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Wagner twins to play key roles for Riverview

| Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012,
Valley News Dispatch
Riverview's Tim Wagner runs the ball during training camp at Riverside Park in Oakmont on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
Riverview's Greg Wagner catches a pass during training camp at Riverside Park in Oakmont on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch

Riverview's opponents will be getting a double dose of Wagners this season.

Expected to be major contributors for the Raiders is a set of twins — Greg and Tim Wagner.

Both are seniors, both will play in the secondary, both will handle the ball on offense and both are drawing praise from Riverview coach Todd Massack.

“Tim and Greg Wagner are top-notch kids besides being top-notch players,” Massack said. “They have about the strongest work ethic I've ever seen. They're always in the weight room, they push each other, they push other players, they lead by example, and they do great in the classroom and in the community.”

If nothing else, they possess a great surname from the Oakmont area.

Their father, Dan, dates to the Oakmont High School days and their uncle, Chuck Wagner, is the fourth-winningest coach in WPIAL history.

The Wagners played soccer for a while but have been concentrating on football lately.

Defensively, Tim (6-foot-2, 175) will be the starting safety, and Greg (5-9, 165) will be at a cornerback position.

Offensively, Tim is coming off one of the best receiving seasons in school history (26 receptions).

“Tim's going to be one of our playmakers,” Massack said. “We have to find ways to get him the football. Greg will be seeing action at both receiver and tailback.”

Playing similar positions will allow the twins to compliment and critique each other.

“We can go right home and discuss what happened in the game, where we won't see our other teammates until a few days later,” Tim said.

“Based on our 7-on-7 workouts, we'll be able to shove a lot of pass offenses back and make some plays on defense,” Greg said.

With a small roster numerically, Riverview players are going to have to learn to play multiple positions.

“We're used to that here at Riverview, being a small school,” Massack said. “We like to say that we're pretty tough, we're going to be in shape and we're going to be out there ready to go.”

Added Greg, “It's a challenge, and it's a lot to remember. Camp really helps; drilling over and over helps us remember everything and get our positions down.”

Both Wagner brothers will try to do what they can to bring along sophomore quarterback Tyler Nigro.

“We've had to work with two sophomore quarterbacks the last few years and Tyler's got a lot of improvement to do, like the rest of us,” Tim Wagner said. “But he can get the ball where it needs to be, and he's improved a lot over the summer.”

But what about the old adage that twins know or can predict each other's thoughts and tendencies?

“It's happened before, but not too much,” Tim said. “We're pretty different people, but we share a lot of the same qualities and the same ideas.”

Said Greg, “The similarities between us help us in different ways; we're similar people in a lot of aspects.”

Nothing would suit the Wagner twins better than a WPIAL playoff appearance in November.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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