WVU recruit anchors lines
Donny Barclay will be a Mountaineer next year, but for now he's merely a mountain.
"When he was a sophomore, he was a tall, skinny kid," coach Ron Butschle said. "We had our photo day this year, and he looks like a mountain."
Barclay, a West Virginia recruit, has transformed himself from a lanky 10th grader into a nasty, agile 6-foot-5 1/2, 285-pound left tackle who is among the best of a deep class of WPIAL offensive linemen.
Barclay, along with Stewart Myers (6-3, 245), gives Seneca Valley one of the most imposing set of bookend tackles in the WPIAL.
Throw in tight end Shawn Eagle (6-3, 230), who is at full strength after last year's early-season broken leg, and the Raiders have an offensive line that should prevent a third consecutive 1-9 season under Butschle.
"I'm confident right now that they are going to be able to run the football," Butschle said. "I feel very strongly about that. You've got to be able to run and stop the run in this conference. I think we'll be a lot better this year, and things are going to happen. With those guys up front, we have a shot."
Barclay's stock soared during the offseason, as college coaches got a look at various camps. He received his first offer, from North Carolina State, in April. Then came offers from Pitt and West Virginia in a 24-hour span in early May. Two weeks later, he committed to West Virginia, where his uncle, Al Pisula, played in the late 1970s.
National scouting services took notice. Barclay is rated the eighth-best offensive linemen in Pennsylvania, and the No. 33 offensive guard in the nation, according to Rivals.com.
Barclay also will start at defensive tackle, where he had 45 tackles and eight sacks last year.
"Donny has turned himself into a man," Butschle said. "He lifted and ran all winter long. He's athletic and strong, and he has a great attitude."
One year after he was responsible for protecting the blind side of star quarterback Kevan Smith (Pitt), Barclay will be charged with opening holes for new back James Daniels.
The Seneca Valley offensive line averages about 6-2, 250 pounds per man.
"Donny is going to be the anchor up there," Butschle said.
Barclay, a second-team all-Quad North performer last year, possesses a rare mixture of size and agility. He has run the 40-yard dash in a respectable 5.1 seconds and scored well in the shuttle runs. He was a standout Little League baseball player.
Barclay also is a maniacal weight lifter. Butschle said his mammoth lineman didn't miss one conditioning session during the offseason. In the process, Barclay added about 25 pounds to his frame and inspired many of his teammates.
"The guys who are good leaders, other guys follow," Butschle said. "We turned up the intensity in every part of our program. They didn't even turn on the radio in the weight room. They went in and got to work."
About the RaidersPlaymakers: Senior Ted Pynos, a 6-foot-4, 200-pounder, takes over at quarterback. Junior James Daniels will be the featured back, and look for big things from receiver Kevin Mayberry.
Defense: Shawn Eagle, who missed most of last season with a broken leg, returns at defensive end. The Raiders also bring back their entire secondary.
In the trenches: Donny Barclay, a West Virginia recruit, and Stewart Myers (6-3, 245) are a formidable tackle tandem.
Return game: Seniors Jim Burry and Chris Lewis and junior Aaron Palmieri are penciled in as the team's leading kick returners.
From the sideline: Coach Ron Butschle shook up his staff during the offseason. Some of the new faces include Rich Piccinini, the head coach at North Catholic for the past three years, and John Rosa, a former football and wrestling coach at Freedom.
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