Chartiers-Houston hopes to end 2-year playoff absence

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019 | 4:32 PM


Chartiers-Houston stopped short of the WPIAL football playoffs two seasons in a row. The Bucs hope to avoid a three-peat.

Despite coming up short of a playoff berth by one game in 2018, Chartiers-Houston’s 3-7 season was a step in the right direction for a program that was coming off a winless 2017.

“The team showed progress and maturity from the 2017 season,” said coach Terry Fetsko, who prepares for his 15th season at the helm of the Buccaneers.

The three-game improvement allowed the Bucs to finish fifth in the Class A Tri-County South Conference, one game behind fourth place Bentworth. The difference was a 24-21 loss to the Bearcats in Week 3.

“We need to improve in all aspects of the game and to be more consistent play from all phases of the game,” Fetsko said when asked how his team can continue to improve.

The team was young and inexperienced the last two years when they took their lumps in going 3-17.

“Most of us started as sophomores,” senior wide receiver Tyler Blumen said. “We know what to expect on Friday nights.”

Inexperience will not be an issue this season though as Chartiers-Houston returns seven starters on offense and eight on defense.

“The overall attitude of the team was exciting to be around,” Fetsko said. “They are a more mature group with good focus.”

Two of the team leaders returning up front are senior center/defensive lineman Joey Christy and sophomore lineman Josh Cavallo.

Also returning are the Bucs leading rusher, receiver and top tackler from last season.

Senior running back/linebacker Shawn Wheeler led the team in tackles with 38, and senior Sam Dewalt was the leading rusher with 220 yards. Blumen, an all-conference receiver a year ago, had 21 receptions for 356 yards and four touchdowns.

“I think very highly of the team this year because of the hard work we put in this offseason,” Blumen said. “We have a big senior class that I have been playing football with my whole life. I believe we will have the best year we ever had together.”

Also expected to play a bigger role on offense is Jimmy Sadler, who was second on the team in rushing and third in receiving in 2018. The junior is a West Virginia baseball recruit.

The Tri-County South co-champions last season — Monessen, West Greene and California — are expected to be in the hunt for a conference crown again.

But after back-to-back misses, the Buccaneers are optimistic the postseason is in the near future.

“I believe our chances are pretty good to return to the playoffs,” Blumen said. “If we go out and do what we learn, then we will be returning to the playoffs.”

Schedule

Coach: Terry Fetsko

2018 record: 3-7, 3-4

All-time record: 363-357-18

Date, Opponent, Time

8.23, at Fort Cherry, 7

8.30, Jefferson-Morgan*, 7

9.6, at West Greene*, 7

9.13, Bentworth*, 7

9.20, at Sto-Rox, 7

9.27, Mapletown*, 7

10.4, Monessen*, 7

10.11, at Avella*, 7

10.18, at California*, 7

10.25, Riverview, 7

*Class A Tri-County South Conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing: Seth Dunn*

27-75, 539 yards, 5 TDs

Rushing: Sam Dewalt

62-220 yards, 2 TDs

Receiving: Tyler Blumen

21-356 yards, 4 TDs

*Left team

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