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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Summer Huddle – Bradford

Bradford Owls
Coach (season, record): Jeff Puglio (5th season, 21-19)
2012 overall record: 4-6
2012 region record (place): 2-4 (tied for fourth)
2012 playoff results: Lost to Clearfield 49-0 in the District 9 championship.
Top players lost: Matt Yurkewicz, Josh Corignani, Nunzio Cavallero, Aaron Fishkin
Top returning players: Sean Siffrin, Justin Fishkin, Ryan McCammon, John Pantuso
Assistant coaches: Steve Ackerman, John Siffrinn, Andy Reid, Tom Reid, Davis Redington, Randy Ruffner, Pete Kervin
Outlook: Bradford will look to keep rebuilding this season, but it won’t be easy with heavy graduation losses. Matt Yurkewicz, Josh Corignani, Nunzio Cavallero and Aaron Fishkin are among the Owls to graduate. Yurkewicz leaves a big hole at quarterback after throwing for 459 yard and three touchdowns and rushing for 829 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was voted to the all-region first team at defensive back after leading Bradford with 89 tackles and had two interceptions. Fishkin was second in rushing with 461 yards and four touchdowns, while Corignani ran for 338 yards and caught nine passes for 108 yards and two TDs. Fishkin was voted to the all-region second team at linebacker and was second on the Owls with 81 tackles. Cavallero was fourth in tackles with 52 and had three interceptions. Siffrin is back at split end and linebacker, while McCammon will start at center and linebacker. Siffrin had nine catches for 157 yards and had 48 tackles. McCammon recorded two sacks and one interception last fall. Steve Zawatski, Kyle Whitmer and Rob Rice all saw varsity time last year and could step up and contribute right away. Rice and Zawatski are projected to start on both the offensive and defensive lines and Whitmer could earn a starting spot on both lines during camp.

Out of 22 starting spots, Bradford will need to fill in 10. The biggest position battle in camp will be at quarterback. Zach Bartlebaugh was the backup last year, but coach Jeff Puglio will have a camp battle and is looking for someone to step up. Sean Siffrin, Justin Fishkin, Ryan McCammon and John Pantuso are back this season. Pantuso was voted to the all-region second team at tight end after hauling in seven passes for 61 yards and one touchdown. He is back to start at tight end and defensive end, while Fishkin will be at running back and linebacker. Fishkin led Bradford with three sacks as a sophomore and rushed for 291 yards and three touchdowns. Bradford was young last year and gained plenty of valuable experience. The Owls won four games and ran into a buzzsaw in Clearfield for the District 9 championship. The Owls have some experience back, but Puglio is looking for someone to step up as a leader after the departure of Yurkewicz, a two-year captain, graduated. Bradford will start the season with three road games, including two important region games at Oil City and Warren. The Owls turn around and open their home slate against region champion Slippery Rock. Bradford has a loaded schedule, including a non-region game against General McLane. The Owls will need to keep developing throughout the fall to compete for the D-9 championship.

Schedule
August
31 at Kennedy Catholic noon
September
6 at Oil City* 7
13 at Warren* 7
20 Slippery Rock* 7
27 at DuBois* 7
October
4 Franklin* 7
11 General McLane 7
18 Meadville* 7
25 at St. Marys 7
November
1 Bye
*Region 5

Monday: Cambridge Springs

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Football, Summer Huddle

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