40 Teams in 40 Days – Day 11 – Tamaqua (11)
Conference: Anthracite Football League
Nickname: Blue Raiders
Coach: Sam Bonner
2012 Record: 10-1
Returning Starters – Offense: Jr. TE Trevor Skripko; Sr. OT Cody Houser; Sr. OG Nick Coccio; Jr. C Devon Murphy; Sr. QB Nate Edmonds; Sr. RB Tyler Hope; Jr. FB Tyler Skripko; Jr. RB/FB Ernie Shilko; Sr. ATH Dustin Vandermartin
Returning Starters – Defense: Sr. DL Nick Coccio; Sr. DT Cody Houser; Jr. DE Tyler Skripko; Sr. OLB Tyler Hope; Jr. ILB Trevor Skripko; Sr. CB Dustin Vandermartin
Special Teams: “Dustin Vandermartin will be our punter this year. He has experience at punting. He punted for us his freshman year and broke his toe his sophomore year and didn’t punt. So we feel we are solid there. Adam Frantz returns at long snapper. Vandermartin will be the extra point guy as well as our kickoff guy. Tyler Hope and Vandermartin will be the return guys.”
Top Newcomers: Sr. OL Dylan VanBuskirk; So. RB/LB Collin Moyer; Sr. OLB Adam Frantz
How’s your offensive line look?
“We have three of the five returning lineman back. Our starting left tackle Cody Houser is back. We have back Nick Coccio. He is our left guard. We have our center back and he is Devon Murphy. The other two spots are up in the air. One of the guys battling for that spot is a transfer from Pottsville. His name is Dylan VanBuskirk. He is a big kid, 6-foot-5, 265-pounds. He is projected at the other tackle spot. There are three players battling for the guard spot. We have Trevor Skripko back at tight end.”
You have experience at quarterback. Talk about your quarterback?
“Nate Edmonds is back at quarterback. He’s a big kid and can run and throw the ball. He is about 6-foot-5, 220-pounds. Edmonds broke the school’s record with 18 touchdown passes last year. He threw for 1,152 yards.”
How about your running game?
“Our big guy returns. He is Tyler Hope. He had a big year for us last year. He averaged about 10-yards per carry. He played a little fullback and tailback for us last year. Tyler Skripko is our fullback. Trevor is his twin brother. He started half the year for us at fullback. He is more of a blocker for us, but he does get his yardages. A guy that will give us some depth is Ernie Shilko. Dustin Vandermartin was a receiver for us last year. We are looking at doing what we did with Dalton Nunemacher last year, with him. We want to get him involved in the running game. He has breakaway speed. Collin Moyer will be in the mix at running back too.”
How do your receivers look?
“We have Dustin Vandermartin back at receiver. He will be playing more at the flanker position than the split end position this year. He averaged 31 yards per catch last year. Senior Austin Miorelli will add depth.”
How’s your defensive line?
“We lost some kids on the line. But we have back Nick Cioccio, he played end and tackle for us last year. I am looking to put Cody Houser in at tackle. The big guy we have coming back is Tyler Skripko. He started defensive end for us last year.”
How’s your linebackers look?
“We have back Trevor Skripko who started inside linebacker. We have back Tyler Hope, he stared outside linebacker for us. We are looking at Collin Moyer to play inside linebacker. The other outside linebacker who did real well for us on special teams is Adam Frantz. He is also our long snapper. Ernie Shilko and will add depth.”
How does your secondary look?
“Dustin Vandermartin is back at corner. Mike Kelly is the other corner. Ernie Shilko adds depth at safety.”
What is your key on offense?
“We have some depth. Nate had a good junior year and he needs to progress. We are hoping to spread people out and try and take advantage of our athleticism.”
What is your strength on defense?
“The Skripko brothers. Those two guys have been playing since they were freshman. One on the d-line and one in the middle. They have a lot of experience. We miss the big guy up front. It’s important we are aggressive and fly to the football. We are hoping Vandermartin is a playmaker for us on defense and on special teams.”
You are coming off your school’s first undefeated and untied 10-0 season in school history and also claimed the program’s first Anthracite League championship. Are you preparing any differently?
“Coming off a big season is great. But at the same time that was last year and every year is different. You continue to do a one game at a time approach. We let the kids know that. Just because you had success last year doesn’t mean you will this year. They have to work just as hard as last year and no one is going to roll over for us. We won’t be sneaking up on anybody.”
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