TribLIVE

| Sports


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

New coach wants to bring balance to Mt. Lebanon offense

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Schedule

Coach: Mike Melnyk

2011 record: 7-4, 4-1

Date Opponent Time

8.31 North Allegheny 7:30

9.7 at Bethel Park* 7:30

9.14 Plum* 7:30

9.21 at Baldwin* 7:30

9.28 at Woodland Hills* 7

10.5 Canon-McMillan* 7:30

10.12 Peters Township* 7:30

10.19 at Penn Hills* 7:30

10.26 at Upper St. Clair* 7:30

*conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing Pat Goff*

63-126, 873 yards, 8 TDs

Rushing Luke Hagy*

287-1,907 yards, 22 TDs

Receiving Hagy*

13-248 yards, 3 TDs

*Graduated

Top high school sports
Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 8:26 p.m.
 

Mike Melnyk didn't know what to expect at Mt. Lebanon, other than that he was inheriting a program with a proud tradition of winning WPIAL championships and running the football.

He wants the seven-time WPIAL champion Blue Devils to do more of the former and less of the latter.

Melnyk comes from Manheim Township, where he was 75-63 in 13 seasons, winning two Lancaster-Lebanon League titles. He replaces Chris Haering, who was 111-71 in 17 seasons at Mt. Lebanon, with 13 playoff appearances and a WPIAL Class AAAA title in 2000.

“They were very good at running the football. That jumps out at you when you look at tape,” Melnyk said. “I'm going to play to the strengths of my kids. We're going to try to build on what they were good at, which is running the football. We probably will throw the ball more than six times a game, though. I'm going to try to keep people off balance and be good at what we do.”

Where the Blue Devils last year relied heavily upon graduated tailback Luke Hagy, the school's all-time leading rusher, they are expected to throw more this season with senior quarterback Tyler Roth, an all-conference cornerback also regarded as one of the WPIAL's top punters.

“Last year, we ran the ball a lot, and it worked for us. We pounded the ball down people's throats,” Roth said. “This year, we're going to be a lot more balanced. It gives a lot more freedom for me and all the skill guys.”

Where 6-foot-5, 295-pound junior tackle Alex Bookser is the only returning starter on the offensive line, the Blue Devils bring back most of their skill players, including twins Tim and Michael Briercheck at fullback and receiver, and receiver-return specialist Dmitri Orfanopoulos. The most dangerous weapon appears to be junior receiver Troy Apke, a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder who has a Pitt scholarship offer.

“We've tried to raise the bar, tried to make some changes and ask the kids to try to do some things a little bit differently,” Melnyk said.

“(Haering) did a great job, and we want to try to elevate the program and take it to another level.”

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. DC Picks: Connellsville will get back into win column
  2. Ford City man charged with molesting teen
  3. Rossi: Pirates can’t waste McCutchen’s prime
  4. Rayburn offices moving to regular business hours
  5. Schools converge for Armstrong County Marching Band Festival
  6. Search for pilot of ultralight aircraft to resume Thursday
  7. The Leader expecting more surprises this week
  8. C&S Hardware, a Main Street fixture for 20 years, closes in Saxonburg
  9. W. Elizabeth council mulls replacing damaged garage
  10. State agency honors Manorville man for hooking up kids with fishing gear
  11. Giants, Bumgarner shut out Pirates in wild-card game
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.