ShareThis Page

New era begins for Deer Lakes football

| Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, 12:21 a.m.
Deer Lakes' Josh Plocki is expected to be a key contributor this season.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Deer Lakes' Josh Plocki is expected to be a key contributor this season.
Deer Lakes Josh Plocki photographed on Tuesday, August 13, 2013.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Disp
Deer Lakes Josh Plocki photographed on Tuesday, August 13, 2013.

New coaching staff. New offensive scheme to learn. No problem.

That's how returning Deer Lakes quarterback Josh Plocki is looking at preparation for the upcoming season.

After completing 50 passes for 530 yards and seven touchdowns last season, Plocki was ready for his senior season.

“It's much different when you're under the same staff for three years and you come in and the schedules and the formations are different,” Plocki said. “It's an adjustment, but I think we're coming along pretty well.”

T.J. Wiley has taken over the coaching reins at Deer Lakes and is installing a spread offense, similar to what he employed at Northgate the past two seasons.

Plocki said there has been little difficulty picking up the new offense.

“Actually, I think we've done a pretty good job of putting things in at practice,” Plocki said. “It's going to be just a matter of going out and executing. We're pretty confident in what we've done so far.”

“Josh has great leadership qualities,” Wiley said. “He's not a very vocal kid. Not a rah-rah guy, but an extremely hard worker. People follow him through his actions. He's very blue collar in his work ethic.”

Earlier in the summer, Wiley scheduled the Lancers for seven-on-seven drills against larger high schools to show the players how well they can compete.

“Josh has really grown from the late spring,” Wiley said “His reads have gotten better. He knows when to put touch on the ball and when to zip it in there. In our last seven-on-seven tournament up in Erie, he looked phenomenal. Even some other coaches from around that area said the same thing.”

Deer Lakes will open its 45th football season against visiting Valley on Aug. 30. The Lancers' schedule will be identical to last year, only with the 2012 sites reversed.

On defense, Plocki will continue to play cornerback. The defense will also use some different looks than in the past.

“He's a tremendous defensive back,” Wiley said. “Josh's technique is top-notch. He's going to be a player on both sides of the ball for us.”

Plocki agrees it's a great time to be a Deer Lakes sports fan.

The boys basketball team is coming off its first section title in 21 years, and the baseball team reached the WPIAL semifinals for the first time in 18 years. The boys volleyball, softball and girls basketball programs continue to excel.

“We've been practicing for the last few months and have been waiting to make some excitement and win some games this year,” Plocki said.

“Josh wants to be part of the senior class that lays the foundation to get this thing turned around and get us on the map,” Wiley said.

This could be the final season of competitive sports for Plocki. He plans on attending Pitt and is looking into the university's engineering program.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me