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2022 Team Preview: Shenandoah Valley Blue Devils (11)

Written by: on Thursday, August 18th, 2022. Follow David Mika on Twitter.


Head Coach: Ed Moran-3rd Season (3-16)

Assistant Coaches:
Noah Allegretta
Joe Alshefski
Dave Bench
Zach Bitting
Frank Drozal
Mike Elchisak
Rick Jones
Joe Kayes
Al Matakonis
Gerald New

Team Name: Shenandoah Valley Blue Devils

2021 Record: 2-7 (2-2 Sch.-Col Division)

District: District 11

Class: AA

League: Colonial-Schuylkill League, Blue Division

Key Starters lost:
Brian Dunne DE/TE
Owen Kosar QB/DB
Daymein Rush DT
Joe Vevasis WR/FS

Offensive Starters Returning: (9)
Sr. WR Erick Hernandez 6-0 170
Sr. T Juan Ruiz 5-9 220
Sr. RB Hunter Teter 5-9 190
Sr. G Lucas Zelinsky 5-11 210
Jr. G Kelvyn Cordero 5-8 200
Jr. C Mike Diehl 5-10 240
Jr. QB Ben Dempster 5-10 170
Jr. TE/ATH Alex Kozlosky 5-10 180
Jr. WR Nick Ryan 6-1 180

Defensive Starters Returning: (7)
Sr. OLB Erick Hernandez 6-0 170
Sr. DE Hunter Teter 5-9 190
Sr. DT Lucas Zelinsky 5-11 210
Sr. OLB Zach Slater 5-8 180
Jr. S Ben Dempster 5-10 170
Jr. MLB Alex Kozlosky5-10 180
Jr. FS Nick Ryan 6-1 180

Special Team Starters Returning: (2)
Jr. P Ben Dempster
Sr. LS Lucas Zelinsky

Key Newcomers:
JR. TE/DE Ben Mentusky 5-10 170
FR. WR/DB Anthony Hernandez 5-8 160,

2021 Returning Player Stats:
Jr. WR/DB Nick Ryan
34 catches
577 YDS
17.0 YPR
62 Tackles

Jr. MLB Alex Kozlosky
127 Tackles
2 FR

2022 Outlook: 

Offense: “The 2022 Blue Devils will feature a lot of familiar faces, but with several players taking on new roles. The Devils will be challenged to replace the duo of QB Owen Kosar and Joe Vevasis. Kosar led the Devils’ offense for the last two seasons and threw for 1,441 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Vevasis led all of District XI last season in receptions and set a school record with 66 receptions last season. Vevasis also led the team with 7 touchdowns, as Kosar’s favorite target.”

“Taking over for Kosar, will be former running back Ben Dempster, who the Devils believe will bring a new component to the offense with his athleticism and running ability. When Dempster drops back to pass, he will have one of the area’s top receivers to throw to in Jr. Nick Ryan. Ryan was a dynamic playmaker in 2021, averaging 17.0 yards per catch and providing the Devils with a deep threat. A mismatch for anyone that lines up against him, Ryan will be expected to be the Devils’ big-play threat, and lead the Devils’ offense. Joining Ryan in the receiving core will be Sr. Erick Hernandez who will be returning to his role from the 2020 season, and athlete So. Jeremy Thomas, who the Devils expect to be a major contributor with his strength and athletic ability.”

“Up-front the Devils have improved over the last two seasons, and return four experienced linemen to anchor the offense. The Devils will depend heavily on the returning Jr. Center Mike Diehl, Sr. Guard Lucas Zelinsky, and Jr. G Kelvyn Cordero, who received the team’s best lineman award in 2021. The Devils will depend heavily on Sr. Hunter Teter to provide speed and power from the running back position. The Devils feel that Teter, a 3-year starter at running back, can be one of the league’s best backs if they can provide him with the running room.”

Defense: “The Devils will return several key players from an improved defensive squad in 2021. Taking over for former Defensive Coordinator Dave Shiffer, who left to become Pine Grove Area’s Head Coach, will be new Defensive Coordinator Zach Bitting. Bitting has coached multiple positions for the Devils, has a great rapport with his players, and will bring a new level of intensity to the defensive side of the ball. The biggest challenge for the Devils and Bitting will be replacing All-State Defensive Back Joe Vevasis, who led the team with an astounding 150 tackles last season.”

“Leading Bitting’s defense will be Jr. MLB Alex Kozlosky. Kozlosky was second on the team in tackles last season with 127, and is an aggressive linebacker who the Devils will depend on to be a leader and playmaker. Kozlosky will be the defensive field general, and the Devils will depend on his High Football IQ. In the trenches, the Devils will depend heavily on Sr.’s Lucas Zelinsky and Hunter Teter. Zelinsky is the strongest player on the team and will anchor the interior, while Teter is expected to use his high motor to secure the edge.”

“In the secondary, the Devils will be led by Jr.’s Ben Dempster and Nick Ryan. Dempster will move outside to the corner, while Ryan will drop back to the safety position. Ryan who posted 62 tackles last season, is the Devils’ best returning tackler and is expected to fill the role vacated by Vevasis.”

Special Team: “The Devils return 3-year Senior Long Snapper Lucas Zelinsky and emerging Punter Ben Dempster. Dempster improved as the Devil’s Punter last season and looks to be one of the league’s top punters this season. The Devils will need to find a kicker this season after the departure of Owen Kosar, who kicked for the last two seasons”

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