TRIB TOTAL MEDIA • SUNDAY, AUGUST 22, 2021 • 23
RETURN TRIP TO PLAYOFFS
GOOD OOD LUCK L
PA 15626 • victorydelmont.com • 724-468-4144
Coach: Dave Keefer
2020 record: 3-3, 2-3 in
Class 3A Interstate Conference
All-time record: 180-352-12
Date Opponent Time
8.27 McGuffey 7
9.3 at Laurel Highlands 7
9.9 at Perry 7
9.17 South Allegheny* 7
9.24 at Mt. Pleasant* 7
10.1 Derry 7
10.8 Yough* 7
10.15 at Brownsville* 7
10.22 Elizabeth Forward* 7
10.29 at South Park* 7
Passing Zach Cernuto*
78-138, 1,066 yards, 10 TDs
75-235 yards, TD
Receiving Anthony Govern
29-365 yards, 4 TDs
• Scott Brown is a new assistant
with Dave Keefer. Brown
was a fullback and linebacker
at Southmoreland in the late
1970s. Those are the positions
he will coach. “Tubby” Hall,
the nephew of Jeannette coach
Roy Hall, also is on the staff.
• Scotties all-time passing
leader Zach Cernuto, now
playing at Washington &
Jefferson, threw for 4,797
yards and 44 touchdowns. His
passing total ranks sixth all
time in Westmoreland County.
• In their first home game,
the Scotties plan to honor late
teammate Brandon Peterson,
who was killed in a vehicle
accident last December.
No. Name Pos. Ht/Wt.
1 Travon Lee 5-10 /160 Jr.
2 Trevell Clayton 6-5/257 Sr.
3 Lanse Kessle 5-8/155 Fr.
4 Ronnie Collins 5-11/145 So.
5 Anthony Govern 6-1/225 Sr.
6 Kadin Keefer 6-3/190 So.
7 Josh Bass 5-8/160 Sr.
8 Wyatt Richter 5-11/145 So.
9 Tray Whetsel 5-9/185 Jr.
10 Elliot Premus 5-10/165 Fr.
11 Jake Kaylor 5-10/150 Fr.
13 Ni-jaah Hager 5-9/158 So.
14 Omari Tunstell 5-7/160 Jr.
15 Kaiden Grady 6-6/182 Jr.
16 Lily Wasmund 5-2/140 Jr.
20 Austin Mough 5-9/170 So.
21 Jeffrey Johnson 5-8/194 Jr.
22 Isaac Trout 5-10/170 Sr.
23 Noah Phillips 5-7/200 Sr.
24 Cameren Phillips 5-9/140 Fr.
25 JJ Bloom 6-1/150 Sr.
30 Nick Dzambo 6-3/180 Jr.
34 Bryson Robinson 5-11/175 Sr.
41 Cole Teets 5-5/150 Fr.
43 Michael Oravetz 6-0/170 Jr.
44 Amani Tunstell 5-10/180 Sr.
51 Phillip Wasmund 5-11/248 Jr.
52 Kory Ansell 6-3/285 Sr.
53 Jimmy Carson 6-0/210 Fr.
54 Jeey Steban 6-1/230 Jr.
55 Aiden Corvin 6-1/215 So.
56 Kaleb Tkacs 5-11/200 Jr.
57 Che Knopsnider 6-1/215 Sr.
68 Makai Trout-Lewis 5-9/165 So.
75 Ben Yeskey 6-2/220 Sr.
77 Mason Neiderhiser 6-0/260 Jr.
81 Cody Bateman 5-9/140 So.
85 Lewis Mains 5-9/165 Fr.
Enjoying his team’s demeanor more by the
day, coach Dave Keefer watches the Southmoreland
football team get ready for a voluntary
workout on a warm summer evening at Russ
“Up, down, up, down,” the fourth-year coach
says, directing push-ups. “Keep going, keep
And keep … laughing?
During a water break, a few players crack
jokes, lightening the mood and even coercing
a smile or two out of the coaching staff.
“This is my favorite team I have had here,”
Keefer said. “They’re loose and fun, but they
work hard. They’re just a fun group to be
around. Our captains are great kids and play
with a edge.”
Don’t worry, the Scotties plan to be all business
when the season starts.
They know missing the playoffs last year
after finally breaking through two years ago
for their first postseason berth since 1979 was
no laughing matter.
“It’s almost expected now,” senior lineman
Kory Ansell said of playing past the regular
season. “I mean, it was a big achievement when
we made it for the first time in 40 years, but we
don’t want to stop there.”
Southmoreland was 2-4 last year (1-3 in the
Class 3A Interstate Conference) and just missed
advancing to the WPIAL playoffs. The team
wonders what might have happened if it had
a couple more games on a season sawed off by
“A lot of them are hungry and want to get
back,” Keefer said of his players. “They want
to be successful. It’s always a goal to get back
to the playoffs. It was more of a novelty to our
community (in 2019).”
The most challenging loss will be replacing
all-time leading passer Zach Cernuto, who graduated
and is set to play H-back at Washington
& Jefferson. The Scotties relied on Cernuto’s
accuracy and running ability. He also led the
team last season in rushing.
“I have been here four years, and Zach was
my quarterback for three of them,” Keefer said.
“He was a good one.”
His replacement will be senior Anthony
Govern, who moves from a tight end/H-back
position from where he led the team in receptions
last season (29).
He was used out of the wildcat some last year,
carrying 20 times for 104 yards.
“Anthony can run it pretty well,” Keefer said.
“Zach could get us those tough yards, but Anthony
is a different runner. He can break one.
Our RPOs will be used more. He isn’t afraid to
pull it down.”
But Keefer said Govern, a baseball pitcher,
can fling it around, too.
“Rocket arm,” he said.
That means a talented pair of receivers
should get into the offensive flow as the Scotties
Seniors J.J. Bloom and Isaac Trout will be
key targets and also play cornerback. Both will
be third-year starters.
Trout had 20 catches last season. Bloom added
14, averaging 20 yards a grab.
Another senior, whom Keefer calls “the horse
of the line,” is Ansell, a 6-foot-2, 285-pounder
who will block on offense and wreak havoc
at defensive end on defense. He is a potential
Division I prospect.
“He is football smart and has loose hips,”
Keefer said. “The kid can do a split.”
Keefer said the Scotties hope to run the ball
Keefer said several players were competing
for starting jobs on the lines. Ansell is the only
returning starter up front. Sophomore Aidan
Corvin shows potential, as does junior Mason
Neiderheiser. Senior Dontay Moore and junior
Caleb Tkas also are in the mix.
At running back, senior Noah Phillips returns,
with junior Tray Whetsel and senior
Josh Bass, part of a co-op with Geibel, also
competing for carries. Bass also should fit in
as a weak-side safety in the team’s 3-5 defense.
Phillips is the top returning rusher with 186
Bloom, Trout and senior Travon Lee make
up the rest of the secondary.
Rising sophomore Legacy Sands, who made
some impressive plays last season, moved to
Ansell will line up at nose tackle alongside
Bryson Robinson with Govern at defensive end.
Another addition from Geibel is Jeffrey Johnson,
a junior running back and linebacker.
Trout, Govern, Bloom and Ansell are the
The Scotties will play a new opponent in
Week 2: Perry of the City League.
by BILL BECKNER JR.
SOUTHMORELAND • INTERSTATE