40 teams in 40 days – Day 10: Riverside (2)
In 1997 Riverside was a runner-up to Sharpsville. In 2010 Riverside had a 24-0 lead against Clairton early in the first half. But Clairton came back to win 36-30.
Getting to know the head coach
Before the 2011 season, Evan Prall took over as new head football coach. He replaced Harry Armstrong who resigned in March of 2011.
Prall played at West Scranton and was a standout at East Stroudsburg University.
Prall had 236 career receptions, 4,093 receiving yards and 50 touchdowns. He earned All-American honors at receiver.
The Vikings finished the 2011 season with a 7-5 record. They ended the season with a loss to Dunmore 28-0. But the very next week they played Dunmore again in the first round of Districts. Riverside stunned the undefeated Dunmore Bucks, 14-13.
Old Forge ended the Vikings season with a 47-6 win.
We sat down with Head Football Coach Evan Prall and talked to him about his team for the 2012 season?
Q & A with Riverside head football coach Evan Prall
How is your off-season going this summer?
I thought we had a pretty good off-season. This is going to be my second year as head coach and I am thankful for the opportunity.
This year I was able to be with the kids in the winter and spring. With everything that happened last year I didn’t get a chance to acclimate with the players until summer my first season.
I think having a full off-season is going to be good for our team.
Who do you have coming back on offense?
We are a spread multiple offense. We have nine backs on offense. We do change things up and we use what we feel is effective toward the other team’s defense.
We have experience coming back up front. We have four starters back. We have Mark Donaghey back. He is a big, strong kid. Tyler Armillay is a two-year starter and all-conference at center. We have Ed Martz and Kevin Jones who started at guard and tackle for us. We also have Jim Hoban. He is going to be a junior. He started a few games for us last season.
At tight end we have Michael Loftus back. He is 6-foot-4, 220-pounds.
We have players up front that will help us.
We graduated our 1,000-yard runner. We are fortunate this year, we have a couple of good athletes coming out for us, a couple of basketball players in Jaron Vishnesky and Nico Munley. We are moving them around to either running back or receiver.
We have David Sweetman returning. He is a speedster and runs a 4.5 40. He holds the school record in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash.
Jim Tucker and Chris Reed are back and were big contributors for us.
We have our quarterback back, Nicholas Dranchak who is about 1,200 yards away from breaking the school’s all-time passing record.
Who do you have coming back on defense?
I think we will be pretty good upfront. We have eight players back.
We have both our defensive ends back. We have Mike Loftus and Mark Donaghey. We have Tyler Armillary in the middle. They are all great kids and great athletes.
At linebacker we are solid. We moved some kids around last year and Tommy Lavelle will be a junior.
We have David Sweetman returning. He is an all-regional defensive back. He is the general for us back there.
We have some guys rotating at corner, Jimmy Tucker and Chris Reed.
We have back our starter corner, Jason Ford from last year who broke his leg on the opening kickoff during week two. ]
He is a guy that can make plays.
We have some young guys that will battle for spots.
Al Pucilowski came on for us and did a good job for us.
Who do you have coming back on special teams?
At punter is Nick Dranchak. Matt Lucas looks good at kicker and is working hard during the off-season. Sweetman will be our kick returner. He had two kickoffs for touchdowns.
How is your league this year?
We play in the Lackawanna Conference Division two. I will tell you one thing right now. There is going to be a lot of parity this year. This division is up for anyone.
Mid-Valley moved into this division. Western Wayne returns a lot and they beat us last year. Honesdale has a quarterback that made plays all year for them. Lakeland is always traditionally a good team. Dunmore is going to be real good this year.
I think our league is going to be competitive from top to bottom this year. Any Friday night anyone can beat anyone.
When we get to District play, Old Forge is the defending district two champion. They are good this year. Lackawanna Trail is another team to watch.
To have a successful season you have to?
We need to have a good off-season and that’s what we are doing right now. We went down to Bucknell for a 7 on 7 and we did well.
This year our kids are used to our system. They know what needs to be done.
We expect big things out of Nicholas Dranchak. If we stay together as a team and we believe in each other, we can have a successful season.
Riverside opens home against West Scranton on August 31st
40 teams in 40 days
Day 1 – Mount Carmel Area (4)
Day 2 – Manheim Central (3)
Day 3 – Delaware Valley (2)
Day 4 – Southern Columbia (4)
Day 5 – Berwick Area (2)
Day 6 – Easton Area (11)
Day 7 – LaSalle (12)
Day 8 – Downingtown East (1)
Day 9 – Council Rock North (1)
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