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Fundamentals the cornerstone for Mt. Pleasant football program

Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Mount Pleasant quarterback Ryan Gumbita during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mount Pleasant quarterback Ryan Gumbita during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Mount Pleasant's Taylor Allison runs a route during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mount Pleasant's Taylor Allison runs a route during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Mount Pleasant's Tim Hostetler during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mount Pleasant's Tim Hostetler during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Mount Pleasant quarterback Ryan Gumbita during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mount Pleasant quarterback Ryan Gumbita during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Mount Pleasant defensive back Tyler Mellors closes in on a Greensburg Salem receiver during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mount Pleasant defensive back Tyler Mellors closes in on a Greensburg Salem receiver during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review - Mount Pleasant wide receiver Joey Paul snags a pass from a Greensburg Salem defender during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mount Pleasant wide receiver Joey Paul snags a pass from a Greensburg Salem defender during a passing camp on July 27, 2012 in Mount Pleasant Township.

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Schedule

Coach: Bo Ruffner

2011 record: 6-4, 6-2

Date Opponent Time

8.31 at Waynesburg* 7

9.7 at Greensburg C.C.* 7

9.14 Southmoreland* 7

9.21 at Charleroi* 7

9.28 Yough* 7

10.5 at Jeannette * 7

10.12 Washington* 7

10.19 Brownsville* 7

10.26 at East Allegheny  7

*conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing Ryan Gumbita

33-67, 644 yards, 4 TDs

Rushing Taylor Allison

75-496 yards, 5 TDs

Receiving Cody Monroe

9-175 yards, 0 TDs

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 8:16 p.m.
 

In a constantly changing sport, several things remain cornerstones of success for Mt. Pleasant.

“The things that never change for us to be successful is we have to run the ball, play good defense and not turn the ball over,” Mt. Pleasant fifth-year coach Bo Ruffner said.

The Vikings appear in position to reach their goals in 2012, which could lead to plenty of victories in the tough Class AA Interstate Conference.

Leading the way is junior quarterback Ryan Gumbita, who started as a sophomore and helped lead the Vikings to a 6-4 record, a third-place finish in the Interstate and a trip to the WPIAL playoffs.

“He started a full season for us, and you can't simulate Friday nights in practices,” Ruffner said. “He'll be a big part of what we do.”

Gumbita is anticipating a stronger season in 2012.

“(Last season) really helped me,” Gumbita said. “I feel more confident and more experienced.”

Gumbita will be joined on offense by a stable of running backs, including senior Taylor Allison and junior Tyler Mellors. Both rushed for nearly 500 yards last season, and Mellors missed a significant portion of the season due to injury. Seniors Joey Paul and Tim Hostettler return as receiving threats.

“We have the ability not only to run the ball, but to throw it,” Ruffner said.

Ruffner is pleased with his defense.

“Right now, we have a good front eight,” Ruffner said. “Our linebackers could be our best group since I've been here, and it's the same thing with our down linemen.”

Seniors Eli Holt, Dalton Bull and Allison, along with juniors Eric Klejka and Luke Liprando, headline an experienced defensive front.

The Vikings will be battling for a playoff spot in the Interstate Conference along with usual top competitors Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic. Washington — the same team that beat Mt. Pleasant in the first round of the playoffs last season — has joined the conference.

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