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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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Fall Fastbreak – Fort LeBoeuf

Fort LeBoeuf Bison
Coach (season): David Gerard (1st season)
2011-12 overall record: 9-13
2011-12 region record (place): 4-10 (sixth)
2011-12 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Mike Lockhart, Tyler Hering, Donnie Greggs, Jake Campbell, Tyler Yost
Top returning players: Pat Kress, Mike Boccio, Sam Gambill
Assistant coaches: Todd Burchanowski, Ed Dimattio, Bob Vahey, Gary Dahn
Outlook: Fort LeBoeuf will look to build its growing program without coach Kevin O’Connor. After O’Connor took the McDowell job, his assistant, David Gerard, was promoted to head coach. Gerard will have some challenges as the Bison lost a talented group to graduation in Mike Lockhart, Tyler Hering, Donnie Greggs, Jake Campbell and Tyler Yost. Lockhart was LeBoeuf’s leading rebounder last year, while Hering, an all-region selection, paced the Bison in scoring. With a lot of experience and leadership gone, Gerard is looking to several seniors to step up. Pat Kress, Mike Boccio and Sam Gambill are back to lead LeBoeuf, while seniors Shawn Meehl and Ian Sweeney could be contributors this season. LeBoeuf has plenty of team speed and quickness this year but a big factor could be how well the young and inexperienced players come together as a team with the returning seniors. Height will be an issue along with inexperience but Gerard believes LeBoeuf has the talent to knock off some teams if each player accepts their role.

7-8 Fort LeBoeuf tournament
15 Cathedral Prep 7:30
18 at Conneaut 7:30
21 Central Tech 7:30
27-28 Carlynton tournament
4 at Strong Vincent* 7:30
8 Corry* 7:30
11 at East* 7:30
12 at Sharpsville 2:30
16 Girard* 7:30
18 General McLane* 7:30
22 at Harbor Creek* 7:30
24 Warren* 7:30
29 Strong Vincent* 7:30
1 at Corry* 7:30
4 East* 7:30
7 at Girard* 7:30
9 at General McLane* 7:30
12 Harbor Creek* 7:30
15 at Warren* 7:30
*Region 6 games

Coach (season, record): Beth Crider (2nd season, 7-15)
2011-12 overall record: 7-15
2011-12 region record (place): 3-11 (sixth)
2011-12 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Lindsay Bean, Gabby Kennelley, Katelyn Blackmon
Top returning players: Abby Deemer, Cora Surrena, Jolene Young
Assistant coach: Rachel Dillon
Outlook: Fort LeBoeuf is still in transition as the Bison adjust to a new system with second-year coach Beth Crider. LeBoeuf improved throughout last winter to win seven games and could be in line to keep progressing this year. The Bison return three starters in Abby Deemer, Cora Surrena and Jolene Young. All three are big-time contributors and could be counted on as leaders after LeBoeuf lost Lindsay Bean, Gabby Kennelley and Katelyn Blackmon to graduation. Courtney Oberlander, Judy O’Neill and Julia Boyd could be big-time contributors right away this year. The Bison can push the ball and play together but confidence could be the key. With powerhouses like Mercyhurst Prep and Villa Maria in their region, the Bison could be intimidated or could face the challenges head on this winter. If LeBoeuf can develop its new players to complement returning starters, the Bison could be a tough out each night they take the court.

7-8 Fort LeBoeuf tournament
12 at North East 7:30
14 at McDowell 7:30
17 Central Tech 7:30
27-28 Keystone Oaks tournament
3 at Cochranton 7:30
5 Jamestown 7:30
8 at Warren* 7:30
12 at Strong Vincent 7:30
15 Corry* 7:30
17 at Conneaut 7:30
18 at Harbor Creek* 7:30
21 at Mercyhurst Prep* 7:30
25 Villa Maria* 7:30
28 Warren* 7:30
31 at Corry* 7:30
2 East 7:30
5 Harbor Creek* 7:30
11 Mercyhurst Prep* 7:30
13 at Villa Maria* 7:30
*Region 6 games

Friday: Franklin

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball, Fall Fastbreak

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