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Position switch should make Fox Chapel's Vaughn more of a playmaker

Jason Bridge | Trib Total Media
Fox Chapel running back Carrington Vaughn runs the ball during practice Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.

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Fox Chapel

Year opened: 1961

Last year's record: 2-7

All-time record: 197-312-8

Coach: Eric Ravotti, fourth year

Record at current post: 6-22

Career record: 6-22

Opener: Aug. 29 at North Hills, 7 p.m.

Top high school sports
By D.j. Vasil
Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, 9:21 p.m.

For a couple seasons, Fox Chapel senior Carrington Vaughn has caused headaches for opposing teams as a blocker.

This fall, Vaughn will get to create challenges by running the ball more.

There will be some scenery changes for the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Vaughn on offense. Normally a fullback, he will switch to tailback. The move has him hungry to spark an offense that's in search of playmakers, but he admits the change won't alter his style of play.

“I've always been a power runner,” Vaughn said. “Now it's me running downhill. I can utilize my strength and run downhill, north to south. It's going to be hard to get me down. I'm not a real finesse guy.”

As a junior, Vaughn finished with 129 yards and one touchdown on 32 carries. He spent more time blocking for twin 2013 grads Nigel and Chad Garnett, who combined for 966 yards and nine touchdowns on 162 rushes.

“When we need hard yards, we will give him the ball, and he will use his size and strength to get first downs,” said coach Eric Ravotti.

To Vaughn, the goal for his senior year is simple: make the WPIAL playoffs. He plans to do his part by melting the clock on offense when the Foxes have a lead and bulldozing opposing ballcarriers on defense.

“From a player standpoint, we want to go deep in the playoffs and have a good season,” he said. “We aren't going to put limits on ourselves. As long as we play together, we can go far. Also, we need to keep everyone healthy.”

Vaughn also will have a new home on defense as he switches from his usual outside linebacker spot to inside linebacker. It's a position Ravotti believes will benefit not only Vaughn but the entire defense.

“He's such a good athlete that he can play many positions,” Ravotti said. “We wanted to try to put him at a position to best utilize his talent, and I think putting him next to David (Brown) at middle linebacker does that. He needs to be a downhill player and use his speed and athleticism.”

As of now, Vaughn hasn't committed to a college but has received attention from several schools, including Pitt, Penn State and Penn. Committing to a school isn't the priority for Vaughn right now. His focus remains the start of the season.

As a captain, he plays a leadership role on the team, something he's embraced.

“I like to be vocal with my team,” Vaughn said. “Just so they can get some of the energy I put off. I'm always going to go 100 percent. They can look to me to make the big play.”

D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.

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