Senior leaders to carry Riverside in 2nd-year coach's system

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 6:29 p.m.

It's been five years since Riverside made a playoff appearance.

With a band of returning starters, coach Tom Liberty thinks this team might have a shot.

Riverside will work to replace senior tailback Tom Mansfield, who had 10 touchdowns and 657 rushing yards last season, but Liberty believes the team has already been able to adjust.

“The biggest thing I've noticed so far is installing all the offense and defense. Not having to install that has been great,” said Liberty, entering his second year with the Panthers.

Devin Kelosky, a senior, returns with two years experience under his belt.

Last year, he completed 47 of 104 passes and tossed six touchdowns.

“(Kelosky) should be a premier starting quarterback,” said Liberty, adding that seniors Bobby Gould and Brent Mulneix will be capable reserves at QB.

Fred Pflugh, Jordan Matiko and Don Fisher will anchor the Panthers' line, while Liberty expects Marcel Cleckley, Aaron Tedys, Matt Tedys, Dylan Marketich and Vincent Howells will emerge as rising talent at the skill positions.

“We've got a different type of speed that we didn't have last year, with a couple of kids coming,” Liberty said.

Riverside is focusing on its season opener against South Fayette, a team that went 5-2 in the Century Conference and advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals.

“We've got a tough schedule,” Liberty said. “My job is to take each game each week.”

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