Springdale scrambles to prepare for new foe
Springdale coach Dave Leasure had his laptop ready at the WPIAL playoff pairings meeting Monday night in Green Tree so he could exchange Hudl game film with whichever team the Dynamos drew in the Class A first round.
Only he didn't expect to trade highlights with Carmichaels. The detail-oriented Leasure thought OLSH would be his team's opponent, so hours and hours of film study left Leasure knowing way too much about OLSH and little about Carmichaels.
“We know Carmichaels is big and physical, and they're the class of their league,” Leasure said of the sixth-seeded Mighty Mikes (7-2), who won the Tri-County South and host the No. 11 Dynamos (5-5) on Friday night. “They take football very seriously down there. It's going to be a challenge, but we look forward to it.”
Is some respects, it sounds like he is talking about Springdale, which makes its living on size-bolstered blocking schemes and a power running game.
The Dynamos will make their 14th playoff trip in 15 years, and third in a row.
And in terms of taking football seriously? It's a staple in Springdale, a close second to power plants and smoke stacks.
“Everything we do here is based on what the guys before us did,” Leasure said. “The expectation doesn't change. And our kids embrace that.”
Springdale rebounded last week from three straight losses — to Jeannette, Bishop Canevin and Imani Christian — to beat Greensburg Central Catholic and finish fifth in the Eastern Conference.
The Dynamos “only” gave up 32 points to top-seeded Clairton, which has steamrolled most of its opponents.
Carmichaels beat a former Eastern Conference team, Monessen, 20-12, and lost to a current one, Bishop Canevin, 44-13.
The Mikes also lost to OLSH, another third-place team.
“We're in the playoffs now. It doesn't matter who you draw,” Carmichaels fourth-year coach Ryan Krull said. “You have to make sure your kids are ready.”
Carmichaels has made the playoffs 18 times in 19 years but has not been out of the first round since 2002.
Springdale, a WPIAL champion in 2003 and a runner-up in 2007, last won a playoff game in 2011.
Carmichaels has played well defensively, giving up 16.1 points per game, and just 56 in conference play.
“It's been good, not great,” Krull said. “We're still not where we want to be in a lot of ways. Things we were getting away with the previous weeks, we weren't able to get away with last week. But after showing the kids the tape, I hope we can grow from that and put a good product on the field Friday night.”
Springdale has scored one more point than it has given up (233-232).
The winner gets the winner of No. 3 Jeannette (9-1) and No. 6 Shenango (4-5) in the WPIAL quarterfinals.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com.