By Phil Haddad For Journal Register News Service
The Boyertown High football team finished 6-6 in 2011, and it wasn't the kind of season that the team was looking for. After a disappointing season like that one, the team and its fans are looking for a lot more this year.
'It was a disappointing season, so our goal is to learn from our mistakes,' said Head Coach Mark Scisly. 'We're going to get better this year. As a coach, I'm always learning and we're going to do some things differently from last year. We're looking to get better and move in a positive direction.'
Coach Scisly has a young team, but he feels that the team is getting better every day. He's satisfied with how things are going, and the young players are starting to catch on to what the coaches want them to do. The players are making great strides from the first day of camp.
'They're getting better every day,' said Scisly.
Junior quarterback Griffin Pasik is excited for the start of the season. He notes how hard the team has worked this summer to prepare for the season.
'I think it should be a fun season this year,' said Pasik.
The inexperience is a concern and it's the job of the coaches to get the players ready for the season. The Bears are returning five senior starters and the rest will beunderclassmen. They will need to develop quickly if the Bears are going to contend this year.
'We're going to get better as the year goes on, having such a young team,' said Scisly. 'How well they perform early will have a big impact on our success.'
The expectations for the team are to win their game each week according to Scisly. He feels that there is no rebuilding for the Bears, but he and his coaches tell the players to take it one game at a time and focus on the team that they are playing that week.
'The PAC-10 is an interesting league. Anyone can win on any given Friday,' said Scisly. 'Whether you have more talent or not, but you have to be ready.If you're a team in the middle of thepack, you can still beat anyone on any given Friday. You always have to be ready to go.'
'We want to take a step forward this year and not end our season on a 6-6 record,' said Pasik. 'We want to go above .500, but we're going to take it one game at a time. We're going to focus every single week on the game that we have, and not look forward to an future game.
The Bears lost two running backs who each had over 1,000 yards rushing in Max Marcus (1,399 yards) and Jon Neiman (1,280 yards) which will be tough to replace. Jared Von Dohren had 524 yards. The three together ads up for over 3,200 yards of rushing offense that needs to be replaced.
'They were all great players and good kids,' said Scisly. 'They are going to be tough to replace, but someone has to step up and take on those roles. There needs to be some underclassmen who are ready to step up.'
The success of any football team usually starts with the offensive nad defensive lines. As usual in Boyertown, they have a big line with some strong kids. Austin Jacobs, David Pettine and Kyle Schutt have varsity experience from last year.
'We lost some good players, but we have players who can step right in there,' said Scisly.
Pasik thought that the defense wasn't as good as it should have been last year, but this year it's going to be improved. With some returning starters coming back and some big young kids stepping in.
Also returning for the Bears on the line is Nick McMenamin (center) who was an honorable mention All PAC-10 last year. He will be the leader from the group. Austin Jacobs has gotten bigger and stronger from last season. Scisly is looking for him to be a more physical player this year.
Both tight ends from last year, Tyler Zilen and Corey Long, are back from last season as well. Scisly feels that they are both good run blocking tight ends.
On the defensive side of the ball, Gray Garber is returning who had 67 tackles last year. Cody Richmond will return in the secondary. Also returning in the secondary is Matt Moccia.
'Gray is a physical defensive player,' said Scisly. 'He's going to be the leader of our defense. We're looking for big things from him this year.'
Young players like Nick Brough, Joe Frick, Cody Richmond and Eric Heller are hoping to make a contribution. Brough will play receiver and has looked good in the pre-season. Richmond will be playing fullback while Heller will see time in the secondary and at running back.
Scisly feels that Pottsgrove is the team to beat this year, especially with all the talented players that are returning in 2012. He also thinks that Spring-Ford is the other top team in the PAC-10 this year.
The Bears open the season with Central Bucks East this Friday, August 31 at home. The Patriots replace William Allen on the schedule. The Patriots are in the Suburban One League which is a very tough league.
'We have to be ready for them,' said Scisly. 'It's a tougher opener than Allen. We have a lot of work to do to get ready for them.'