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Sports Article
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Upper Perkiomen Football Determined to Return to District One Playoffs
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Upper Perkiomen's football team is determined to qualify for the District One playoffs for the third consecutive season, according to Austin DiDomenico.

Tom Hontz, Upper Perkiomen's head football coach,
goes over plays with the offense during practice on

He says that tenacity is visible during offensive drills.

            "We will run the same play until we get it right," DiDomenico said.

            While the team's numbers may be down, head coach Tom Hontz did not rule a third consecutive post-season appearance. Hontz identified multiple factors, which included a schedule limiting opponents with larger student bodies and multiple returning offensive linemen, for the third straight year.

            "It's a mystery to me how we're going to be and where we end up," said Hontz, whose team opens its schedule on Friday, Aug. 24 at Boyertown before kicking off its home schedule against Kutztown seven days later.  "We're very young."

            According to DiDomenico, the Indians are hungry to return to the playoffs, where they advanced to the district title game last season. He said the current team will rely on several hard workers.

            "We're going to earn it," the junior said. "I think we're going to perform just as well as we did last year."

            Tackles Logan Hollandsworth, the only senior in the group, and Riley Decker, sophomore who started every game last season, will anchor the offensive line. DiDomenico and his classmate Mark Maples will line up at guard. According to Hontz, Nick Casiolo is "looking good at center." The coach said Casiolo is being challenged for the position by junior Owen Reinhart and Ethan Wambold, a sophomore.

            "We've got some depth there," the coach said. "The offensive line is solid."

            According to DiDomenico, the unit has set an early tone.  "We're not making any mistakes," he said.

            Tyrese Reid, a junior running back, should get the bulk of the offensive carries. Reid, who served as a change of pace runner the past two seasons, has added some muscle to better maintain his stamina, according to Hontz. DiDomenico said Reid has matured as an athlete.

            "We're going to find out if he can carry the load," Hontz said. "Tyrese has the only quality you can't teach: speed. He might be stopped on one or two plays, but then he'll break a long one. We're going to find different ways to get him the ball."

            Luke Whary will start the season at fullback. Malachi Duka could get significant snaps in the backfield and as a slot receiver, according to Hontz.

            Tyler Weber has emerged as the likely starting quarterback. The senior, who served as the backup the past two seasons, knows the offense and should be able to trigger Upper Perkiomen's passing game, according to Hontz. Weber is really good at reading defensive coverages, according to DiDomenico.

            The coach said sophomore Hunter Flack, a sophomore, has pushed Weber for playing time during camp. "Hunter has had a real nice camp," Hontz said.

            Max Kratohwill is competing for playing time at tight end. Colin Funk, a senior, and junior Andrew Carducci will vie for snaps at wide receiver. The coach expects all three to play integral roles in the team's passing game.

            "I hope the offense is not one dimensional," Hontz said.

            The team's grestest concerns are on defense. Hollandsworth and Whary will be expected to lead a group short on experience. According to Hontz, a handful of freshmen – including Brady Thompson – is in the running for playing time at linebacker.

            "There are not a lot of set spots," the coach said.






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