passing game the past couple
linemen liked when we were
in the ground and just
short-yardage situation or
said Burrell junior tackle
Allegheny Seven all-star
strong guys this year who
move some guys out of the way
really well. I think every
ability to be balanced between
and the pass game. I think we
who can help with that.”
tight end Cole Charleton
called a lineman in certain
is one of several AK-Valley
Leechburg’s Eli Rich included, who
trades mix of pass-catching,
tweener,” Charleton said.
teammates call me a tweener.
wide, and sometimes I am
being both. I just want to
help the team, whether that
Lane) or Garrett (King) or
on a pass call.”
Freeport’s offensive linemen
looking strong this year,”
have some new kids coming
with Elijah Freeman, Aiden
Jendrejewski. They were all
year. What is good about
understand the way our
many diverse weapons.
and quick with what they
when they are blocking for
when they are changing directions
with what they see. They
adjustments on the fly. If Benny
the other side of the field,
That just helps everyone’s
linemen putting up an unreal
the weight room, and then
the skill guys during conditioning.
the necessary combination
strength, size and quickness.”
Brandon Mowry and his coaching
Wing-T in the offseason from
one of the main reasons for
ability of the linemen to work
framework of the schemes and
similarities between the two
they differ is that we have
who will do some pulling
that type of thing which we
of last year,” Mowry said.
“The Wing-T is really about down blocks and
kick outs, where in the triple option, you are
blocking a certain defender and you have a double
team within the point of attack.
“You always want to play to the strengths of the
kids, and they understood that. You don’t want
to put a square peg in a round hole. We have the
guys like Nevin Peart and Alex Cotton, our two
guards; they are strong and quick guys.”
Experience is key
Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba is excited to
have a trio of starters back up front to support
a number of new starters in the Vikings offense
after the graduation of several top skill weapons.
“We have a good mix of size, speed and tenacity,”
Skiba said of the line led by junior center
Cooper Gourley and all-conference performers in
senior tackles Greg Klingensmith (260 pounds)
and Bradey Schrock (285).
“We probably will be leaning on them more
than we ever have in the past. The line is also
uniting with some guys who are going into their
junior year who are going to get their opportunities.
They have put on a lot of size and have gotten
a lot better of the course of a year.”
Experience also will be a calling card at Springdale,
where four multi-year starters are back,
VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH • SUNDAY, AUGUST 22, 2021 • 15
led by a Valley News Dispatch all-star in senior
guard Gage Howard.
“We’ve all played so many snaps together already,”
said Howard, who will line up this year
with fellow returnees in senior Gio Savko, a
four-year starter at center; senior Ethan Zahner,
a three-year starter at guard; and junior Nathan
Folmer with his experience at tackle.
“It helps to have that experience and the knowledge
of how each guy plays. We understand the
importance of working as one unit, whether we
are run blocking or protecting on a pass play.”
Dynamos offensive line coach Chip Moyes sees
in his group what it takes to be successful in
Single-A football — or any level, for that matter.
“They will be busy this year,” Moyes said.
“Our starting four on the defensive line will be
starters on the offensive line. That’s the way it is
in single-A football. But these guys are in shape
to make it happen.
“The last couple of years, we’ve had smaller
linemen, but they work hard and are tenacious.
They keep coming at you. If you are a lineman
on a smaller scale, that is what you have to have.
You have to be relentless for 48 minutes. In the
fourth quarter, against the bigger, stronger
linemen from other teams we face — against the
Jeannettes, Clairtons and Greensburg Central
CHAZ PALLA | TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Catholics — we want to keep winning the battles
and make them wonder how we keep coming at
them. That’s the mentality we want to have, and
that’s the mentality I know we have.”
Springdale’s linemen joined others from Valley,
Apollo-Ridge, Highlands, Armstrong, Knoch
and Slippery Rock in a lineman challenge at the
Freeport 7-on-7 tournament in July.
It was a relaxed opportunity to test the strength,
quickness and agility of each line group through
bench press reps and other relay events.
Freeport coach John Gaillot said, as is the case
on Friday nights, the competition was a collective
effort among the linemen.
“It is very representative of the way the line
is in a game, everyone working together and
counting on each other,” Gaillot said.
“There’s always a sense of pride when you as
an individual or a group as a whole can get the
job done successfully. (The challenge) showed
how hard each group had been working to get
ready for the season.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact
Michael by email at email@example.com or
via Twitter @MLove_Trib.
The Knoch offensive line boasts “strong and quick guys,” according to coach Brandon Mowry.