2 • SUNDAY, AUGUST 22, 2021 • VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH
INDEX HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAMEPLAN 2021
Football sure does sound good to Birdie
225 Furnace Run Road, Freeport, PA 16229
To All The
starting at $79
Now thru 12/31/21
CHECK IT OUT AT
SPORTS EDITOR | Bill Hartlep ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR | Jonathan Bombulie DESIGNERS | Brady Hunter, Jeff Vella, Melanie Wass
HIGH SCHOOL STAFF WRITERS | Bill Beckner Jr., Chris Harlan, Michael Love, Don Rebel, Paul Schofield
HIGH SCHOOL CONTRIBUTING WRITERS | George Guido, Jerin Steele
PHOTOGRAPHERS | Christopher Horner, Chaz Palla and Louis B. Ruediger
Deer Lakes 18
Fox Chapel 6
Kiski Area 7
The Tribune-Review welcomes you to GAMEPLAN 2021, an in-depth look at the upcoming
high school football season in Western Pa. It is designed to serve as a reference for the Trib’s
high school football fans throughout the season. Starting Thursday, the Trib will begin its expanded
game previews in THURSDAY GAMEPLAN, a look at the week’s top games, players to watch
and statistical leaders. We will take you from Week 1 through the PIAA finals. ... And don’t forget
to visit our website, TribHSSN.triblive.com, for season previews of every team in the WPIAL.
While flying through football
camps across the Alle-Kiski
Valley the last few weeks,
The Birdie heard some of his favorite
The pop of
The tweet of a
hundreds of high
season on the gridiron.
It was music to his songbird
Last year at this time, he was
more likely to hear the sound
of fingernails being chewed to
the nub (gross!) (and wash your
hands!) as teams anxiously waited
for the go-ahead in a covid-delayed
This fall, however, things are
back to normal … or as close to normal
as they can get with covid-19
and its variants still threatening
to impact the world of high school
The A-K Valley’s pigskin
prognosticator is certainly happy
football is back. The Birdie is
masked up with notebook in hand
and pencils sharpened, ready to see
the ball in the air.
“It’s been a long nine months
waiting and waiting and waiting,
but now it’s time for kickoff!” The
Birdie said, swiping eye black
across his cheeks. “The next 10
Friday nights will be well worth
Here’s how The Birdie thinks
this season will shape up:
The Foxes got off to a strong start last
season before fading down the stretch.
A larger roster and more depth on both
sides of the ball should help Fox Chapel
compete in the Northeast Conference.
Can the Cavaliers follow “Beef” and the
rest of the offensive line to the postseason?
An Oct. 8 Northeast Conference
meeting with Fox Chapel could
have major playoff implications.
Strong-armed Chandler Thimons is
back as the third-year starter at quarterback,
and expectations are high for
an offense that averaged nearly 30
points a year ago.
After a winless 2020 campaign, the
Knights are returning to the Wing-T
offense. Junior Carson Kosecki, a
transfer from North Catholic, could be
a key catalyst in the backfield.
How will the Mustangs follow up on
their first conference title since 1983?
Possibly by defending their crown.
The Road Bucs only played one home
game a year ago because of stadium
renovations but get six games on the
home turf this season.
The Lancers endured an 0-7 season in
2020 but return a more experienced
and motivated team, led by QB Derek
Burk, RB Cody Scarantine and WR
Covid shutdowns limited Freeport to
just four conference games last season,
but the Yellowjackets played well
in all of them. Junior Ben Lane returns
after leading the team in passing and
rushing last year.
Veteran coach Muzzy Colosimo is
leaning on his more experienced defense
to lead the Vikings to victory. As
usual, there will be tough sledding in
the Allegheny Conference.
Graduation may have forced some
turnover, but a strong lineup returns
for the Vikings, who were 3-0 in the
Class 2A Allegheny Conference last
Braylan Lovelace might not rush for
396 yards each game (like he did
against Riverview last season), but he
returns to lead a promising offensive
attack that nearly guided the Blue
Devils to a .500 record a year ago.
The Raiders put some time in at the
weight room in the offseason, looking
to lift away the sting of a winless
season. A bigger roster, in size and
strength, should help them get in the
The Dynamos return eight starters
on offense and nine on defense after
going 5-3 last season and reaching the
Last year: 65-12 (84.4%)