 325) and Wilford Clark (6-1, 292) and end Steve Puhl (6-4, 215), a Franklin Regional transfer.

“We expect them to be good,” Woodland Hills coach George Novak said. “This group is up there with the best of them.”

Which will be a key in Woody High's quest for six.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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