WEEK 1 THURSDAY WRAP-UP
24 hours from now, most of the Week 1 PA football games
will be history. Christian DeFranco's blog entry
gives a summary of the local teams around Lansdale. Lakeland, FL is playing Central Catholic on Monday in the Friends of Coal Prep Classic. This Pennlive article
gives a nice summary of the recent Lakeland success. The Pennlive HS Football
forum has this write up of North Penn's key players:
NP plays more of a team game than most, so you don't often hear of a lot of big time players. That's a little surprising for a school the size of NP, but the head coach demands a "no stars" attitude with his team, and it's proved a winning formula. A lot of D1AA and D2 prospects, with the occasional D1 prospect popping up.
Top Returners for '08:
Tyler Smith (Sr) - RB/LB Strong rusher. Good Speed. Good hands out of the backfield. I anyone has real star potential, it's Mr. Smith
Ronnie Akins (Sr) - WR/DB Multi-purpose player. Very versatile. Strong receiver, and potentially a shut down corner.
Justin Davey (Sr) - QB Runs the offense well. More of a running threat than passer, but can get the ball into playmakers hands when he needs to.
Brandon McManus (Sr) - K/P Strong leg. Made a 55 yd FG last season. Consistently into the EZ on Kick offs. Booming punts with a lot of distance and hang time. A strong D1 recruit as either a place kicker or punter.
Anthony Taggart (Sr) - HB/LB Smart, instinctive player, with many talents. Played QB some last year when Justin Davey was injured. Tenaceous defender.
Sean Baldwin (Sr) - OL/DL Strong fundamental blocker. Can play anywhere on the O-line. He is the leader of the front line.
A bunch or other returning Senior starters, a few first time Sr. starters and a couple of underclassmen make up the rest of the Offense & Defense. A good mix of experience and new blood. They will need to gel quickly, with Liberty in week 1 and The Prep in week 3. I would expect that they will hit their full stride as the Suburban One Continental season starts in week 4. A solid playoff team with a lot of upside. Weeks 1-3 will give some indication of their potential.www.wnpv1440.com has a good preview of the team, as well as coverage of many of the upper Buxmont teams. Check them out. Kyle Berger & crew do a fine job down there.
Here are some more PennLive thoughts on North Penn-Liberty:
First off, as I sat down and thought about what I witnessed this pre-season...I have a couple things to say. I used to post predictions and scores before I actually gathered myself and thought about it.
North Penn has a very very large pickings in their school (I believe 3,850 students 9-12)...they have a pretty nice sized OL, and their skill position players are very good (Ronnie Akins being one)...his older brother was Kevin Akins...the starting RB on the state championship NP team (now a safety at Boston College). Among others...they will be a TALL order for the 'Canes. They didn't look GREAT against Hazleton. I heard it was a lot of early season problems...missed blocking assignments...penalties...no discipline. I'm sure Dick Beck being the solid coach he is...and former lineman at CB WEST and then a starting center at Temple...will have them READY.
Now Liberty, I watched them scrimmage State College over at BASD. I also heard they looked pretty good against Berwick. Anyways, State College moved the football 1/2 decently against the 'Canes. Looking at the offense SC runs it's a tough offense to defend...especially early and in a scrimmage. North Penn doesn't trick you...so if the 'Canes front lines...on both sides of the ball come to play...Liberty's LB's and secondary are good enough to help. North Penn again doesn't have the greatest passing attack...so stuffing their run is vital (like always). They have good speed at WR so they will throw a few fades to keep you honest...not a lot of tough routes!
Now Liberty has looked very disciplined which wasn't always the case. I believe this Liberty team has come together from what I've seen very well. Brader is so underrated at Rb, Gonzalez is Gonzalez (I just hope we don't burn him out), Street, West, & Olivo are very very athletic WR's. The offensive line seemed to do ENOUGH to give our athletes time to run and some lanes...
THIS WILL BE A SHOCK TO EVERYONE...and as everyone knows...I'm not here to gain brownie points. I think highly of Beck as a coach...but the decisions Liberty made at the end of last year...and this year...(in scrimmages) Moncman and staff have looked GOOD. I now feel if he continues on the path he is...that I'd be confident as him being our HC against anyone! He really has these kids acting the part of winners (in results). Kids and other coaches I've talked too have said nothing bad about the guy. I've realized the error of my ways, I've been wrong the past couple of years and he's been right. Reasons Liberty runs a shotgun offense has been explained to me...by someone 10 times more knowledgeable about the game of football than me!
Do I think Liberty has what it takes to beat North Penn? Yes I feel confident we can....
Here are some more thoughts on the game from Pennlive:
I spent the afternoon. having lunch, at South Side Bethlehem's Tally-Ho where some area prognoticators seem to give North Penn the edge. They look big up front, so a definite size advantage. However I would give the Canes the nod with speed. Anyway, the lunch crowd seems to have the Canes as a underdog. Either way this has to be one of the best opening day match-ups in recent memory. NPenn 28-Liberty 17.
*On a side note, did NPenn lose a projected starter in a pre-season scrimmage? If so, who was the player?
Redwolf's answer, "Why would I tell you?"
Here are the Patriot News PA state high school football rankings. WNPV 1440 in Lansdale has their 2008 HS football schedule online. You can check the archives for mp3's after the games.