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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 – Iroquois

Iroquois Braves
Coach: Gerard Drozdowski (5th season, 14-27)
2012 overall record: 3-8
2012 region record: 3-4 (tied for fourth)
2012 playoff results: Lost to West Middlesex 75-13 in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Alex Williams, Justyn Roda, Joey Robinson, Anthony Visalle, Brandon Oswalt
Top returning players: Colin States, Jason McShane, Brad Steen, Shamus Brady, Dylan Carpin, Antonio Parra, Brandon Roda, Matt McLean, Markel Aviles
Assistant coaches: Jim Vogt, Brian Martin, Mike Whitney, Jeff McShane, Mark Cadden, Craig Tarr, Ken Kalie
Outlook: Iroquois made its way to the District 10 Class A playoffs before running into a buzzsaw in West Middlesex. The Braves lost a few key players to graduation but were overall a young team. Alex Williams, Justyn Roda, Joey Robinson, Brandon Oswalt and Anthony Visalle are gone and will be tough to replace. Oswalt was voted to the all-region second team at linebacker and Williams to the second team as a defensive back. Road led Iroquois with 758 yards and five touchdowns on 108 carries, while Williams ran for 713 yards and five TDs. The Braves return seniors Colin States, Jason McShane and Brad Steen and have a strong junior class in Shamus Brady, Dylan Carpin, Antonio Parra, Brandon Roda, Matt McLean and Markel Aviles. Brandon Roda is a second-team all-region running back, while States is a second-team offensive lineman. Brandon Road ran for 738 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore and caught six passes for 66 yards and one touchdown. McLean led Iroquois with nine catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Carpin threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns and is back at quarterback for the Braves. Linemen Austin Smith and Riley Weismiller are new players to varsity that could make an impact this year along with running backs Nathaniel Kightlinger and Tyler Barone. States and Parra are returning starters on the offensive line, with Carpin at quarterback, McLean at wide receiver and McShane and Roda at running back. States, Parra and Aviles are returning starters on the defensive line, while McShane, McLean and Roda are back in the defensive backfield. Iroquois will need to fill out its linebacking corps to shore up its defense this season. The Braves are in a region that appears to be up for grabs this season. Eisenhower and Mercyhurst Prep are traditional powers that might take a step back while Cochranton is in the mix as well. Iroquois has an explosive back in Brandon Roda and experience on the offensive and defensive lines. Carpin is back as a leader and if the Braves can fill in the gaps with reliable younger players, they could be a dangerous team in Region 2.

Schedule
August
30 Harbor Creek 7
September
6 Youngsville* 7
13 at Eisenhower* 7
20 Cambridge Springs* 7
27 at Maplewood* 7
October
4 Cochranton* 7
11 at Fairview 7
18 Mercyhurst Prep* 7
25 at Union City* 7
November
1 at Lakeview 7
*Region 2 games

Sunday: Kennedy Catholic

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Football, Summer Huddle

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