Albert Gallatin looking to find success as an independent

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Thursday, August 24, 2023 | 11:52 PM


In 2021, the independent Albert Gallatin football program enjoyed one of its best seasons in decades, finishing 6-2. It was a solid turnaround for a group of seniors who began their scholastic career on a team that went 0-10 and was outscored 479-46.

With a lot of new faces in 2022, the Colonials took a step back, but the good news was they didn’t return to the not-so-glory days of teams that could not even compete.

Albert Gallatin finished last year with a 3-6 record.

“We graduated a very talented senior class in 2021,” Albert Gallatin coach Drew Dindl said. “Any time you lose nine starters on offense and 10 on defense, there will be some challenges. With only five seniors, we were very young and made a lot of young mistakes.”

Those on-field miscues should be eased a bit as the Colonials return six starting players on both offense and defense.

“Our players have been working hard all offseason and are excited for the season to start,” Dindle said. “Most of our young players got a ton of playing experience last year. I am excited to see their development. We are still pretty young, so they will need to grow up quickly and handle a ton of responsibility.”

Senior Cyrus Potkul was a captain last year as a junior and will help lead the team in the offensive backfield and as a linebacker on defense.

Junior Caleb DeHaven also helps in the team leadership category as Dindl calls him a tough runner who is physical on defense.

Following a big freshman season, sophomore Makel Darnell is receiving a good bit of buzz from college coaches this offseason as an athlete and defensive back.

Another sophomore, Tee Guesman, is a potential starter at quarterback. Dindl said he has a lot of potential and will be ideal running the Colonials triple-option offense.

This marks the fifth season for Albert Gallatin football playing an independent schedule instead of participating in the WPIAL.

The Colonials have had success building the program despite a sub-500 record last season. In the four years on the independent tour, they are 19-12.

While there may be no district or state championships to play for, Dindl brings it back to the basics when asked what his Colonials are shooting for this fall.

“We must cut back on all the turnovers, penalties and other young mistakes we made last season,” he said. “We must be much more physical on both sides of the football and get back to winning football games.”

Albert Gallatin

Coach: Drew Dindl

2022 record: 3-6

All-time record: 233-360-12

SCHEDULE

Date, Opponent, Time

8.25, at Connellsville, 7

9.1, Carrick, 7

9.8, Northern, Md., 7

9.15, Uniontown, 7

9.22, Allegany, Md., 7

9.28, at Southern, Md., 7

10.6, at Laurel Highlands, 7

10.13, Weir, W.Va., 7

10.20, at Brownsville, 7

FAST FACTS

• Drew Dindl begins his sixth season as head coach at Albert Gallatin. He has a combined record of 19-22 in his five- year tenure.

• The Colonials were 3-1 last fall against WPIAL and City League schools, with wins over Uniontown, Brownsville and Carrick and a close loss to Connellsville. Albert Gallatin was 0-5 against teams from West Virginia and Maryland.

• Albert Gallatin only has a WPIAL football playoff record of 3-5, but has earned two district crowns. The Colonials won the district championship in 1961, beating Penn Joint, 19-6, in the Class AA final. The program’s only other postseason wins came in the 1974 season when they beat Burgettstown, 24-8, in the semifinals and rolled past Freeport, 41-6, in the Class AA title game.

• This is the 62nd season of Albert Gallatin football, which later merged with Fairchance-Georges high schools to form Tri-Valley in 1987, then changed back to Albert Gallatin in 1993. Their all-time record is 233-360-12.

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