Summer Huddle – Mercer

   July 20, 2013 10:51 pm    0

 

Mercer Mustangs
Coach: Patrick McClearn (9th season, 53-35)
2012 overall record: 3-7
2012 region record: 1-5 (tied for sixth)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Evan Nan, Nate Brest, Austin Slagle
Top returning players: Luke Leonard, Zane O’Brien, Brian Phillips, Walter Haines, T.J. Peters, Logan Clarke, Chase Hoffman
Assistant coaches: Ed Klutcher, Rob Swartz, Brian Phillips, Rick Whenry, Mike Sagulla, Tyler Cramer
Outlook: Mercer struggled in Region 1 last season and missed out the playoffs. The good news for Mustang fans is their team was very young and went through some growing pains. Mercer will have to replace Evan Nan, Nate Brest and Austin Slagle, who graduated in the spring. Nan was voted to the all-region first team at defensive line and was a big-time wide receiver with 32 catches for 466 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also voted to the second team at punter. Brest was voted to the all-region second team at offensive and defensivel line, while Slagle was a second-team linebacker. Slagle was Mercer’s second-leading rusher with 330 yards and two touchdowns on 57 carries and caught nine passes for 138 yards. Luke Leonard, Zane O’Brien, Brian Phillips, Walter Haines, T.J. Peters, Logan Clarke and Chase Hoffman are back this season to lead a young Mercer team. Hoffman was voted to the all-region second team at kicker after connecting on 17 extra points and one field goal last year. Clarke is back to facilitate the offense at quarterback. He threw for 1,246 yards and 13 touchdowns and ran for 184 yards and five touchdowns. Leonard was the Mustangs’ leading rusher with 404 yards and two touchdowns, while O’Brien ran for 258 yards and three TDs. Peters looks like the most viable receiver to replace Nan. He caught 12 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns last fall. Phillips is a returning starter on the offensive and defensive lines, while Matt Hoffman, Troy Sagulla and Brayton Edwards return on the defensive line. Walter Haines, Peters and Levi Bequeath are back in the defensive backfield for the Mustangs. Mercer will need to fill out its offensive line and develop a stronger receiving corps this season. The Mustangs open the season with two home games, including a big showdown with Sharpsville in Week 2. Mercer also has a road trip to rival Mercyhurst Prep on the schedule this fall. The Mustangs have one of the most experienced teams back in Region 1, but they need to develop their offensive line and continue to build chemistry to improve on a three-win season.

Schedule
August
30 Eisenhower 7
September
7 Sharpsville* 7
14 at Kennedy Catholic* noon
20 Lakeview* 7
27 at West Middlesex* 7
October
4 Conneaut* 7
11 at Mercyhurst Prep 7
18 Keystone 7
25 at Farrell* 7
November
1 Reynolds 7
*Region 1 games

–Tom Reisenweber

 

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