40 teams in 40 days – Day 1: Mount Carmel Area (4)
Their wins are ranked number one in PA and fifth nationally.
Mount Carmel’s football team has captured the PIAA Class 2A title five times in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002 since the playoffs started in 1988.
In 2011 the Red Tornadoes went 12-2, losing to eventual state champion Lancaster Catholic 21-0.
But in 2012 Mount Carmel is gearing up for another big run to Hershey. We sat down with head football coach Carm DeFrancesco and broke down his team for the 2012 season.
Q & A with Mount Carmel head football coach Carm DeFrancesco
How is your off-season going this summer?
We have given are kids lots of breaks this summer. Last year we came out of the gates too quickly. We started in June real early and this year we have given them most of June off and we are hitting stride. It’s been a good off-season.”
Who do you have coming back on offense?
We lost two great running backs to graduation, gone is running back Meyrick Lamb who rushed for 1,353 yards and 17 touchdowns and fullback/linebacker Cody Shustack who rushed for 1,092 yards and 14 touchdowns.
We think the line is going to be a real strong point for us. I think the quarterback play in conjunction with the receivers are going to make us more balanced. What we have seen this summer, we can throw the ball.
The offense starts with Northwestern’s commit Eric Joraskie. This year Joraskie is moving from offensive lineman to tight end. Also returning on the offensive line is Mike Scicchitano who is a four-year starter at center. This year he is moving to tackle.
Seth Nicola, Jon Golazeski, Vinny Candelora, Gary Grayeski and Christian Kelley will anchor the line.
At receiver we think we have two of the best kids. Rob Varano moved from quarterback to wide receiver. Varano has the best hands on the team.
The other receiver is Elijah Duran who grew a couple of inches this year and is 6-foot-3, 185-pounds.
The key is going to be our tight ends. We are moving Joraskie to tight end. At the Division one combines he ran a 4.68 in the 40 and he is 6-foot-4, 265-pounds. The other tight end is 6-foot-2, 210-pound Tyler Kwiatkowski. We are going to run a lot of two tight end sets.
The field general going into the 2012 season is quarterback Zach Wasilewski. He took over at quarterback after the North Schuylkill game. We also have a young freshman Mike Farronato who is going to be a good one.
Who do you have coming back on defense?
We lost two good linebackers in Hynoski and Shustack and we are going to be inexperienced at the linebacker core. The defensive front is going to be solid and we have both ends coming back.
We think we are going to be much better in the secondary. Mike Gilger, Elijah Durn and Corey Langton return. We are putting Rob Varano at safety. What was our weakness last year could be one of our strengths this season.
Where we may have questions is going to be at linebacker.
But the defense overall is going to be real solid.
How about special teams?
We have a excellent punter with Varano. He is one of the best in our area. Langton does our kick offs and extra points. Luke Klingerman returns kickoff. Our key guys are the punter and kicker.
To have a successful season you have to?
Here is the key for us. We think we have tremendous talent. We have good kids.
But depth is going to be a problem for us. We’ve got to be lucky. If we get a couple of key guys hurt we are going to have some issues. If we stay healthy we are going to go deep.
One thing for sure is Friday Nights at the Silver Bowl will be the gathering place of choice for Mount Carmel faithfuls.
Mount Carmel opens home against Shikellamy on August 31st
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