Summer Huddle – Seneca

   July 29, 2013 8:20 pm    0

 

Quarterback Bruce Dunn helped Seneca win three of its final four games in 2012. The Bobcats hope to open the season with a similar hot streak. FILE PHOTO/Erie Times-News

Zach Muye

Kamron Brace

Dave Frank

Seneca Bobcats

Coach: Dave Frank (3rd season, 4-16)
2012 overall record: 3-7
2012 region record: 1-6 (seventh)
2012 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.

Top players lost: Luke Muye, Jake Wittman, Trevor Beiter

Top returning players: Zach Muye, Kamron Brace, Scott Groenendaal, Mike Gibbens, Bruce Dunn, Jaime Sommers, Jason Brown, Davyn Wettekin

Assistant coaches: Matt Glass, Joe Yuhas, Dave McQuiston, Mike Pettinato, Roach Hewitt, Jeremiah Decker

Outlook: Seneca seems to grow confidence each season under coach Dave Frank. The Bobcats ended the 2012 season with three wins in their final four games, including a 21-20 shocker over Class A powerhouse West Middlesex. Seneca limited North East to 14 points and held Youngsville and Harbor Creek to six points each in the second half of the season. The Bobcats have come a long way and shouldn’t be a team that other teams sleep on. Seneca has the right system in place and now needs players to step forward and take control. The Bobcats had 13 players carry the ball at least once last fall and need a running back or two to emerge as their primary backs. Seneca might not be able to win the region title just yet but keep an eye on the Bobcats as they could hang around for the final playoff spot in Region 4.

Seneca has most of its offense back this season but the Bobcats will need a running back to step up. Luke Muye graduated in the spring after rushing for 628 yards and five touchdowns last season. He also caught eight passes for 44 yards and leaves a big hole in the backfield. Seneca is also without lineman Trevor Beiter, who was a captain as a senior. Kamron Brace, an all-region second-team lineman, is back to anchor the offensive line along with Scott Groenendaal and Jason Brown. Brown was injured in the second week of the season last fall and finally recovered in the offseason. Mike Gibbens is also back from injury. He scored a touchdown in Week 1 and was the feature back before an injury sidelined him for the season. Bruce Dunn stepped up at quarterback last season to lead the Bobcats to three wins in last four games of the year. He ran for two touchdowns, and threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns. Davyn Wettekin brings experience back at running back and Jaime Sommers is a top returning wide receiver. Wettekin ran for 162 yards and Sommers caught seven passes for 101 yards and one touchdown. Adam Fish was only a freshman last year but ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns. He could be part of a young group that steps up and contributes this season, including linemen Sam LaRoche, Noah Runser, Brandon Libra and skill position players Chris Hibbler and Cody Pregler. The Seneca defense started playing much better in the second half last fall.

After allowing 206 points through the first five games of the season, the Bobcats allowed 81 in the final five games, which included Corry, North East and West Middlesex. Seneca lost Muye, its second-leading tackler, to graduation along with terrific pass rusher Jake Wittman and Beiter. Wittman was voted to the all-region second team, but Seneca returns second-team linebacker Zach Muye. Groenendaal provides depth on the defensive line, while Sommers is a playmaker on defense. Jason Brown is back at linebacker, while Gibbens, Brace and Ian Moore could be important on the defensive line. Ryan Berti is also a player to watch at defensive back. Seneca has some holes to fill but the confident defense could be much-improved this season.

Schedule
August
30 Cochranton 7
September
6 at Northwestern* 7
13 at Fort LeBoeuf* 7
20 Girard* 7
27 Fairview* 7
October
4 Corry* 7
11 at Youngsville 7
18 at Harbor Creek* 7
25 North East* 7
November
1 at West Middlesex 7
*Region 4 games

–Tom Reisenweber

 

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