40 Teams in 40 Days – Day 5 – Palisades (11)
This offseason, there is a battle going on at the quarterback position. Palisades does return their starting quarterback from last year. His name is Nick Sanders. But, there has been some good competition coming from junior Austin Krauss.
“We won’t make a decision until we see both players perform in our scrimmages.”
Nick brings back experience from the past two year and is the front-runner. He started 12 games last year and four games his sophomore year. He has some playoff experience and went to the District 11 Class 2A championship game last year against Catasauqua. Nick is a good game manager and can throw or run.
“That is a whole lot of experience coming back at the quarterback position and not many teams would bring back a kid that has started in 16 games.”
Both kids are fast, but Austin brings a little more speed at the quarterback spot. Austin is the fastest kid on the team. Where Nick has the experience, Austin has only thrown three passes. He has worked hard and is pushing Nick for the starting job.
“Which ever one isn’t the quarterback will be a slot receiver or maybe play a little running back.”
The Pirates return their feature running back and one of the top backs in their league, Christian Gretzinger. Last year he set the school record with 1,580 yards rushing. He’s a tough kid who likes to run between the tackles. He’s a guy that can bounce it out if he has to. This year is for him to get out in the edges a little more and out in space to make plays.
“He had a great year last year running the ball and was tremendous at protecting the ball. I am very proud of him. I don’t know what the numbers are, but I know it was rare when he lost the ball.”
The starting fullback from the past two years graduated and that position is up for grabs. The backup tailback is up for grabs too.
“Those two spots we’re looking at this offseason. We will know better when we see some kids in scrimmages.”
Guys that will battle for those spots could be one of the kids who aren’t the quarterback. Nick Bord is a guy that is battling for playing time at the fullback spot. He started at tight end last year.
Palisades has most of their wide receivers returning from last year. Devin Ramsden led the team in catches last year and he’s back.
“Devin has had a good offseason and he’s going to be a threat for us. He will be our go to guy.”
Blake Cassalia started last year and look for him to get more involved in the offense this year. One of the quarterbacks will get some receiving time too.
There are two other guys that will catch the ball this year. They are Kyle Maloney and Levi Wilkins who is a first year player.
The five guys on the offensive line this year are OT Will Sadow, OG Wyatt Schilling, C Josh Welsh, OG Trevor Jesiolowski and OT Ryan Maloney.
Out of those five guys Wyatt Schilling is the only returning starter. The other four guys have either played some on the offensive line or defense line last year.
“They have all seen a little time. So it’s not like its brand new. It’s just because that didn’t start.”
Matt Barnhart might rotate in at times this year.
“If we’re doing this right on offense our running game will be our strength. In years past, we may have passed more than run. We will play to our strengths.”
Wyatt Schilling returns as a defensive lineman. Will Sadow played in a few games last year and he’s back. Also Ryan Maloney, Trevor Jesiolowski, played some on the line. Trevor started a couple of games last year on the line.
“We have players that have some experience coming back on the defensive line. Wyatt and Trevor played well for us last year and should be the leaders on the line.”
Nick Bord started at defensive tackle last year. He may start at linebacker this year. Christain Gretzinger will play linebacker and start this year.
There’s one position left and the other two guys will battle for that spot. They are Jared Scott and Matt Barnhart.
“I expect all four of those guys to see some time this year.”
There’s a ninth grader that might see some time and his name is Pat Lodwig.
“I don’t play a lot of ninth graders ever, but this one might get on the field this year.”
The secondary will be the strength of the defense this fall. They return most of the players from last year.
The two safeties returning are Devin Ramsden and Blake Cassalia. Devin had four interceptions last year.
Austin Krauss started at one corner.
The fourth spot most likely will be Nick Sanders. Other guy that may see time at corner is Kyle Maloney. Levi Wilkins will see some time at safety.
“We have experience coming back at the defensive line and secondary. I thought we had a good secondary last year and we have three of the four starters back. I am expecting big things from the D-line this year too.”
Special Teams Preview:
Devin Ramsden and a few other guys in the mix for kick returns. Ramsden and Chirtian Gretzinger will due punt returns.
Doug Haydoch and a ninth grader Jared Colletti are battling for kick and punt duties.
Wyatt Schilling did the long snapping on punt returns. Tyler Marsh will be the other guy that may do long snaps.
Head Coach: Kevin Ronalds
2013 Record: 8-4
Key Starters Lost: J.D. Donnelly and J.T. Lynch
Offensive Players Returning: (5) ATH Austin Krauss, RB Christian Gretzinger, WR Devin Ramsden, WR Blake Cassalia, OG Wyatt Schilling
Defensive Players Returning: (6) LB Nick Bord, DL Wyatt Schilling, LB Christian Gretzinger, S Devin Ramsden, S Blake Cassalia, CB Austin Krauss
Key Newcomers: LB Pat Lodwig
2014 Outlook: I think we’re a similar team like last year. It’s going to come down to staying healthy. Our numbers aren’t great and we can’t afford to lose even just a few players.
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