TribLIVE

| Sports


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

Defending conference champion Penn-Trafford to rely on just 4 returning starters

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Schedule

Coach: John Ruane

2011 record: 10-1, 6-0

Date Opponent Time

8.31 at North Hills 7:30

9.7 at Norwin* 7:30

9.14 Altoona* 7:30

9.21 McKeesport* 7:30

9.28 at Latrobe* 7:30

10.5 at Connellsville* 7:30

10.12 Kiski Area* 7:30

10.19 Gateway* 7:30

10.26 at Hempfield* 7

*conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing: Zach Emerick*

92-153, 1,425 yards, 15 TDs

Rushing: Manny Simpson*

231-1,630 yards, 17 TDs

Receiving: Tyler Dudek*

23-434 yards, 7 TDs

*Graduated

Top high school sports
Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 7:48 p.m.
 

Penn-Trafford ended a decade-long conference title drought last season. The goal now is to make the wait for the next one much shorter.

This year's Warriors are a largely inexperienced group compared to last year's club, but with the bar set high last season, third-year head coach John Ruane's first priority is to avoid a step backward.

“I think after last season, the goal now is to play at a high level at all times, regardless of who is here or who graduated,” Ruane said. “We have the players here to do it.”

Ruane's group has plenty of talent, he said, but many will be showing that talent off Friday nights for the first time this season. The team has just four starters, all seniors, returning this season.

Tight end/linebacker Brian McDonough, lineman Eric Swope and defensive backs Dom Cima and Dorian Stevens return from last year's WPIAL quarterfinalist, and a fifth senior, linebacker Zach Diable, returns after missing the second half of last season with an injury.

While those players will provide leadership for a team trying to replace its quarterback, top two running backs and top two receivers from last season, the Warriors likely will have some other standouts among the first-time starters.

Senior Matt Arzenti will be in the mix to replace graduated All-Conference quarterback Zach Emerick.

“Our attendance in the offseason (workouts) has been outstanding, and these guys want to carry us forward,” Ruane said. “I think we still have a lot of leaders in this group, but they don't have the on-field experience that last year's team did. In high school, experience is as important as anything, and they're going to have to get theirs quickly.”

Depth is an area Ruane said his team needs to improve to approach last year's success.

Last year's Warriors had the luxury of a second starting-quality running back, Joe Fiasco, to spell all-conference selection Manny Simpson.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Panthers fall to Hawaii in game they were expected to win
  2. Tire comes off, hits oncoming car, kills 1 on Route 28
  3. Steelers’ Wheaton embraces expanding role
  4. 7 arrested in Latrobe-area drug dealing
  5. Fleury denied 300th win as Penguins lose to Islanders in shootout
  6. Iron ore price decline hurts U.S. Steel’s cost advantage over rivals
  7. Crowds pack Downtown Pittsburgh to enjoy Light Up Night festivities
  8. Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board suspends Downtown bankruptcy lawyer
  9. Police: Woman tried to start fire at neighbor’s house in Derry Township
  10. Woman to stand trial in Jeannette tot’s death
  11. Central Valley beats rival West Allegheny to win WPIAL Class AAA championship
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.