Carmichaels hopes to rebound with experienced roster
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 | 12:01 AM
Members of the Carmichaels football team took their lumps last season.
A year more experienced, the Mighty Mikes hope to be delivering those lumps this fall.
After enduring a 2-7 season with a 1-6 mark in the Class 2A Interstate Conference, Carmichaels returns 10 starters on both sides of the ball.
The hope for coach Ryan Krull and the Mikes is that with a healthy and veteran team bolstered by a strong offseason training program will be more competitive this season.
“Last year we went into the season with one returning starter,” Krull said. “This year, they’re almost all (returning) starters, but we’re not allowing our guys to have that mentality and think ‘I’m a year older, so I’m a year better.’
“We’re just trying to keep them level-headed. The one positive is they do have game experience. They’ve been through the ringer.”
Carmichaels will have a familiar group of skill players to lead the way on offense. Senior quarterback Kevin Kelly (5-11, 180) threw for 208 yards last season but was hampered by an injured Achilles.
“Last year, he had an Achilles injury that he got the Tuesday before our first game,” Krull said. “He was never totally healthy for the rest of the season. We hope he stays healthy. He’s one of our most explosive players, so we’ll rely on him.”
He will be joined in the backfield by junior tailback Bailey Jones, who gained 529 yards and scored three times last season. Seniors Michael Robison, Eli Johnston and Jonathan Lilley and junior Hunter Voithofer also will see carries.
“If anyone has followed us the last three-four years, they’ve seen ball distribution has been prevalent for us,” Krull said. “We don’t usually have a guy who takes on the bulk of the load himself. We try to spread it around a little bit. We expect that to continue this year.”
Senior Trent’nn Piper (5-10, 240) returns to anchor the offensive and defensive lines.
“He’s the only senior that returns (up front) from last year’s team,” Krull said. “We’ll rely on him and his leadership.”
Juniors Nate Swaney (6-4, 280) and Trey Luoma (5-10, 190) also return up front.
Voithofer and Jones return at linebacker and will look to solidify a defense that allowed an average of 40.3 points per game last season.
“It’s going to come down to what it always comes down to and that’s what our kids are thinking between their ears,” Krull said. “If they think they’re good enough and they belong, we’ll be fine. If for whatever reason, we think we’re inferior to any of the opponents we’re going to play on Friday nights, then we’re going to run into trouble.”
Carmichaels again will compete in the Class 2A Interstate Conference with Washington, Charleroi, McGuffey and Beth-Center, among others.
“It’s tough sledding; there’s no doubt,” Krull said. “There’s a lot of good individual talent and a lot of good teams. There’s really no weak points. We understand that and we’re preparing for it.”
Coach: Ryan Krull
2018 record: 2-7, 1-6
All-time record: 490-367-48
Date, Opponent, Time
8.30, Beth-Center*, 7
9.6, at Southmoreland*, 7
9.13, McGuffey*, 7
9.20, at Charleroi*, 7
9.27, East Allegheny, 7
10.4, Washington*, 7
10.11, at Union, 7
10.18, Frazier*, 7
10.25, at Brownsville*, 7
*Class 2A Interstate Conference game
Passing: Kevin Kelly
22-51, 208 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Michael Robinson
Rushing: Bailey Jones
143-529 yards, 3 TDs
Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.