FOOTBALL: New coach gives Twin Valley a fresh start

Linebackers (left to right, bottom to top): Dave Abbadusky, James Allen, Dan Techman, Dan Ziegler, Critter Nelson, Mike Likk, Randon Bennett and Darren Sipf. (Photo by Aimee Herbert)

Adapting to the situation is the name of the game for new Twin Valley coach Steve Gaunt this year.

Gaunt said he wants to get some wins by starting with basic plays that play to the team’s strengths, then building upon that based on how the team and its opponents handle it.

“The system I brought in I believe compliments the talent we have,” Gaunt said. He referred to his offensive strategy as a combination of power and spread, which will stand in contrast to the veer-option the team often used last year. This will give the team options so it can feel out a strategy that works.

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“If it’s not suited to what I think we can do, we can make some changes and adjustments,” he said.

He’s also making changes defensively, so that everything the team does is new. This will help the team get a fresh start after last year’s winless season. Most importantly, though, Gaunt is putting an emphasis on confidence.

“Our goal here is to build confidence in the players, to teach them that they really can win against anyone,” he said. “If we can accomplish those goals, we can be successful and win some games.”

Gaunt will be looking toward the seniors to lead the team as they adapt to the new strategy and coaching style.

Key players will include linebacker/tight end/running back Dan Techman, linebacker/running back Dave Abbadusky and back/receiver Nigel Hill, who has produced in the run game in the past.

As of press time, Gaunt was still making some decisions on positions, but indicated that senior Mike Lill may lead the team as quarterback.

Gaunt realizes it will take more than one season to build a strong strategy from scratch, but he said he knows his team can be competitive in the Berks League and record some wins with the right leadership on the team and confidence among all the players.

“I mean, just look at all the support we’ve got from the parents and this community,” he said. “Let’s do it for them. Let’s give them some wins.”