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New Hempfield coach hopes to use past success to rebuild program

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 7:42 p.m.
Tribune-Review
Hempfield Area quarterback Ty George throws during practice. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
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Hempfield Area's Cameron Updyke for 2012 Football Tab. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
New Hempfield Area Football Coach Rich Bowen for 2012 Football Tab. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

New Hempfield coach Rich Bowen has been successful at turning around struggling programs every place he's coached.

But the big question from Hempfield fans: Can he do it here?

Bowen believes he can, but do the players believe?

“We have to change the mindset here,” Bowen said. “Hempfield has only won 23 games since 2000. We have to expect to win every game we play.

“You do that by working hard, being very organized, have a great coaching staff and earning the level of trust from the players. We're in this together. We have to be consistent in everything we do.”

Bowen said he was pleased with the turnout at summer workouts, with about 50 players consistently attending. That aspect of the offseason was key, in order for Bowen to begin installing his new schemes and system.

“I like getting players involved,” Bowen said. “We'll run a no-huddle spread offense. I like to throw the ball.

“We have some weapons on offense. Tyler George started at quarterback as a sophomore. We also have Delorian Day and Joey Defloria in the backfield. You'll never know where they'll lineup. We want to keep our opponents guessing.”

Bowen said George learned the level of competition last season.

“The speed of the game is a lot different,” Bowen said. “You have to learn to step it up against Quad-A competition.

“We have set high expectations. I expect us to be better. We want to be playing meaningful games in October. We eventually want to be competing for conference and WPIAL titles.”

Hempfield has experience returning on the offensive and defensive lines. Heading that list is junior tackle Max Adams. Others expected to compete for positions include Tony Pilato, Antonio Moffa, Matt Chapman, Ian Lewandowski, Todd Ulmer and Ryan Zaborsky.

“We're going to face some adversity this year,” Bowen said. “We want the players to compete every day in practice. We have to win practices every day.”

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