TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Deer Lakes to go as far as running backs can carry it

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints
Details

Schedule

Coach: Todd Hazlett

2011 record: 2-8, 1-6

Date Opponent Time

8.31 at Valley* 7:30

9.7 Shady Side Acad.* 7:30

9.14 at Freeport* 7:30

9.21 East Allegheny* 7:30

9.28 Charleroi 7:30

10.6 at Summit Acad.* 12:30

10.12 Kittanning* 7:30

10.19 Ford City* 7:30

10.26 at Burrell* 7:30

* conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing Josh Plocki

46-107, 481 yards, 6 TDs

Rushing Cody Keenan

44-381 yards, 3 TDs

Receiving Jordan Fragapane*

15-296 yards, 3 TDs

* Graduated

Top high school sports

By D.j. Vasil

Published: Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 7:30 p.m.

An effective running game is a good recipe for success for any team.

After finishing 2-8 last season, Deer Lakes will look to lean on its rushing attack in hopes of repeating the success it had in 2010.

The backfield will be led by senior Cody Keenan, the team's leading rusher in 2011. Joining Keenan in the backfield in the Lancers' wing-T offense will be seniors Tyler Seitz and Ian Biernacki and sophomore Ryan McGrath.

“Our running backs are the strongest they've been in two years,” Lancers coach Todd Hazlett said. “We were strong in 2010 with Brian Palmiere and Mark Wesolek. We have four quality individuals we can put in the backfield and compete that are just as big of a threat to catch the ball as they are running.”

Balanced, unselfish football is Hazlett's goal. Despite not having a primary running back, having four who can run the ball at any time can cause problems for opposing defenses.

“I make a lot of comparisons to the seasons past with Palmiere and those guys,” Hazlett said. “We won't have one single 1,000-yard rusher. We will have three or four guys that will run for 300 or 400 yards. With this group of guys I mentioned, it can be any of their nights. Someone may rush 100 yards one week and may not do it until week six, but the others will pick up the slack.”

After starting a lot of underclassmen last year, the Lancers return 13 starters, including leading passer Josh Plocki, a junior.

Paving the way for Keenan and company will be an experienced offensive line. They will be anchored up front by Mike McGraw, who started every game at center last year but moved to tackle.

Senior tight end John Grebinoski will be expected to catch more passes due to the graduation of leading receiver Jordan Fragapane.

Junior Anthony Sammartino will be called upon make an impact opposite McGraw at the other tackle position.

“Our offensive line will have some returning guys that are just juniors this year,” Hazlett said. “I think it will be a good positive for us. The focal point of the offseason is getting people comfortable snapping the ball at center.”

Things in the Allegheny Conference won't be getting easier for the Lancers with the return of Kittanning and Valley and the addition of East Allegheny. Despite the conference realignment, Hazlett is still confident the Lancers can stay competitive.

“Just as it's been in every year past, we want to go out and compete,” Hazlett said. “We want to be a strong team. We don't want to have the episodes of the past. We want to make it a physical game.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Patience pays off as starting pitcher Volquez gets 1st win for Pirates
  2. Kovacevic: Panic over Pirates? In April? Why?
  3. Panthers pulling weight for new strength coach
  4. Undersized rookie Gibbons is blur on ice for Penguins
  5. Pens insider: Penalty killing a concern in Stanley Cup playoffs
  6. Pirates should exploit free-swinging Brewers
  7. 4 dead in ‘horrific’ Armstrong County crash
  8. Body found on train tracks in West End
  9. Plum native Umberger inching closer to making return for Blue Jackets
  10. Coxcomb Hill Road reopened; Kerr Road still closed in Plum
  11. Greensburg high school roundup: Yough softball defeats Belle Vernon in 10 innings
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.