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40 Teams in 40 Days – Day 31 – North Schuylkill (11) – Small School Team # 5

Written by: on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014. Follow David Mika on Twitter.


north_schuylkillOffensive Preview:

Bobby Grigas returns at quarterback where he passed for over 1,100 yards and a total of 16 touchdowns.

“Bobby is a very athletic kid and moves around the pocket very well. He has a very strong arm. He got injured and missed the first two games last year. That injury plagued him the whole year. He’s healthy and bigger than he was last year. So, he’s ready.”

Look for Bobby to throw the ball more this season.

“Last year we were a triple option team, but knowing that Bobby can throw caused us to put some more passing plays in. He’s a kid that can make a lot of throws. He can do a three step or five step where he has to make some reads from there. If nothing is open he isn’t afraid to tuck it and run.”


The Spartans return two running backs and a fullback from last year’s team. They are running backs John Rupinski and Richard Zahodnick and Major Jordan returns at fullback.

“They all started games last year for us. Rupinski has good breakaway speed. Zahodnick started one game last year as a freshman. He’s a very athletic kid and will play some tailback and receiver at times. Major is a very good blocker.”


The strength on the offense is the line. The Spartans return a lot of experience and depth at the offense line.

“Last year we had guys rotating in. We had some injuries and some of these kids have game experience. We have six kids that played a lot last year for us.”

Senior Brett Budwash returns at center.

“This is his third year starting there. He did a fantastic job last year. He’s the one making all the calls.”

Nathan Gadinski returns at offensive guard. He’s a third-year starter. The other guard is CJ Steinhilber.

The tackles are Jordan Dzicek and Dane Tarantelli.

“Jordan is a two-year starter. Dane played some center, guard and some tackle last year. He played some tight end for us too. He played a lot of positions for us. He may play some tight end this year.”

Joe Costa and Paul Dean add depth.


Tevin Murray returns at wide receiver. He averaged 20-yards a catch last year for the Spartans.

“He did a fantastic job. He’s a tall target standing at 6-foot-6. He runs very well and knows how to find the open areas. We can throw the ball high and let him go get it. We’re going to take advantage of his height.”

They have two other receivers to keep an eye on. Ryan Mazeika and Jordan Marlow are those guys.

“Ryan played some last year. He’s a nice sized kid and a very good blocker. He has sure hands and runs good routes. Jordan played some receiver and slot last year. He ran the ball for us last year. He can do it all and is an outstanding blocker.”


Defense Preview:

On the defensive line the Spartans return four guys with lots of playing time from last year.

“We run a four man front. We will have a nose and a tackle to go with the ends.”

Both of those guys are seniors, Nathan Gadinski at defensive tackle and senior Paul Dean at nose guard.

“They’re both leaders. They both are outstanding, but are two different style players. Paul is 5-foot-10, 290-pounds and plugs the holes. He runs extremely well for his size. Nathan is 260-pounds and moves extremely well. He has a great nose for the ball. He gets to the football extremely fast.”

Dane Tarantelli is one of the guys at defensive end.

“Dane has good leverage and is a big strong kid.”

Brent Runge and Jeno Schicatano are other guys to watch.


At linebacker they have three guys returning and they are CJ Steinhilber, Major Jordan and Richard Zahodnick.

“The two inside linebackers are Major Jordan and CJ Steinhilber. Last year as a freshman he led the team in tackles. He’s a kid already being recruited by bigger schools. He’s 6-foot-1, 200-pounds who can move and has great instincts. CJ played some end and linebacker last year. He’s one of our more physical football players. He runs well and is a nice sized kid.”

Richard Zahodnick started some games last year and is the outside linebacker. Ryan Mazeika and Jesse Wetzel are the three kids playing outside backer.

“Richard is smart. He has great football instincts and is very athletic. Ryan and Jesse are hard workers. They have been very dedicated in the offseason and learned our defensive scheme. Because of that they made themselves better football players.”


In the secondary they have a pair of juniors coming back. They are Pat Gownley at free safety and Jordan Marlow at defensive back.

“Pat is the quarterback of our defense and he makes all the calls. He’s very important in our defense. He first started at line backer and than moved to the free safety position. He defends the run as much as he does in the passing game. He’s a guy that is going to make a lot of tackles.”

“Jordan is a hard worker and knows the defense. He’s always in the right position.”

Bobby Grigas will be the other corner.

“He’s very athletic and is a cover guy.”


Special Teams Preview:

Richard Zahodnick, Jordan Marlow and a few other guys they are looking at in camp will do the kick and punt return duties.

Tevin Murray does the kick offs and Bobby Grigas will be doing the extra points, field goals and he might do some of the punting.

Jordan Dzicek and Major Jordan will be the long snappers.


Head Coach: Wally Hall

2013 Record: 8-4

2014 Schedule

Key Starters Lost: (7)


Offensive Players Returning: (12)

Sr.Nathan Gadinski OG

Sr. Brett Budwash C

Sr. Joe Costa OT

Sr. Paul Dean OT

Sr. Jordan Dzicek OT

Sr. John Rupinski RB

Jr. Bobby Grigas QB

Jr. Tevin Murray WR

Jr. CJ Steinhilber OG

Jr. Dane Tarantelli TE/OL

Soph. Major Jordan FB

Soph Richard Zahodnick RB


Defensive Players Returning: (8)

Sr. Nathan Gadinski DT

Sr. Paul Dean DT/NG

Jr. Pat Gownley FS

Jr. Jordan Marlow DB

Jr. CJ Steinhilber ILB/DE

Jr. Dane Tarantelli DE

Soph. Major Jordan ILB

OLB. Richard Zahodnick


Key Newcomers: Sr. Tyler Briel OG/OT/DT, Sr. Chris Karlonis WR/DB, Sr. Richard Korn WR/DB, Sr. Ryan Mazeika WR/OLB, Sr. Brent Runge OG/DB, Sr. Jesse Wetzel Ath/OLB, Jr. Ethan Shumaker OT/DT, Soph. Bobby Wagner ATH/DB, Soph. Geno Schicatano OG/DT

D1 (FBS & FCS) Prospects: Sr. Nathan Gadinski-DT.  Soph Major Jordan FB/LB

Key Stats: Bobby Grigas Quarterback- COMP 50-ATT 114 – 1,161 Yards Passing- 10 Touchdown Passes- 6 Rushing Touchdowns, Soph. Major Jordan 58 Carries-260 Yards Rushing- 4.5 YPC.  Soph. Richard Zahodnick 33 Carries 167 Yards- 5.1 YPC, Jr. Tevin Murray 20 Receptions-Yards 396-20 Yards Per Reception.

2014 Outlook:  Very strong opponents the first three weeks (Tamaqua, Blue Mountain, Lehighton).  With the addition of Blue Mountain and Lehighton, the Anthracite League will be at it’s strongest since it was established.  Strong, physical league means we need to be at our best from the start.

The number of offensive lineman returning need to pave the way for our run attack and our ability to pass the ball.

Defense needs to be at its top every Friday to face the many versatile offensive schemes.

May be a year of special teams with the number of solid teams in the AFL.

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