Featuring Dave DiPasqua, Greg Pecko and Steve Reynolds of the Tigers Radio Network
1. Based on the Tiger’s Week 1 performance, what sticks out the most from the game against Academy Park?
The major thing I took away from Week 1 of the season for the Tigers is the energy level they brought to the field. From the moment they took the field for pre-game warm-ups to the final whistle, the team was bursting with energy.
The Tigers understood that this was a moment for them to build upon and they seized that moment. Clearly, there is plenty to build upon and after only a few months in the new system the team is buying in, which means bigger and better things are to come.
Definitely the energy from all aspects. From the players on the field to those on the sideline, the energy was intense. The players, coaches, parents and program supporters were waiting for this game all off-season and it showed.
You couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere on Friday night. Everyone showed up and despite the loss, the players kept their heads high and know that they can build off of this game.
The intensity on the field was what stood out against Academy Park. Everyone on the team knew their assignments and executed. Offensively, senior Adrian Sapnas made the most of his opportunities as his offensive line opened lanes for him to have 25 carries for 257 yards with 2 touchdowns and the new Marple Newtown single game rushing record. The Tigers may have lost the game, but the energy they brought made the crowd know high school football is back.
2. What do you most look forward to seeing the Tiger’s do in Week 2?
I am looking forward to seeing the Tigers carry over that energy they had last week into Strath Haven. Both sides of the ball and special teams showcased a vast amount of effort that will help their development in the future. Defensively, I want to see the defensive line build off a strong performance and clog running lanes against a strong rushing attack.
I think what I am most looking forward to in the second week of the season is the progression of the offense. Coach Gicking’s system is different from seasons past and with each week I expect the confidence to increase as the team’s understanding of the playbook grows. I expect both the passing and ground game to improve week-to-week, giving Tiger fans a lot to look forward.
Come out with that same intensity they had last week. If they can play with that kind of effort, then they can win a lot of games. I expect them to settle down this week as well and limit the mistakes after one game under their belt in a new system.
3. What do you expect from Strath Haven?
They are a very well-coached team that is not going to let up. They are going to be tough and scrappy and I expect them to pound the ball and have trust in their offensive line. Hopefully, we get a game like we saw last year.
Coming off a strong 40-6 win against Dobbins Tech last week, I fully expect Strath Haven to come out of the gate with energy. They are a very tough team and well coached by Kevin Clancy, who will have them prepared for their first home game.
It will be interesting to see how their offense utilizes their two seniors, Alex Bratsis and Anthony Myers. If this game is anything like the double overtime extravaganza we had last season, this is going to be a great one.
I expect a lot from Strath Haven but in particular, they have a strong linebacker core anchored by junior middle linebacker, Shane Mulhern (No. 53) who accumulated 9 tackles last week. Starting alongside Mulhern are senior outside linebackers Denzil Lezenby (No. 80) and junior OLB Peter Deeb (No. 55). The Trio recorded a combined 13 tackles against Dobbins Tech in week one.
Overall the Panthers are extremely deep at the position and rotated 6 players into the position in the win over Dobbins Tech. It will be an interesting matchup with the Tiger’s ground game as the they gashed the Academy Park Knights for over 220 yards last week and average 6.9 yds per carry. The matchup between the two sides will be a key to the game.