Summer Huddle – McDowell

   July 24, 2014 11:54 am    0

 

Tyler Hammond

Chris Larsen

Jake Tarasovitch

McDowell Trojans
Coach: Brad Orlando (1st season)
2013 overall record: 7-6
2013 region record: 4-1 (second)
2013 playoff results: Defeated Allderdice 49-19 and Mifflin County 16-10 in overtime in the PIAA District 6-8-9-10 subregion. McDowell then lost to Pittsburgh Central Catholic 48-7 in the PIAA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Jamie Szymczak, Eric Iavarone, Tyree Spearman, Cameron Spadacene, Tayhjal Williams, Andrew Hayes, Ethan Stark, J.J. Williams, Griffin Tevis, Scot Augustine, Luke Bailey, Tanner Decrapio, Paul Carpenter, Bryce Bone
Top returning players: Jake Tarasovitch, Chris Larsen, Fernando Frye, Chris Casella, Austin Becker, Jeremy Hermann, Tyler Hammond, Dane Eberle, Andrew Scheloske
Assistant coaches: Matt Melle, Ron Rudler, Aaron Slocum, Joe Magorien, Jim Skindell, Tim Campbell, Joe Wanson, Brian Ras, John Ferraro

For the team outlook and schedule, click below.

–Tom Reisenweber

Outlook: McDowell will head in a new direction this season with first-year head coach Brad Orlando, who brings the spread offense to the Trojans. He was the offensive coordinator at Cathedral Prep, which was one of the top Class AAA offenses in the state over the past few seasons. Orlando will have some experience back to work with, but McDowell was hit pretty hard by graduation with the loss of Jamie Szymczak, Eric Iavarone, Tyree Spearman, Cameron Spadacene, Tayhjal Williams, Andrew Hayes, Ethan Stark, J.J. Williams, Griffin Tevis, Scot Augustine, Luke Bailey, Tanner Decrapio, Paul Carpenter and Bryce Bone. Stark was named the all-district kicker and was voted to the all-region first team at kicker and punter, while Augstine was an all-district lineman and all-region first-team selection on the offensive and defensive lines. Bailey was a first-team linebacker, while Spearman was a first-team defensive back and all-district defensive back. Williams was voted to the all-region second team at tight end and defensive end, while Szymczak was voted to the all-region second team at all-purpose and defensive back. Bailey had 86 tackles and Williams had 56. Spearman led McDowell in rushing last fall with 626 yards and four touchdowns on 66 carries, while Szymczak had 62 carries for 422 yards and six touchdowns. Iavarone led the Trojans with 18 catches for 201 yards and three touchdowns followed by Szymczak with 11 catches for 168 yards and three touchdowns and Spearman with five catches for 100 yards and one touchdown. Tevis is another all-region loss as he was voted to the all-region second team on the offensive line.

With everything McDowell lost, the Trojans have plenty of athletes back to compete this season. Jake Tarasovitch, Chris Larsen, Fernando Frye, Chris Casella, Austin Becker, Jeremy Hermann, Tyler Hammond, Dane Eberle and Andrew Scheloske all return this season and Strong Vincent 700-yard back Jared Carlson has transferred to McDowell. Tarasovitch is an all-region first-team defensive back and will be counted on to lead the Trojans from the quarterback position. He threw for 562 yards and four touchdowns and he was second on the team with 547 yards rushing yards to go with nine touchdowns on 119 carries. Tarasovitch will be a key not only from a leadership standpoint but also learning a brand-new offense and running it with talented backs around him. Tarasovitch led McDowell with 93 tackles and Eberle, a second-team linebacker, had 83. McDowell returns a total of seven starters on offense with Larsen and Frye on the line and Casella and Herman at wide receiver. Becker and Hammond return at running back and make up a big-time backfield with Tarasovitch and Carlson. Hammond ran for 490 yards and six touchdowns on 91 carries, while Becker had 348 yards and two touchdowns on 78 carries. Herman caught five passes for 113 yards and one touchdown, and Casella had three catches for 100 yards and one touchdown. Larsen and Frye are back on the defensive line with Casella, Becker, Herman and Tarasovitch in the secondary. McDowell could also receive immediate contributions from seniors Casey Richardson (WR), Justin Siwiecki (OL/DL), Joe Wierzchowski (OL), Dan Jennings (WR), Chris DeRose (WR/DB), Omar Mahmoud (DB), juniors DeShawn McLaurin (WR/DB), Sean Teel (DB), Nick Bizzarro (OL), Mekhi Arvin (RB/DB), Matt Fish (WR/DB), Brandon Fox (WR/DB), Dan Dalleo (K/P) and sophomores Dede Szymczak (WR/DB), Ed Nientimp (WR/DB).

McDowell, once again, has a brutal schedule to deal with this fall. The Trojans open at Ohio powerhouse Canton McKinley before taking on another Ohio power in Lake Catholic. Both tests lead up to the Week 3 showdown against rival Cathedral Prep, a game which there will be no shortage of storylines. Mcdowell also travels to Orchard Park (N.Y.) and St. Ignatius (Ohio) as wel as host Austintown Fitch (Ohio). Another game to circle on the calendar will be Oct. 3 against General McLane. It will be a Region 6 game and preview of the District 10 Class AAAA championship game with the Lancers electing to play up this cycle. McDowell and McLane will play the D-10 championship right away this season with two subregionals to follow to get into the PIAA quarterfinals. McDowell was gutted by graduation, but that could turn out to be a good thing with a new coach and new system coming in. The Trojans have a solid group of returning players and if the team buys into Orlando and his system, McDowell could make a deep run this fall.

Schedule
August
29 at Canton McKinley (Ohio) 7
September
5 Lake Catholic (Ohio) 7
12 at Cathedral Prep* 7
19 at East* 7
27 at Orchard Park (N.Y.) 1
October
3 General McLane* 7
10 at St. Ignatius (Ohio) 7
17 at Strong Vincent* 7
24 Austintown Fitch (Ohio) 7:30
31 Central Tech* 7
*Region 6 game

Next up: Meadville

–Tom Reisenweber

 

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