2015 Sharpsville Football Preview

2015 Sharpsville Football Preview
Head Coach: Paul Piccirilli, 20th season (173-59)
2014 Record: 11-4 (4-2), Region 1
5-Year Winning Percentage: 79.1%
Class/Region: A/Region 1

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2014 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 33.5 (9th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 15.5 (8th in Area)

2015 Schedule
Sept. 5 – Otto-Eldred, 1:30
Sept. 11 – Erie East, 7
Sept. 18 – at Reynolds, 7
Sept. 25 – Mercer, 7
Oct. 2 – West Middlesex, 7
Oct. 9 – at Lakeview, 7
Oct. 16 – at Eisenhower, 7
Oct. 23 – at Farrell, 7
Oct. 30 – Wilmington, 7
Nov. 6 – Greenvillle, 7

Key Losses: The loss of George Keck (1053 rushing yards), Tyler Wansack (629 rushing yards) and Greg Popatak (366 rushing yards, 9 TDs) will be a big hole for the Blue Devils’ running game. The departure of Mitch Fyffe (24 catches, 360 yards) and Dayne Smith (19 catches, 340 yards) will also have a lasting effect on the team’s offense as the season inches closer and closer.

Key Returnees: Junior quarterback Luke Henwood will be welcomed back after a strong sophomore campaign which saw #7 complete 88 of 175 tosses for 1413 yards. He’ll have a familiar target to launch the ball to with the return of senior Tyrin Peavy, who led the team in yards per reception last fall (20.9 ypr). Peavy’s classmate Brady Hogue also will be back after a Second-Team All-Region nomination along the offensive line.

Key Storyline: Coach Piccirilli and his staff have done wonders with replacing key seniors in the past. In 2015, they’ll be called upon to work their magic once again.

Strengths: Spring brought about the reality that some of the key figures on a team which played in the Final Four a year ago had departed. Losing the likes of Keck, Wansack and Popatak from their backfield will be pieces that won’t soon be forgotten. However, Sharpsville returns a solid signal caller (Henwood), an anchor up front (Hogue) and options at running back. Last year, Peavy gained 7.1 yards per tote (426 yards, 8 TDs) and Khaliq Ragster found pay dirt 7 times on 57 carries while rushing for 340 yards (6.0 ypc).

Weaknesses: The defense lost a trio of First-Team All-Region players (Dayne Smith, Greg Popatak, Tyler Wansack). Could we see that side of the ball struggle early on? Sure. Will we? Tough to say. With Piccirilli’s history, I’d doubt it.

Game to Watch: September 5 vs. Otto-Eldred
…The 2014 Sharpsville Blue Devils registered an 11-4 finish before bowing out of the post-season in the Western Final to Clairton (54-18). For folks in Sharpsville, their beloved Devils can’t get back onto the field quick enough. The season begins on Saturday when they take on the Terrors of Otto-Eldred of Duke Center, Pennsylvania.

Region 1 Alignment
West Middlesex

Odds and Ends
…During Sharpsville’s current six-game winning streak on opening day, the Blue Devils have averaged 41 points a game. Sharpsville has been about as consistent as one can be in the month of September by winning 25 of 27 in the ninth month on the calendar.

Recent League Finishes
2014: T-1st Region 1 (4-2)
2013: T-4th Region 1 (3-3)
2012: 2nd Region 1 (5-1)
2011: 1st Region 1 (7-0)
2010: T-1st Region 1 (7-1)

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