A trio of talented ball carriers highlight Sharpsville’s offensive unit

The Blue Devils finish the regular season with a matchup against South Range.

Sharpsville Blue Devils High School Football - Sharpsville, PA.

2017 Sharpsville Football Preview
Head Coach: Paul Piccirilli, 22nd season (193-64)
Last Season: 8-4 (5-3), T-3rd place in Region 2
Classification: AA

More:High School Football previews from other teams

The Good News
Sharpsville has advanced to the last nine playoffs (2008-2016) and has won at least one playoff game in each of their last eight appearances. The Blue Devils return a bevy of talented runners led by seniors Bobby Besser and Cameron Prebble. Besser gained over 1,300-yards on the ground (1310) while scoring 13 times. He also caught 13 passes for a team-high 22.2 yards per catch (288 yards). Prebble was also ultra-effective as he picked up 7 yards per carry on 115 totes (804 yards) as he crossed the goal line 12 times. Prebble hauled in 14 passes for 241 yards. Junior Kobe Joseph churned out 517 rushing yards on 81 carries (5.7 avg) scoring 6 touchdowns. Junior Ja’Quay Hubbard is back to anchor the offensive front. The defensive unit will welcome back Matt Harenchar, Joe Bornes and Hubbard upfront while Noah McCall and Joseph will each be counted on to contribute from their respective linebacker spots. The Blue Devils defensive backs will be led by Bobby Besser, Luke Levis and Peyton Schell.

2017 Schedule
Aug. 25 – West Middlesex, 7
Sept. 1 – at Lakeview, 7
Sept. 8 – Mercer, 7
Sept. 15 – Wilmington, 7
Sept. 22 – at Reynolds, 7
Sept. 29 – Greenville, 7
Oct. 6 – at Hickory, 7
Oct. 13 – Slippery Rock, 7
Oct. 20 – at Sharon, 7
Oct. 27 – at South Range, 7

More:High School Football schedules from other teams

Challenges
Sharpsville lost a ton in the form of the graduation of Luke Henwood and Marquis Altman. Henwood threw for 1141 yards and 12 touchdowns while completing 51.1% of his tosses (67-131). He also ran for 85 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. Altman will be missed on offense (at wide receiver) and on defense (in the secondary). Altman gained 563 yards receiving on 29 catches (19.4 avg) as he scored 7 touchdowns. Graduation will also affect Sharpsville in more ways than at the quarterback position and at receiver. Tight end Dakota Griffin was an All-Region First-Team recipient for the way he not only blocked but also caught passes a year ago. The line also lost another piece which will be tough to replace in Tony Milano.

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 73.1% (92-34)
Playoff Appearances: 9
Playoff Record: 20-9
Region Championships: 4 (2010, 2011, 2014, 2015)
Region Record: 51-20

2016 Results
Wilmington 56 Blue Devils 7*
Blue Devils 41 Iroquois 14*
Blue Devils 28 Maplewood 7*
Blue Devils 42 Sharon 35
Slippery Rock 42 Blue Devils 21
Hickory 56 Blue Devils 26
Blue Devils 33 Greenville 14
Blue Devils 32 Reynolds 29
Wilmington 63 Blue Devils 21
Blue Devils 33 Lakeview 0
Blue Devils 42 Lakeview 0
Blue Devils 42 West Middlesex 6
*-Post-Season

2016 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 30.4 (16th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 26.8 (38th in Area)
…Sharpsville has averaged 30 points or more in six of the last seven years.

Key Number
The Blue Devils went from having the #1 scoring defense (11.0) among area teams in 2015 to finishing last Fall 38th with their 26.8 average.

Featured Stat
Bobby Besser’s rise on offense last year:
2016: 1310 rushing yards, 7.9 avg, 13 TDs; 13 catches, 288 yards
2015: 370 rushing yards, 6.7 ypc, 5 TDs; 11 catches, 194 yards

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