Cathedral Prep Ramblers
Coach: Mike Mischler (16th season, 136-52)
2013 overall record: 13-1
2013 region record: 5-0 (champion)
2013 playoff results: Defeated Oil City 70-26 and General McLane 63-21 to win the District 10 Class AAA championship. Cathedral Prep then defeated West Allegheny 28-0 in the PIAA quarterfinals before losing to Bishop McDevitt 47-42 in the semifinals.
Top players lost: Billy Fessler, Felix Manus-Schell, Jake DeHart, Alex Greenawalt, Michael Parker, Marlon Tyree, Devonne Barnes, J.T. Joint, William Monono, Brian May, Jake Murawski
Top returning players: Charlie Fessler, James Trucilla, Tim Zieziula, Jacob Galla, DeAngelo Malone, Bryce Boyd, Stevie Crockett, Zach Bednarowicz, Mike Spizarny
Assistant coaches: Pat Czytuck, Manuel Johnson, Dan Vitale, Mike Krahe, Mark Brooks, Steve Bahny, John Campbell
Outlook: Cathedral Prep had a historic run end in the PIAA Class AAA semifinals last season as Bishop McDevitt snapped the Ramblers’ 28-game winning streak with a 47-42 comeback win. Prep rolled to its 19th District 10 championship and second straight in Class AAA. The Ramblers outscored opponents 501-101 in the regular season to easily win the Region 6 championship before outscoring opponents by an average of 43 points in the District 10 playoffs. Prep the shut out WPIAL power West Allegheny 28-0 in the quarterfinals before running into Bishop McDevitt. Coach Mike Mischler also cotninued his chase to have the most wins in Prep history. Mischler is 119-36 in his 11 years with the Ramblers and if they make a run this year, he could catch all-time winningest coach in program history, Mina George, who had 131 wins. The Ramblers have some work to do after suffering massive graduation losses. Among the losses are Billy Fessler (Walking on at Penn State), Felix Manus-Schell (Old Dominion), Jake DeHart (Yale), Alex Greenawalt (Colgate), Michael Parker (not playing in college), Marlon Tyree (Slippery Rock), Devonne Barnes (IUP), J.T. Joint (Slippery Rock), William Monono (Slippery Rock), Brian May (Mount Union) and Jake Murawski (Allegheny). Greenawalt, Fessler, DeHart, Barnes, Parker, Joint, Manus-Schell and Tyree were all named to the all-district team after impressive seasons. Fessler threw for 3,279 yards and 43 touchdowns and ran for six touchdowns to be voted to the all-region first team. Greenawalt was a first-team wide receiver after catching 43 passes for 711 yards and 10 touchdowns, and DeHart was a first-team all-purpose player as he rushed for 1,134 yards and 18 touchdowns and caught 25 passes for 418 yards and six touchdowns. Manus-Schell was voted the Region 6 player of the year and to the first team as a defensive back and second team at wide receiver. He pulled down 40 passes for 749 yards and 13 touchdowns and he hauled in five interceptions. Barnes was voted to the all-region first team on the offensive and defensive lines, while May was voted to the first team on the offensive line. Parker and Joint are big losses at the linebacker position and both were voted first team, while Tyree is a first-team defensive back. Parker was also voted to the second team at running back after rushing for 182 yards and five touchdowns. Ryan Dill was voted to the all-region second team on the offensive line, and Joint was second team as a punter. Murawski was voted to the second team as a defensive lineman, while Shyquawn Carson and Monono are gone after being voted to the second team as defensive backs.
Prep has some quick rebuilding to do at several positions. The Ramblers return wide receivers Charlie Fessler and DeAngelo Malone along with lineman Tim Zieziula at tackle and James Trucilla at guard. Malone will move to running back this season to fill in for DeHart after rushing for 201 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 395 yards and five touchdowns in 2013. Jose Casiano and Trucilla are back at defensive tackle and Jacob Galla at linebacker. Galla led the Ramblers in tackled as a junior. Trucilla committed to Virginia after racking up offers and was voted to the all-region second team at offensive and defensive line as a junior. Fessler verbally committed to Northwestern and had 20 Division I offers after hauling in 41 passes for 626 yards and six touchdowns as a junior. He was voted to the all-region first team at wide receiver. Prep will need reserves from last year to step up in big way. Billy Norfolk gets the nod at quarterback as a senior and spent the past few years learning from Damion Terry and Billy Fessler. Corey Fisher and Mitchell Gresh could step in as starting linemen as Prep lost three OL to graduation. With the entire backfield, linebacker corps and most of the secondary gone, Mischler could receive contributions from Bryce Boyd, Dan Maloney, Stevie Crockett, Mike Cizmek, Sean Harris, Alex Kissell, Troy Woodard, Sullivan Johnson, Ta’Nauz Gregory and Koran Williams. Zach Bednarowicz and Mike Spizarny are both back at kicker and Bednarowicz was voted to the all-region second team at his position. Boyd, Maloney, Kissell and Johnson could all start at linebacker, while Crockett, Cizmek, Gregory, Williams and Norfolk could see time at defensive back.
The biggest change Prep goes through is players adapting to new coordinators. Brad Orlando, Prep’s offensive coordinator, left to become the head coach at McDowell, while defensive coordinator Matt Melle is now the defensive coordinator at McDowell. Mischler will take over as offensive coordinator and will call plays, and Mike Krahe steps in to run the defense. Norfolk developed as a quarterback over the past few years and will need to step up to be a leader on offense this season to help take the pressure off Charlie Fessler. The Ramblers are almost starting over from scratch with their massive graduation losses, but the program is strong enough to reload instead of rebuild. Prep will start the season with a brutal game at Cleveland powerhouse Glenville before two important region games against Strong Vincent and rival McDowell. The Ramblers end the season with four road games (three outside of Erie) to test themselves for the D-10 playoffs. If new players can adapt to the varsity level and new coordinators this fall, Prep should be the favorite in D-10 Class AAA, once again.
29 at Glenville (Ohio) 7
5 Strong Vincent* 7
12 McDowell* 7
19 DuBois 7
26 Aquinas Institute (N.Y.) 7
3 Central Tech* 7
10 at St. Francis (N.Y.) 7
17 at General McLane* 7
25 at St. Joe’s (N.Y.) 2
31 at East* 7
*Region 6 games
Wednesday: Central Tech