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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 – Central Tech

Wide receiver Eddie Tate is one of the top returnees for Central Tech.

Rob Matz

Eddie Tate

Anthony Duck

Central Tech Falcons
Coach: Rob Matz (5th season, 6-33)
2012 overall record: 3-7
2012 record record: 0-5 (sixth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.

Top players lost: Paul Kafando, Eugene Husband, Eli Rydzewski, Cam Sanders, Matt Rea

Top returning players: Eddie Tate, Albert Jones, Calvin Franklin, Samson Kafando, Anthony Duck, Sage Yankevich, Deveon Coleman, Darrell Beason

Assistant coaches: Vince Senita, Jason Williams, Maurice Goodwine, Chuck Carson, Adam Snider, Dan Blackman, Jamal Robinson

Outlook: Central Tech is starting to make strides under coach Rob Matz and stability on the younger levels could start to pay off soon. The Falcons have been more competitive on the varsity level but will need to fill in two huge holes this fall. Paul Kafando and Eugene Husband each graduated in the spring and both were electric players for Central. Kafando was voted to the all-region second team at all-purpose and defensive back, while Husband was a second-team running back and defensive back. Kafando ran for 1,507 yards and 16 touchdowns and Husband ran for 596 yards with nine touchdowns and caught 13 passes for 193 yards. Kafando also threw for 197 yards and one touchdown as a senior. Central also needs to replace Eli Rydzewski, Cam Sanders and Matt Rea. Rydzewski was voted to the all-region second team on the defensive line, and Sanders ran for 281 yards and two touchdowns. Rydzewski was Central’s third-leading rusher with 312 yards and four touchdowns and second in receiving with five catches for 41 yards.

With almost all of Central’s offensive production from last season gone to graduation, Matz will have a big task in rebuilding. An important player in the offense could be 6-foot 5-inch Josh Wells. He will likely be inserted into the starting lineup at quarterback and can run the option offense. Wells is joined by returning players Eddie Tate, Albert Jones, Calvin Franklin, Samson Kafando, Anthony Duck, Sage Yankevich, Deveon Coleman and Darrell Beason. Franklin ran for 172 yards on 37 carries and scored one touchdowns, while Duck was voted to the all-region second team at offensive line. The Falcons have five returning starters on the offensive line and Tate at wide receiver. Central will need to reload at running back and find one more lineman on offense. Duck and Jones are back on the defensive line and Tate and Franklin at linebacker. Samson Kafando will play either at linebacker or defensive line, but filling out the rest of the defensive starting lineup will be important in camp. The biggest need will be at defensive back, where Paul Kafando and Husband were stand out players. Wells could play in the defensive backfield along with Brian Kelly, who is coming out for the team this year after not playing the past two seasons.

Central Tech will open the season against University Prep before getting right into a rivalry game against East in Week 2. Central and East played an overtime thriller last season with the Warriors pulling out a 28-22 win. After another rivalry game against Strong Vincent at the beginning of October, Central then plays at Harbor Creek. If the Falcons are still in the playoff race, the final three weeks will be interesting against Cathedral Prep, General McLane and McDowell.

Schedule
August
31 University Prep 7
September
7 at East* 1
13 Slippery Rock 7
21 at Fort Hill (Md.) 5:30
27 Meadville 7
October
5 at Strong Vincent* 1
11 at Harbor Creek 7
18 Cathedral Prep* 7
25 at General McLane* 7
November
2 McDowell* 7
*Region 6 games

Thursday: Cochranton
–Tom Reisenweber
Posted in: Football, Summer Huddle

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