40 Teams in 40 Days – Day 21- Berks Catholic (3) – Small School Team #10
The last two years, quarterback Patrick Causa has rotated with Matt Kase. This year he’s the main man at quarterback. In limited duty last year he passed for almost 700 yards and rushed for over 200.
“He did a really good job last year running the wing-t. He’s smart, works hard and carries out their fakes in our offense. This year he has separated himself from the other quarterbacks and he’s the leader. He can make the throws if we need him too.”
Gehrig Vogel and Brian Tanis are battling for backup quarterback.
It’s no secret that the Saints are going to rotate multiple kids in each game at the running back position. In their offense it’s about team first.
“They all get touches and block for each other when they aren’t carrying the ball. It’s a team effort. We have five main guys rotating in this year.”
Pop Lacey is leading the way. Last year he rushed for over 900 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“Pop is a very tough runner and plays halfback in our wing-t offense. He runs the ball well and most of the passes he will catch from the backfield. He does a good job catching the ball. In the wing-t if your not getting the ball, you’re blocking for someone else. Pop is a very good blocker. He can do all three things a wing-t running back has to do.”
Also returning after an excellent frosh season is Marcus Wilson. He rushed for over 500 yards and eight touchdowns last year.
“We rotated fullbacks every series last year and he was one of them. He was a freshman last year and we rotated him with a sophomore every other play last year.”
The other fullback returning is Todd Reedy. He rushed for over 500 yards and six touchdowns.
The guy that is going to start at the wing is Isaac Lutz. He had playing time last year at running back.
“He’s going to take the place of Cooper Kutz who was our starting wing for two-years. Isaac brings a speed dimension to our backfield. He’s very athletic and can catch the ball.”
The fifth guy rotating in is Joe Stiles.
“He will be the guy that we rotate to give the wing and the half a break every other series. So one series, Joe will come in for Isaac at the wing and the next series Isaac comes back in and Joe will go in for Pop at halfback and the next series it’s back to Pop and Isaac.”
The only returning starter on the offensive line is center Phil Bennethum.
“He started at center last year for us and did a great job. He will be our leader on the line. He got bigger and stronger in the offseason.”
The starting left tackle is Dalton Hoagland.
“He hasn’t played since his sophomore year. He’s ready to go his senior year and he ‘s a big kid. He’s 6-foot-2, 255-pounds.”
The right tackle position is up for grabs and they have a bunch of guys battling.
“Will Mancuso and Tynan DeShields are the two guys competing for the right tackle spot.”
Another kid at tackle that might rotate in is sophomore Owen Dubble.
Eric Bodolus leads the way at the one guard spot.
“Eric Bodolus played some guard last year for us. He will start at the one guard spot this year.
The other guard spot is open for competition this camp.
“The other spot is open. It could be Tommy Ferguson who played fullback for us last year. We’re toying with moving him to guard. Josh Auman or Mike Fey will be in the mix.”
In the wing-t offense a lot of the passes are going to the running backs.
“So, a lot of times our running backs are our leading receivers on our team.”
Pop Lacey is the leading wide receiver coming back with 13 catches for 297 yards.
John Reedy is going to be the starting tight end.
“He’s a big target at 6-foot-3. He has been waiting in the wings behind four-year starter Pietro Gaspari. Now it’s his turn and he’s ready. He has very good hands and nice speed for a tight end. He’s a good blocker.”
At split end they are looking at freshman Cooper Lutz.
“I told my staff that I want to commit an athlete to that spot. I want a guy that can catch the ball and break some tackles and make plays. We need a guy that can stretch the field for us vertically. Cooper has looked good this spring.”
Tanner Pajakinas is going to get some looks at split end along with Dan Gray.
On the defensive line the Saints lost their two defensive ends and the one tackle from last years team. They run a 4-2-5 defense. The only returning linemen from last year is defensive tackle Tynan DeShields who had 48 total tackles and four sacks last year and Will Mancuso who rotated in.
“This year DeShields and Mancuso will be the two starting tackles.”
Todd Reedy will be a starting defensive end and Dalton Hoagland will be the other end.
John Reedy will be the fifth guy rotating in. Nick Kuzma and Michael Tome will add depth to the line.
“The only experience we really have coming back is DeShields and Mancuso. Todd Reedy is moving from linebacker to defensive end and we will have to see how that works out. Dalton sat out all last year and I am anxious to see how he does.”
The strength of the Saints defense is at linebacker.
The first guy is Matt Reinhart. He had 34 total tackles and one interception last year.
“He started for us as a sophomore. Last year he missed the first five games due to injury and came back for two games and got hurt and missed the rest of the season. We are really looking forward to his return at inside linebacker this year.”
The other inside linebacker will be Eric Bodolus. Eric had 85 total tackles, eight tackles for loss and one sack last year.
“He was a defensive end as a freshman for us and last year because of the injuries at linebacker we had to move him back to inside linebacker. He brings a lot of experience there.”
Pop Lacy will be the weak side safety. He was the leading tackler last year with 111 total tackles. He had four sacks and one interception last year.
Tom Ferguson who started at inside linebacker last year, is getting moved to strong side safety. Michael Fey adds depth and can come in at either the weak side or strong safety position.
Joe Stiles could play linebacker, but look for him to get some playing time in the secondary.
In the secondary the Saints will have to replace all the starters who graduated from last year’s team.
“The safety and both corners have graduated.”
Isaac Lutz will be the starting free safety. He had three interceptions last year. Joe Stiles will be the one corner and Dan Gray will get a look at the other corner spot.
“Isaac had a little experience at safety last year. The other guys don’t really have varsity experience, but played on the JV level.”
Brian Tanis and Tanner Pajakinas will be in the mix.
Special Teams Preview:
Patrick Causa was one of the punt returners from last year.
“Because he is the main guy at quarterback this year he won’t be back there doing punt returns as much, only in big games.”
Isaac Lutz will be one of the guys doing punt and kick returns. Pop Lacey will be another guy.
Patrick Causa did the punting last year and will be the leader to do it again this year.
Their kicker graduated from last year.
“We won’t know until camp starts. We have some soccer kids trying out for that position.”
Head Coach: Rick Keeley
2013 Record: 14-1 (6-0 Conference)
Key Starters Lost: QB Matt Kase, RB Chris Warren, RB Cooper Kutz, DL Pietro Gaspari.
Offensive Players Returning: (8)
QB Patrick Causa
RB Pop Lacey
FB Marcus Wilson
FB Todd Reedy
RB Isaac Lutz
RB Joe Stiles
C Phil Bennethum
OG Eric Bodolus
Defensive Players Returning: (6)
DT Tynan DeShields
DT Will Mancuso
LB Matt Reinhart
LB Eric Bodolus
S Pop Lacey
SS Tom Ferguson
2014 Offensive Outlook:
We lost 24 seniors and we still have good kids coming back. We had only one player that played both ways full time last year. Everyone else was either a one-way player or a one and a half way player.
The offensive line is going to be athletic this year. They are all going to be able to run and we’re going to be strong up front. On defense the linebackers are our strength.
I think we can be very successful. The strength of our team is our speed. All of our guys can run, even our lineman. I think we have a good program and even though we graduated a lot of players, kids coming up through our program are just waiting there turn to be plug-in.
We have a good program because of our kids and coaches.
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
Share This Post: