New Springdale QB getting grip on changes
By Paul Kogut
Published: Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, 12:05 a.m.
A whirlwind of change swirled through Springdale this offseason, and senior Jake Helman found himself at the center of it all.
Helman was groomed to take over as starting quarterback for the Dynamos, who are adjusting to a new coaching staff and offensive system this year.
How significant are the changes surrounding Helman?
Well, Springdale has made 10 consecutive trips to the WPIAL Class A playoffs and during that stretch was directed by the same head coach, used basically the same offensive schemes and started only four different quarterbacks.
The 5-foot-9, 155-pound Helman knows as well as anyone how much Springdale has changed since last season, but he hopes to help the Dynamos remain consistent when it comes to victories.
“Our offense is completely different,” Helman said. “We took a lot of time during the summer trying to learn it as quickly as possible so we'll have it down perfect before the season.”
Helman will lead a version of the wing-T offense — installed by first-year coach Dave Leasure — that allows for more passing than usual from that alignment.
Previously, under long-time coach Chuck Wagner, Springdale employed the shotgun zone fly formation, which relies heavily on sweeps and quarterback runs.
In Wagner's final season, the Dynamos finished 8-3 and advanced to the quarterfinals while averaging only about five passes a game.
“Coach (Leasure) says we could throw 10 to 15 passes a game,” Helman said. “That's a lot more than last year. We were known for our running, and we're still strong running. I like taking on more of the load and trying to help the team win.”
Leasure likes the progress made by Helman, who's the first Springdale player named starting quarterback in his senior year since 1998. He saw mop-up duty last year.
Helman and his teammates participated in 7-on-7 passing competitions at St. Francis (Pa.) University and Riverview High School this summer.
“He's come a long way since February in his confidence and his athletic role,” Leasure said.
“He's getting a better understanding of reads and getting better at changing plays based on what he sees at the line (of scrimmage). His approach is very positive.”
Springdale has about 30 players on its roster and will ask many of its top athletes to start on offense, defense and special teams.
Helman also will line up at free safety, where he started a few games last season.
“We'd like to give him a break, but we just can't,” Leasure said. “He's becoming the leader of our secondary. He's great against the pass and is getting better against the run. I hold my breath when he comes up to make a tackle.”
Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-224-2696.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Keisel might be at end of Steelers career
- Judge won’t let man suing police introduce previous complaints against officers
- PIAA Class AAA 126-pound semifinal stocked with WPIAL grapplers
- Wilkinsburg man jailed in heroin overdose case
- Man to face DUI-homicide trial for Route 28 wreck
- Randy Moss’ daughter proving to be a catch, too
- Romance author Macomber highlight of annual knitting festival
- Mt. Pleasant’s St. Pius X serves up Lenten meals
- Prom dress consignment sale a hit with Norwin High School students
- Penguins’ leads evaporate in loss to Sharks
- Southmoreland seniors to don caps and gowns June 4