Everette to lead Wilkinsburg offense under center
Low turnout numbers have been a problem at Wilkinsburg for some time.
Fourth-year coach Michael Fulmore was hoping the program could form a cooperative agreement with a nearby school in the offseason, but nothing materialized.
But that setback hasn't dimmed Fulmore's outlook on the coming season.
“We're always going to have that obstacle,” Fulmore said of the low numbers. “Just like most programs, numbers aren't where you hope they'd be. Our staff has decided that's not going to be an excuse.”
Position changes are often part of the program at Class A schools, and Wilkinsburg is no different. Tight end Dremar Everette has moved back to quarterback.
“We feel that as a Division I prospect, he can play any position on the field,” Fulmore said. “Through our seven-on-sevens, he's done a great job.”
Everette, who caught 14 passes for 157 yards last season, is under the tutelage of assistant coach and former McKeesport standout Cecil “the Diesel” Howard.
The Tigers look to employ an even front defense, with four linemen as part of a 4-3 alignment or a 4-6 at times.
Wilkinsburg's strength could be at linebacker, where Stephon Byrd was a first-team all-conference performer last year despite playing through injuries.
“We feel our linebacking corps can step up and stop the run this year,” Fulmore said.
Other players expected to make major contributions are Genero Coleman and DeAndre Blackshear, and Nigel Noel will again see action in the Tigers backfield after rushing for 397 yards in 61 carries as a sophomore last season.
Dimitrius Craig was a second-team all-conference performer last year as a lineman.
“We've always got some ballplayers out there,” Fulmore said.
Wilkinsburg beat Leechburg in last year's season opener. The Tigers also got a victory after the season when Monessen forfeited its four wins in January after discrepancies in a new computerized student tracking system failed to detect a pair of fifth-year seniors.
Three of the four 2014 Eastern Conference playoff teams will visit historic Graham Field this year, including defending WPIAL champion and PIAA runner-up Clairton on Sept. 12.