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Wildcats' football team getting prepared

| Tuesday, July 3, 2012, 8:47 p.m.
Tribune-Review
Greater Latrobe junior Dylan Kovatch (top) spots for senior Anthony DeLellis during a weight lifting and conditioning session at the high school on June 29, 2012. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
Greater Latrobe head football coach Ray Reitz (far right) instructs the lineman during a conditioning session on June 29, 2012. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
Greater Latrobe sophomores Travis Schmeling (left) and Luke Monteparte perform lunges up a hillside during a conditioning session at the high school on June 27, 2012. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

Football season may be still two months away, but there has been a lot of action around Greater Latrobe High School.

The Wildcats, under fourth-year coach Ray Reitz, have been working hard for the coming season.

They've been lifting and running during the hot summer days as Reitz prepares them for a rigorous 2012 season in the Quad South Conference against Gateway, McKeesport, Altoona, Penn-Trafford, Connellsville, Hempfield, Norwin and Kiski Area.

Latrobe opens the season Aug. 31 at Gateway.

Even though the Wildcats (5-4) won three of their final four games last year, they missed the WPIAL playoffs for the second consecutive season. Reitz wants the streak to end at two. He hopes the success at the end of the season brings momentum heading into this season.

“I've been working on some new things,” Reitz said. “And we've got to get better defensively.

“We've always trying to get quicker and faster. We've gotten a lot faster, and we're stronger. I like how the team is coming together.”

Reitz also has taken his squad to a couple of passing camps. He said he likes how the team has competed.

“It's been a group effort,” Reitz said. “The passing camps tell you what kids want to compete, but nothing has been decided until you get the pads on.”

Reitz said the camps are good for quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, linebacker and defensive backs.

Quarterback Logan Cairns didn't attend the Baldwin camp because he was getting individual lessons. Still, Reitz likes the progress he has made.

“We want to improve our passing,” Reitz said. “We've had a guy come in to give us some new ideas.”

Others to catch his eye were running backs Craig Stevens and Chris Mucci, the grandson of former Jeannette coach Joe Mucci. Reitz must replace running backs Scott Mohring, Derrick Zavatsky and Richard Hall.

Reitz and his players hope the hard work and conditioning pays off this fall.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5095 or pschofield@tribweb.com.

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