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Youthful Norwin faces tough road in Quad East

Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Norwin High School sophomore quarterback John Driggers photographed at practice on August 28, 2012 in North Huntingdon Township.

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Norwin roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class

1 Nate Andreyko K 5-11 160 Sr.

2 Kyle Baum WR/S 6-2 180 Jr.

3 Nate Bell WR/CB 5-8 150 Sr.

4 Jake Kuucaric WR/S 6-1 170 Jr.

5 Ryan Norton WR/DB 5-8 135 Jr.

7 John Driggers QB 6-2 180 So.

8 Zach Hall WR/CB 5-9 150 So.

9 Nick Amendola QB/LB 6-0 195 Fr.

10 Logan Deri WR/S 6-1 160 So.

12 Sean Bowen QB 6-0 155 So.

15 Cody Sabol QB/WR/LB 6-0 195 Sr.

17 Casey Rebosky WR/S 6-0 180 Sr.

18 Tony Schiavone WR 6-3 180 So.

20 Jason Slack WR/DB 5-9 145 Jr.

21 Zach Tinsley RB/LB 5-10 200 Jr.

22 Billy Cummings WR/S 6-0 155 So.

23 Dylan Zgurich WR/CB 6-0 165 Sr.

24 Billy Zatezalo RB/LB 5-10 190 Jr.

25 Justin Woods S 5-11 170 Sr.

26 Rich Foster RB/S 5-7 145 Jr.

27 Josh Ridgeway WR/DB 5-61⁄2 130 So.

28 Danny Chellini RB/OL 5-11 190 Sr.

32 Jaron Thrift RB/MC 5-9 190 Jr.

34 P.J. Sero WR/DB 5-7 155 Sr.

37 Cavante Goins RB/WR/CB 5-7 126 So.

44 Bryan Mason RB/DB 5-10 160 Jr.

45 Jake Lagorga RB/WR/DB/OL 5-8 145 Sr.

46 Kenny Tran RB/DB 5-7 155 Jr.

47 Kevin Tran WR/CB 5-6 155 Jr.

51 Stephen Eckels OL/LB 5-8 172 So.

52 Dylan Keffer OL/DL 6-0 265 Sr.

53 Devin McCurdy OL/LB 6-0 190 Jr.

54 Jake Reid OL/DL 6-0 195 Jr.

55 Tristin Davis C/LB 5-10 165 So.

56 Wayne Close OL/LB 5-8 175 So.

57 Corey Chrisman OL/LB 5-10 185 So.

58 Tyler Roberts OL/DL 5-10 205 Jr.

59 Tyler Mull OL/DL 5-11 285 Jr.

60 Chris Swope OL/DL/LB 5-5 155 Sr.

62 Tim Cochran WR 6-0 166 So.

63 Rusty Casteel NT/OT 6-4 240 Sr.

64 Vince Demaio OL/LB 5-6 175 So.

65 Garrett Cockeram OL/DL 6-1 200 Jr.

68 Joe Papp OL/DL 6-11⁄2 250 So.

70 Zach Brown OL/DL 5-11 210 Sr.

74 Matt Jackson OL/DT 5-7 180 So.

76 Drake Pocsatko OL/DL 5-11 240 Sr.

77 Luke Milcic OL/DL 6-3 245 Jr.

78 Anthony Melocchi OL/DL 5-11 250 So.

80 Brandon Lagorga WR 5-10 155 So.

81 Zeke Kljucaric WR/DB 5-11 145 So.

82 Matt Hull WR/LB 5-4 130 So.

87 Peyton Deri WR/DB/S 6-1 160 Fr.

90 Chad Gasparro OL/DL 5-11 215 Sr.

Troy Modrak TE/LB 6-0 190 Sr.

Chris Alesius Jr.

Top high school sports
By Josh Yohe
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012

Norwin football coach Art Tragesser couldn't be blamed if he begged for a more experienced team.

Having Gateway and McKeesport Area in his team's unforgiving Quad East conference probably isn't desirable, either.

But the veteran coach isn't complaining. Instead, Tragesser and the Knights will ignore their underdog status and march forward toward Friday night's opener in Altoona.

“I'm happy right now with what I'm seeing,” Tragesser said. “I think we have the potential to get better and better every day, and that's a good thing. Honestly, my only goal is to get these guys to go out and compete every game, and I think that's what we're going to do.”

Make no mistake, Norwin is facing an uphill climb.

The Knights are facing a daunting conference schedule against two Class AAAA heavyweights.

“We know Gateway is going to be the best team in the conference, by far,” Tragesser said. “And we know McKeesport is going to be really good. And Penn-Trafford has a really good team.”

Tragesser, however, isn't fearful of dealing with elite Class AAAA teams. Rather, he believes such challenges can make his program better.

“The fact of the matter is,” he said, “no matter what conference you're dealing with in Class AAAA, you're dealing with a lot of good football teams. Look all around Class AAAA. Good teams, good programs everywhere. It's just something that we know we have to deal with, and it is something we're going to deal with.”

Tragesser is an old-school coach who believes in simple football fundamentals. But he does plan on instituting a slightly unusual approach with his most important position.

No quarterback has established himself as the starter, which means Tragesser is going to use three.

Unusual, yes.

A silly idea? Not according to the coach.

“This isn't the NFL,” Tragesser said. “In the pros, yeah, you obviously want to go with one guy. But this is high school football, and at this level, you can use more than one quarterback and that's what we're going to do. We've seen some good things from all of them, and we'll see how it goes.”

No matter who plays, he'll be young. Two of the quarterbacks — Sean Bowen and John Driggers — are sophomores.

The other, Nick Amendola, is a freshman.

Going into a season with such youth under center isn't necessarily ideal, but Tragesser has a quiet confidence about the trio.

“The sky is the limit,” he said. “They all have a chance to be really good.”

Given his team's youth, Tragesser did confess to having one regret about the upcoming season.

“I wish the first game wasn't a conference game,” he said. “It would be nice to get some players some work in that first game, if it were an exhibition game.”

But Norwin won't get anything easily this season. Tragesser doesn't mind.

“We're really working hard out there,” he said. “I'm not going to make any predictions or anything like that. All I'm going to say is that we want to compete hard every game. That's the goal. We're going to do our best.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

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