2013 Fall Sports Preview: Football
The Fall Sports Season is quickly approaching as we enter the middle of July. The Sports Information Club is proud to continue into this school year, and will be led by Senior Chris Jastrzembski and Junior Collin Giongo, along with many other contributors throughout the school year. Stay up to date with the club at their blog at www.lschs.org/wexpsports & Twitter @LaSalle_Sports
After a very successful 2012-2013 season in which the Explorers won 10 Catholic League Championships and 2 State Championships, the Fall teams will try to build upon last season's historic success.
Each day, we will preview one Fall team, with key games, key players, and much more.
2012 Record: 12-2 (5-1 in PCL)
PCL and District XII Champions (5th Straight PCL, 4th Straight District XII Championships)
Lost in PIAA Semi-Finals to Coatesville 42-35
Key Returning Players: Jimmy Herron, Clayton Rush, Kyle Shurmur, Zaire Franklin (Syracuse verbal commit), Matt Raczak, Ryan Coonahan, Raekwon Caswell, Mick Barrett, Jordan Meachum, Steve Hudak, Brennan O'Donnell, Corey Lerch, Ryan Brady, Ryan Siess, Bill Frusco, Tom McClain, Aidan Kerrigan, Fletcher Grady, Matt Strosser, Dave Geppert, Tamar Turner, AJ Grezeszak, Brendan Daly, Nick Mazza
Key Departing Players: Chris Kane (Kutztown), Ryan Winslow (Pittsburgh), Sean Coleman, Dad Poquie (Penn State), Jon Naji (Franklin & Marshall), Joe Vanelli, Chris Rocco, Andrew Eidenshink, Jared Herrmann, Pat Hoffman (Navy), Tom Spiteri (Colgate), Dave Losier (Kutztown), Andrew Carlone, Conor Resch, Luke Persichetti, Sam McKenzie, Trent Simmons (Bloomsburg), Mike Eife
Injuries against Coatesville cost the Explorers a trip to Hershey for the 3rd time in 4 years. Mike Eife, Tom Spiteri, and Sean Coleman all went down in the 1st half of that game and had to watch the Explorers fight their way back to close the Coatesville lead to a touchdown, before a late interception by Coatesville ended the La Salle season. This year, it's time for the seniors and juniors to get more snaps than they did last year serving as subs or backups to the talented now college freshmen.
Taking over under center this year is a brand new QB in Junior Kyle Shurmur, who was a backup at powerhouse St. Edward in Ohio. Last year, he completed 7 of 10 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown in his only appearance. He is also the son of current Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur. He will have wide outs Jimmy Herron and Father Judge Transfer Clayton Rush to work with, along with RB Jordan Meachum, who is looking for a big bounce back year after being hurt for most of last season. Dave Geppert has fully healed from his injury against Parkland in the PIAA Quarter-Final, and will play a big part of the offensive and possibly the defensive line.
Speaking of the defense, MLB and Syracuse commit Zaire Franklin will be the anchor and leader of the defense, along with CB Steve Hudak and DE Ryan Coonahan. Matt Raczak will replace Pitt bound Ryan Winslow as the fulltime punter and kicker.
5 Must See Games:
Home vs. North Penn (August 31st 7:00PM @ Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS)
This will be the 6th meeting in 4 years between these two powerhouse teams. Both teams are not what they were two years ago, when both teams split the season series, and North Penn getting their only win in the 4 years in the PIAA Semi-Finals. This will be the first game for Shurmur and Rush at La Salle, and they both bring high expectations for this season. It will be interesting to see what the Explorers are able to produce in the first game of the regular season against a team that had a below average season.
Away vs. Imhotep (September 7th 6:00PM @ Germantown/Northwest Super Site)
Imhotep are the defending AA Public and District XII Champions, and led all of Eastern PA in points scored (651) and averaged points scored (43.4). With their explosive offense, they also allowed only 7.1 points per game last year, and will give La Salle a difficult game. This will be a big test for the Explorers, especially for the defense.
Home vs. St. Joe's Prep (October 11th 7:00PM @ Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS)
Any game with St. Joe's Prep is always a big event. But this game is bigger than usual. Last year's PCL Championship game is still in the heads of the returning Prep players, including QB Chris Martin, RB Olamide Zaccheaus, and OT/DL Jon Runyan (Michigan verbal commit). The Hawks will come out firing in this game, trying to give La Salle no chance of winning this rivalry game.
Away vs. Roman Catholic (October 18th 7:00PM @ Northeast HS)
Both QB Michael Keir and star wideout Will Fuller are gone, but Roman is still a talented team. They bring back a majority of the team from last year, including a bunch of rising juniors. This game could decide possible PCL seeding or decide which team will go to the PCL playoffs.
Home vs. West Catholic (October 26th 7:00PM @ Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS)
This was Herron's only start at QB last season, and the Explorers just won 28-26 behind a short TD run by Ryan Brady. West Catholic QB Antwain McCollum set a school record for passing yards with 336 yards, a horrible day for the defense, especially the secondary. Look for a different game this year.
Other Notable Games:
Home vs. Father Judge (October 5th 3:30PM @ Springfield HS – Homecoming)
Away vs. Archbishop Ryan (September 28th 1:00PM @ George Washington HS)