Anyway, the important stuff. Week 1. High school football starting. Exciting stuff.
You can read my preview of Wash High/GCC in tomorrow’s Observer-Reporter, which talks a lot about the Little Prexies’ need to beat an elite team.
(Yes, they won eight games last year, but only two of those came against teams with a winning record.)
One item that kind of got short shrift was Wash High’s offensive line, which must replace four starters. I find this interesting because Prexies coach Mike Bosnic was a lineman at Pitt, so I’m guessing these guys will be a little more seasoned than your average group of new starters.
Keep in mind that right tackle Rikwon Moore is the only lineman back from last year, and here’s a look at who’ll you see up front Friday:
LT 68 Pat Ellis, Jr., 6-2, 260
RG 50 Elijah Jones, Sr., 6-0, 220
C 69 Xavier Darden, Jr., 5-10, 192
RG 75 Anthony Byrd, Jr., 6-0, 235
RT 73 Rikwon Moore, Sr., 6-2, 280
I talked to Bosnic about this during training camp, and yesterday I asked him again how things have progressed.
“It’s been about what we expected,” Bosnic said. “We’re a little bit inexperienced up front, but, at the same time, it’s a group that has a lot of potential. They’ve gotten better pretty much every day that we’ve been out there.”
The Prexies have some depth with freshman Thomas Cherry, sophomore Justin Blussick and sophomore Gloady Kiers, but it’s pretty obvious that McKenzie and Kelly won’t pile up too many yards or touchdowns if there’s nowhere to run.
“We feel pretty good about those guys,” Bosnic said. “They’ve been working hard. They’re getting more aggressive. At the beginning they were kind of just feeling around, trying to learn the system. I think we’re going to see an improvement every week with them.”
As promised, I also talked to a fellow writer who covers the Greensburg area, and the rub on GCC goes something like this:
>>Two players were expelled and five starters will be suspended for Friday’s game because of the hazing issue that popped up over the summer, the same one that cost longtime head coach Muzzy Colosimo his job.
>>Seven players left GCC during the offseason – not counting those above – including running back Jordan McCrea, who had 1,218 yards and 17 touchdowns last fall. He’s back at Connellsville, along with kicker Ben Kisiel, who had 30 extra points and three field goals.
>>The Centurions lost their starting quarterback (Bobby Noble) and best receiver (Justin Kempka) to graduation. New starter at QB will be Chase Keller, a 6-3, 185-pound junior. Big-time players are running back Zach Guiser (Akron) and linebacker Nate Stone.
>>Guiser battled a hamstring injury through camp, but he should be OK. Or at least the guy I talked to thinks so.
>>I’ll leave you with one thing this source told me, though I’m pretty sure he didn’t know Wash High is breaking in four new starters: “Where they’re (meaning GCC) weak, and where Washington could take advantage, is along the offensive and defensive lines.”