CURWENSVILLE – Friday night’s kick-off to the 2011 scholastic football season will find the Curwensville Area High School on the road at Smethport. The Golden Tide enters the season in defense of their 2010 District IX Class A crown that was highlighted by a very potent offense.
Curwensville will depend on its offense to power the team in the early going of the 2011 season. The bulk of that offense will undoubtedly come from the strong legs of Senior Alex Holland. A year ago, Holland broke the Alleghany Mountain League single season rushing record with 2600 yards on 346 carries. Holland’s 7.5 yard per carry average tallied 29 touchdowns for his team.
“Alex is extraordinary athlete,” said Tide head coach Andy Evanko. “He and many other players have worked hard in the off-season.”
Holland’s contributions to the team show as the top returning receiver in yardage with 137 on nine catches, 107 defensive tackles and an interception.
“Obviously we have more experience returning on the offensive side of the ball,” Evanko said. “Unfortunately, the holes we do have to fill on the offense are very key to what we want to do.”
Some of those keys that were lost to graduation include quarterback Alec Starr, top receivers Shae Best and Shane Hoover, and strong blockers in fullback Zack Dimmick and tight end Kyle Barrett.
Most of those positions will be covered by juniors as Hunter McCracken will take over as the full-time signal caller and Brad Coudriet, Spencer Smeal and Josh Greslick will help provide the holes for offensive success.
McCracken shared duties with Starr last season and connected on 45 of 92 pass attempts. His efforts tallied 758 yards through the air with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Greslick averaged seven yards a carry in limited use, gaining 246 yards on 35 hauls.
“We have a nice nucleus of juniors who contributed quite a bit as sophomores,” Evanko noted. “They were all part of big games last year. They shouldn’t get rattled because they did gain that maturity in those big games.”
While the juniors do plan on playing a big part in the Golden T ide success, the solid base will be seen in the senior offensive and defensive linemen Kyle Scribe, Todd Munchak and Seth Michaels. Classmates Jesse Zorger and Chad Desmett will also be looked upon for their leadership roles.
Zorger knocked down 55 opponents including one sack a year ago while Desmett recorded 25 tackles. Offensively Zorger pulled in 11 receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown.
“It’s very comforting to know that we can turn and hand the ball off to Alex,” Evanko said of his offense, “but we have to be able to throw the ball. We can’t continuously block 10 guys in the box with our six – that puts the line and our backs in a tough situation. We have to – we will throw the ball.”
The Golden Tide defeated Smethport in last season’s opener at Riverside Stadium 49-26. Smethport returns starting quarterback Kevin Lord, who threw for 673 yards with six TD’s and 10 INT’s in 2010. Lord is also the top returning rusher with 591 yards on 92 carries for the Hubbers.
“Smethport is always a strong opponent, and the first game always is tough,” Evanko evaluated. “But then Port Allegany will be good, Brockway still has talent, ECC is always tough and Kane is capable of throwing a lot of stuff at you. There are plenty of good teams in the AML, and we’ll have to play well every week.
“Our main goal for the year never changes – We want to be better today than we were yesterday. We had a good week so far and hope to keep continuing.”
Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. on Friday. The Tide’s home opener is next week September 9. It will also be Homecoming.
Matt Ross TE/DB, Frankie Goodroe SL/DB, Chad Desmett TE/DE, Jason Baker SL/LB, Alex Holland RB/LB, Jarrett Sheeder TE/LB, Kyle Scribe OL/DL, Seth Michaels OL/DL, Todd Munchak OL/DL, Josh Ireland TE/LB, Jesse Zorger SL/LB, Cody Bloom TE/LB.
Nathan Wriglesworth SE/DB, Adam Benamati SE/DB, Jordan Russell SE/DB, Hunter McCracken QB/DB, Josh Greslick RB/LB, Brad Coudriet RB/LB, Austin Pollick SL/DB, Spencer Smeal OL/DE, Kyle Bloom OL/DL, Brad Stubbs OL/DE, Jason Bloom OL/DL87 Jake Kavalak TE/LB.
Kyle Johns QB/DB, Alex Olson RB/LB, Dakota Royer RB/LB, Austin Jackobson SL/LB, Nate Kurtz SE/DB, Zack Pry SE/DB, Josh Shaffer SE/DB, Jury Bell SL/LB, Joshua McGarry RB/DB, Ricky Magnuson OL/DL, Bryce McClure OL/DL, Philip McCracken OL/DE, Casey Derrick OL/DL, Nick London OL/DL, Lucas Coudriet SE/DB.
Kyle Billings SL/LB, Jake Stiles RB/LB.
HEAD COACH: Andy Evanko (12th season; 91-34, .728)
ASST. COACHES: Chris Folmar, J.T. Irwin, Mickey Morgillo, Joe Bennett, Brad Sopic.
2011 Varsity Schedule
2 – @ SMETHPORT
9 – SHEFFIELD (Homecoming)
17 – @ PORT ALLEGANY 1:30 p.m.
23 – @ OTTO-ELDRED
30 – KANE
7 – BROCKWAY
14 – @ RIDGWAY
21 @ ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC
28 – JOHNSONBURG
All games start at 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.