Southmoreland hoping off-season preparation pays off on the field
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Southmoreland second-year coach Dominic Pecora is hoping that a full offseason will fine-tune his team's offense and improve the defense as the Scotties prepare for the 2012 campaign.
“Unlike what many people think, the offseason starts in November,” Pecora said. “This is my first full offseason with them, and it's like night and day compared to last year. These kids know no other way than to show up every day and work.”
Offensively, the Scotties lost top receivers Asa Costelnock and Conner McKlveen to graduation.
“We don't have replacements for Asa and Conner,” Pecora said.
Fortunately for the Scotties, they have the luxury of having returning quarterback Dakota “Bo” Datz, who led the team in rushing and passing in 2011.
“He broke the school record in passing in Week 6 last year,” Pecora said. “That's my horse. That's my man on the field.”
For Datz, putting up great numbers isn't his primary objective.
“I'd rather have no stats, as long as we win,” Datz said. “It's my senior year and I'd like to make the playoffs. We're stronger now and everything is fitting together.”
Everything will have to fit together perfectly for the Scotties to be a top competitor in what promises to be a tough Class AA Interstate Conference that includes traditional frontrunners Jeannette, Greensburg Central Catholic and Mt. Pleasant, as well as newcomer Washington.
“Last year, our conference was good,” Pecora said. “But this year, it's the best in Class AA, and I don't think anybody would debate that.”
After scoring 275 points last year, the Scotties likely will rely on their offense. In addition to Datz, Pecora expects Tyler Ramsey, Jake Pisula and Kyle Cohen to share time at running back. Kevin Bundridge should be a top receiver. Josh Thomas and Jake McNeice stabilize the offensive line.
Defensively, the Scotties gave up an average of 36 points per game last season.
“We were a playoff-caliber team on offense,” Pecora said. “But defensively, there were times it was embarrassing. I hope this year, we have kids that want to tackle.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Two wild-card format hurting Pirates in short term
- Pitt men’s basketball adds junior-college guard
- Bryant suspension opens doors for other Steelers’ receivers
- Starkey: The kick returner and the grizzly bear
- Animal activists targeting Vick at Steelers preseason game
- Steelers notebook: LB Harrison believes Goodell will prevail in Brady ruling
- Risks don’t get any better as online dating prospers
- Honored Westmoreland youth counselor sought in theft of money from clients
- Pittsburgh poised to settle lawsuits from deadly flash flood in 2011
- Steelers trade 6th-round pick for Jaguars kicker Scobee
- God is touchy topic in ICU, Pitt study finds