Geibel will have to overcome shorthanded roster this season
By Jason Black
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, 8:55 p.m.
New Geibel football coach Sean Benjamin knows that he has his work cut out for him as he tries to transform the Gators into a competitive program.
Benjamin, who served as an assistant coach under Angelo Dippolito in 2003, is glad to be given the chance to mold the Gators.
“I'm excited to be back at Geibel,” Benjamin said. “To come back and try to give my knowledge and help build the program is what excites me every day.”
For Benjamin, the first task likely will be trying to persuade Geibel students to join the team. Heading into training camp, the Gators had a preseason roster of just 13 players, although Benjamin was hopeful that a few more would join the team before the start of the season. Despite the low numbers, Benjamin and his staff remain undeterred.
“Coaching football doesn't change,” Benjamin said. “We don't let (low numbers) affect our practices. They come to practice and they work hard, and we practice the same way whether we have 30 kids or 13.”
The Gators, coming off a 1-8 season under former coach Ron Marciante, lost 13 players to graduation, and with such a small roster, every player will be expected to contribute. Geibel will be one of nine teams competing in the Class A Tri-County South.
“We have good kids who aren't afraid to work, and they are buying what we are selling,” Benjamin said.
What Benjamin is selling is a no-holds-barred approach, especially on offense.
“I like wide-open football,” Benjamin said, noting that he is a fan of the way many of the teams in the Big 12 play at the collegiate level. “We like the spread offense.”
Running the spread will be junior quarterback Brandon Kushnar.
“This will be his first year starting at quarterback, and he wants to learn,” Benjamin said. “He has stepped up and taken a leadership role.”
For Kushnar, staying focused is a primary key.
“It's a learning process, but my expectations are pretty high,” Kushnar said.
Senior letterman Martin Berish will be part of a running back group that also includes senior Jake Ciaccia and freshman Dawson McIntyre.
“Even though it's a small team, we have a dedicated group,” Berish said. “We all know what we want, and that is winning. We'll just do the best we can. I'm not saying what we can and can't do. Only time will tell.”
In addition to playing running back, Ciaccia, a three-year letterman, will play wide receiver along with junior Patrick Teich, sophomore Brent Plisko and freshman Teddy Phillippi.
Seniors Jon Nace and Peter Tarka, along with sophomores Mario Ruggieri and James Cox as well as freshmen Jacob Nace and Ray Paris, will play on the offensive line and defensive front. Sophomore Matt Mammarella will handle the kicking.
“We're a young team,” Benjamin said, “but that's OK because they will learn the way we want them to play.”
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.
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Crosby lifts Penguins over Capitals in last game of road trip
- Job cuts at AGH part of ‘strategic’ process
- Hunt for missing jet widens to distant waters
- Top pitching prospect Taillon’s time with Pirates must wait a bit
- Marcellus shale driller Noble Energy Inc. sinks roots into Pittsburgh
- Penguins notebook: Heralded Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov debuts with Capitals
- Kittanning youths OK after Route 422 crash
- Minorities crucial to filling Marcellus shale gas drilling jobs
- Fear of building collapse closes Tarentum road