Danny Dlugos aims to carry on family football tradition at GCC, get Centurions back to playoffs

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 | 4:53 PM


During a recent heat-week drill, Greensburg Central Catholic first-year football coach Marko Thomas held up a blocking pad to help demonstrate a formation.

He quickly regretted his decision.

When he saw Danny Dlugos barreling toward him, he knew the pad would do little to lessen the impact.

Hold on tight.

Thomas’ solid build didn’t help much, either.

“He hit me so hard,” the coach said. “It was full ejection-seat mode.”

A 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior, Dlugos is charged up and ready to lead the Centurions into the 2021 season, all while carrying on a family legacy — and doing so at about 100 mph.

The Dlugoses — “Dlugi,” as former GCC coach Bret Colbert called them — play the game hard and fast and with an example-setting toughness.

“With our family, it’s the grit and the ground,” said Dlugos, a fullback and middle linebacker. “We push for each other to do well. We’re all so competitive. When we’re at each other’s houses and everyone is inside eating, we’re out back having our own turkey bowl.”

His cousins, Nate and Nick, also will play for GCC this season. Nate is a junior quarterback and defensive back, and Nick is a sophomore wide receiver and defensive back.

Another cousin, Zach, graduated last year.

Danny Dlugos’ father, Joe; his two uncles, Rob and Matt; and his grandfather, Don, played football at GCC.

“It’s great to be able to play with my cousins,” Danny said. “To be able to continue together and, hopefully, have a memorable four years.”

A modern-bodied athlete with the tenacity of a throwback, Dlugos could be one of the top two-way players in WPIAL Class A.

Hes rushed for a team-best 441 yards and scored seven touchdowns last season and the Centurions with 69 tackles to go with three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

He not only will be a key ball carrier again, but he also will help to open running lanes for a stable of potential backs that includes juniors Amari Mack and Jaydin Canady and seniors Taishaun Jamison and Zach David.

“I think he will be a good linebacker in college,” Thomas said of Dlugos. “He picks things up easily and makes all our calls on defense. He is football smart and has football strength, too.”

Thomas, who coached at Connellsville for the last four years, said Dlugos stood out in the game film he watched from last season.

“He’s like having another guard out there, but he is fast, too,” Thomas said.

Dlugos has interest from Division I, II and III programs. He attended prospect camps at Penn and Yale.

“Schools want to see some senior film,” he said. “I want to play at the next level. I’m just not sure where yet.”

As for his senior season, Dlugos wants to see his team win. The Centurions underachieved last season and finished 2-5.

With an infusion of transfers, including three would-be starters at Jeannette, the Centurions have the talent to contend in Class A.

“I know I am sick of underachieving,” he said. “There is a different mentality, and our preparation is next level. We train together, and we’re forming chemistry. We’re from different areas, but we’re all brothers. Our goal is to win a championship an beyond.”

One bruising hit at a time.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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