Since Bill Brest arrived as Hickory’s head football coach in 2010, Hornet fans have witnessed the school’s best three-year run since 1946-1948 (23-2-1). Hickory has won back-to-back District 10 Class AA Championships as they’ve played in eleven post-season games (8-3). The offense went from a group which averaged 17.2 points per game in 2009 to a team which has easily eclipsed that mark in each of the last three years (2010: 28.5; 2011: 35.8; 2012: 38.2). The defense has been ranked in the top fifteen among area schools in each of the last three campaigns.
Hickory enters camp without arguably the most explosive player the last two years in Northwestern Pennsylvania. DeShawn Coleman gained 4,121 yards rushing while scoring 72 total touchdowns since his junior season. One can’t replace that type of production; however, Coach Brest is very excited about the prospects of this year’s group. “Our numbers have increased. We’re looking to play more players, especially in the skill area. We feel, as a team, that this is a more solid [group] overall than in the past because of the depth that we have.”
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The Hornets begin 2013 with a trip to Erie to take on Strong Vincent.
2013 Hickory Hornets’ Football Preview
by Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Bill Brest, 4th year (31-7)
2012 Record: 11-2 (6-1), District 10 – Region 3 (AA)
2012 Post-Season Finish: Lost PIAA Class AA State Quarterfinals to Richland, 38-12, on December 1.
Returning Starters: Offense – 8, Defense – 8
Offense: Multiple (I & Spread)
Defense: Multiple (Even & Odd)
2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 38.2 (4th in Area)
Passing Yards: 82.9 (1078)
Rushing Yards: 233.5 (3036)
Points Allowed: 13.3 (3rd in Area)
Passing: Matt Voytik – 832 yards, 52.0 (53-102) Comp %, 7 TDs
Rushing: Matt Voytik – 64 att, 448 yards, 8 TDs
Receiving: Anthony Cannone – 12 rec, 185 yards, 1 TD
Tackles: Daulton Linton – 96
Sacks: Austin Aikins & Dequan Lewis – 3.0
Interceptions: Dequan Lewis, Zechariah Sewell, Andrew Pryts – 1
Aug. 30 – at Strong Vincent, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – Greenville, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – Wilmington, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – at Grove City, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – Titusville, 7 PM
Oct. 4 – at Sharon, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – at Farrell, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – Saegertown, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – at Reynolds, 7 PM
Offensive Strength: Senior quarterback Matt Voytik returns along with some of his favorite options (Davon Tindall and Anthony Cannone). Voytik completed 52.0% (53-102) of his passes last season while tossing the ball for 832 yards.
Offensive Weakness: The offensive line will be talented but young. The key will lie in how fast they are able to gel and mature.
Defensive Strength: ”The overall team speed is the best we’ve had in four years,” says Coach Brest. That’s awful news to opposing offenses.
Defensive Weakness: Losing linebackers such as Michael Palumbo (82 tackles) and Calvin Pryts (56 tackles) will leave some worrisome; however, the Hornets seem to be strong at every position on defense.
Storylines Facing the Hornets
1. District Power. With any success comes those who are vying for your spot. The Hornets have steamrolled through the District Tournament in each of the past two seasons. Last year, Hickory won their three games by a combined score of 122-42. The year prior, 103-25. Teams like Wilmington and Grove City will be out for revenge this fall.
2. Brest: Success at Hickory. Bill Brest’s win total of 31 is the most victories in their first three years by any coach in school history. Guy Gibbs comes in next with a 28-6-1 mark.
3. Filling in for Coleman. In a perfect world, there will be another exceptional athlete who comes along like in 2011 when DeShawn Coleman stepped in for Marlon Pegues. Maybe the trick this time will be to find a stable of runners to carry the load. Among the returnees, five of them ran for an average of 6 yards per carry or better.
Did you know? Hickory’s first District 10 crown came in 1948 with Chuck Snyder as the head coach of the Hornets.