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Boyertown Gridders Preparing for Challenging Season
Written by Bradley Schlegel Staff Writer
2016-08-24

Boyertown's lineman hit during pre-season practice. The Bears defense will feature a 4-3 or 4-4 alignment. The last two seasons the team went 5-5 overall. 

                Boyertown starts the 2016 season with a relatively inexperienced quarterback and a challenging schedule. However, playing with discipline could be the key to the team's success, according to Head Coach George Parkinson.

                "Penalties really bother me," he said. "I like having the most disciplined team. I hate helping the opposition out."

                Parkinson said the Bears – who went 5-5 the past two seasons – can improve their record this season if they string together four solid quarters, avoid a slew of penalties and create the chemistry vital to winning.

                "If we have those three things, we will be fine," he said.

                Senior quarterback Evan Giannetti will make his first career start Friday when the Bears host Upper Perkiomen in a non-league game. Giannetti, who saw limited time last season, possesses the intelligence to facilitate their triple-option offense, according to Parkinson.

                "Evan will do very well," the coach said. "He really understands the game. That's probably his strength."

                Giannetti's passing skills will allow the offense to incorporate some components of a spread offense, according to Parkinson. He said the unit will focus on the running game, but could incorporate a healthy passing component.

                "Evan can really get the ball down the field," the coach said.

                The running back duo of Hunter Vogels, a senior, and junior Marcus Thomas should get the bulk of the carries.  Senior Chris Berry and Jerry Kapp, a junior wide receiver who set the school record for receiving yards in a season in 2015, should be Giannetti's favorite passing targets.

                However, the key to any offensive success will likely rely on a rebuilt offensive line. Colin Black, a 5-foot-10, 22-pound junior guard is the only returning member from a unit that lost four players to graduation.

                "As long as the guys we put there step up, we should be competitive," Parkinson said. "You can have all the athletes in the world, but if you don't have a quality offensive line, things could get difficult."

                The Bears defense, which will feature a 4-3 or 4-4 alignment, should be anchored by a crew of experienced linebackers and defensive backs. Brandon McGough and Ryan Zern, a pair of senior linebackers, will anchor the middle of the field. Thomas and classmate Jonny Stahl have worked their way into the linebacker mix, according to the coach.

                Parkinson said Kapp, Berry and Vogels have secured starting spots in the defensive backfield.  However, the coach said the unit's success will likely hinge on the performance of the defensive line, which features one returning player, senior end Pat Ricci.

                The Pioneer Athletic Conference new alignment has created a challenging schedule for the team. Competing in the big-school Liberty Division, Boyertown will take on conference opponents Methacton, Norristown, Owen J. Roberts, Perkiomen Valley and Spring-Ford.

                Prior to that, the Bears must contend with a non-league schedule that includes games at Exeter (Sept. 2) and Pottsgrove (Sept. 9), followed by a home game with Academy Park (Sept. 16).

                "This year the league has changed, and our schedule is much tougher," Parkinson said.


 

 

 

 

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