Despite graduation losses, Carmichaels expects to be right in thick of Tri-County South race

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022 | 12:01 PM


Losing a quarterback who passed and rushed for more than 1,000 yards and a player who set the program’s all-time scoring record to graduation would be a lot for any high school team, let alone one in Class A.

That’s the situation Carmichaels finds itself in in 2022, but Mighty Mikes coach Ron Gallagher isn’t deterred.

He feels the pieces are there to offset the losses of standout quarterback Trenton Carter and playmaker Michael Stewart.

“Those two were the majority of our offense, but this year I feel like we can spread the ball around a little bit,” Gallagher said. “Instead of only one running back, we have two that have different capabilities. We’re a little faster this year, which seems crazy to say.

“Trenton Carter and Michael Stewart are great players and you can’t just replace them, but we have guys that understand their roles and are consistent. We also have the speed where we think we can create mismatches.”

Carter accounted for 38 touchdowns to help last year’s team become the second highest-scoring team (413 points) in school history. He’s now at NCAA Division III Wittenberg (Ohio).

Alec Anderson, a senior, will take over at quarterback, and Gallagher said his abilities have allowed for new wrinkles in the offense.

“Alec would’ve been a quarterback on most other teams last year but took a different role with us with Trenton here,” Gallagher said. “He has some different qualities that we really like, and we’re going to maximize his strengths.”

Stewart had 19 total touchdowns a year ago and was the team’s kicker, which helped him rack up the most points in school history. The Mighty Mikes have a pair of running backs with varying styles who will help shoulder the load in senior Peyton Schooley and junior Billy White.

“Peyton didn’t get to play much last season because he had a knee injury,” Gallagher said. “He’s one of those short, tough kids that have a lot of speed. Billy broke his collarbone Week 2 last year and didn’t really get to show anything. He’s a bit of a skinny kid, but he’s got some moves. They’ll both be tough to contain.”

Tyler Richmond, a senior, is a returning starter at wide receiver and cornerback.

Chris Mincer, a senior, anchors the line on both sides of the ball along with Bradley Schoenfeldt, who received starting time as a freshman in 2021. Gallagher credited both for their work in the weight room over the offseason to get bigger and stronger.

One area that Gallagher wants to improve is the defense. The Mighty Mikes allowed 19.8 points per game last season.

“I felt like defense was our Achilles heel last year and we knew it,” Gallagher said. “We have had a big focus on defense because we know we need to improve. It doesn’t matter how many points you score if you don’t stop anybody. I don’t like getting in those back-and-forth kind of games.”

The Mighty Mikes are in the Tri-County South once again with Bentworth, Beth-Center, California, Jefferson-Morgan, Mapletown, Monessen and West Greene.

Carmichaels

Coach: Ron Gallagher

2021 record: 8-3, 6-1 in Class A Tri-County South Conference

All-time record: 507-377-48

SCHEDULE

Date, Opponent, Time

9.2 Fort Cherry, 7

9.9 at Chartiers-Houston, 7

9.16 West Greene*, 7

9.23 at Mapletown*, 7

9.30 at Beth-Center*, 7

10.7 Monessen*, 7

10.14 at California*, 7

10.21 at Bentworth*, 7

10.28 Jefferson-Morgan*, 7

*Conference game

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing: Trenton Carter*

98-181, 1,220 yards, 17 TDs

Rushing: Carter*

135-1,069, 21 TDs

Receiving: Michael Stewart*

38-352, 10 TDs

*Graduated

FAST FACTS

• Carmichaels has a pair of fraternal twins starting at inside linebacker in Ambrose and Aydan Adamson. They are juniors.

• Gallagher said the turnout for the team has been strong and there were 39 players in attendance for the first day of heat acclimatization with 40 expected to be on the roster.

• The Mighty Mikes will face Waynesburg in Week Zero for the second consecutive year. They defeated the Raiders, 54-33, last year.

• Last season Carmichaels qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2017 when they defeated Western Beaver, 28-8, in the first round before losing 37-12 to Clairton in the quarterfinals.

Note: Due to publication scheduling conflicts, previews for Tri-County South teams Bentworth, California and West Greene will appear on Trib HSSN later this week.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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