40 Teams in 40 Days – Day 11 – Bristol (1)
One of the biggest changes going into the 2014 season for Bristol is moving up a class to AA.
Quarterback Trevor Leone is gone to graduation and backup quarterback RJ Collins takes over the reigns as a starter quarterback. RJ got some playing time last year including in the playoffs. He’s more of a pocket passer and may run some.
“Last year our starting quarterback got hurt in the district playoff game right before halftime and RJ came in ran the offense and up we won 19-6.”
When you talk about the Bristol running game, you start with All-State running back Donte Simmons. Last year Simmons rushed for over 1,900 yards and 28 touchdowns and averaged almost nine yards a carry. Look for the Warriors to look for mismatches and split Donte out at times.
“The past couple of years, Donte didn’t have to play both ways too much. This year he’s going to play a lot on defense. We know Don’s athleticism is going to speak for it self and we know he can play both ways. He will be our leader this year.”
A guy that might get some carries and give Donte a breather is freshman Eric Bell.
“He’s a similar runner like Donte. We’re expecting a lot out of him as well and we think he will give Donte couple of spells on offense here and there and contribute.”
Returning on the offensive line is left tackle Devon Adams. Senior Robert Jones returns at left guard. Robert Bryson is the center. Right guard will be Aaron Pulinario and Jeremiah Haywood is the right tackle.
“All these guys were either starters or played some last year.”
Bristol has a lot of experience returning at receiver with three guys back from last year’s team. The leader of the group is Kyle Slivka-Fralin.
“He’s a senior and all-league at receiver and defensive back.”
Aidan Coughlin is back at receiver.
“He was all-league as a safety and did a great job at receiver for us last year.”
Phil Krause is back and he played a lot in the slot position. He averaged over 13 yards a catch.
“Our quarterback is going to have a lot of experience receivers to throw to this fall.
Another freshman to keep an eye on is wide receiver Samir Brisdon.
“He’s a guy that were going to throw to and get him in open space. We have weapons at every position, it’s a matter of who you get the ball too.”
Robert Jones returns on the defensive line. Devon Adams and Jeremiah Haywood will play some D-Line this year. These guys are big and physical.
“There’s three big guys on the line and for a small school like us to have a opportunity to have three guys over 260 pounds, we’re thankful for that.
One question mark going into the season will be at the linebacker position.
“We need to have players step up this year at the linebacker position. We lost all of our linebackers from last year. We have some guys that will step in this year.”
Robert Bryson is one of those guys.
They are going to move their defensive end from last year to linebacker. His name is Anthony Jiminez.
“He’s a scrappy 5-foot-10 guy that will chase you down and hit you. He’s a tough guy.”
They have all but one defensive back returning from last year. Aidan Coughlin and Kyle Slivka-Fralin are returning players.
“Both these kids are all-league players and are quick.”
Phil Krause is going to step in and be the other defensive back and look for freshman Eric Bell to get some playing time.
“We do have experience on the defense and some depth. So we will be able to rotate guys in and keep guys fresh.”
Special Teams Preview:
Donte Simmons will again return kicks. Aidan Coughlin and Kyle Slivka-Fralin will be the other two guys returning kicks and punts.
“Those three guys have been around since their freshman year and have contributed at one point or another.”
Robert Bryson is the long snapper.
Nick Santana returns as the kicker.
Head Coach: Leo Plenski (3rd year 19-4)
2013 Record: 10-2
Key Starters Lost: QB Trevor Leone, WR/DB Tyriq Wilson, OL John Petro, LB Dylan Shamwell, TE Ryan Rigby, DE Derrick Jackson
Offensive Players Returning: (7)
Sr. Donte Simmons RB
Sr Kyle Slivka-Fralin WR
Sr. Aidan Coughlin WR
Sr. Devon Adams OT
Sr. Robert Jones OG
Sr. Jeremiah Haywood OT
So. Aaron Pulinario OG
Defensive Players Returning: (5)
Sr. Isaiah Carroll LB
Sr. Robert Jones DL
Sr. Anthony Jimenez LB
Key Newcomers: Jr. RJ Collins QB, Fr. Samir Brisbon WR/LB, Fr. Eric Bell RB/DB
D1 (FBS & FCS) Prospects: Sr Donte Simmons RB
Key Stats: Returning All-State Donte Simmons (221 carries, 1933 yards and 28 touchdowns last season)
Also returning Jr. QB RJ Collins, who had seen limited action the past two seasons but helped the Warriors win the District 1 Class A title when QB Trevor Leone went down with an injury at halftime. Collins will have the opportunity to throw the ball to Sr. wide receiver’s Slivka-Fralin and Coughlin who combine for well over 1,000 yards receiving
2014 Outlook: The Warriors will be very senior heavy on the football field this season. Coach Plenski expects every senior on the roster to be able to contribute on at least one side of the ball.
With a veteran offensive and defensive line, the running attack led by All State RB Donte Simmons should click early, but many spots need to be replaced on the defensive side of the ball.
With such veteran leadership, the Warriors expect to compete for the BAL title and make it back to the PIAA State Playoffs for the third consecutive time… this time in class AA.
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