Franklin Regional lineman Andrew Devola itching to get season started

Saturday, August 12, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Andrew Devola has been champing at the bit to get the football season started.

The Franklin Regional junior, a three-year starter at left tackle and defensive tackle, had surgery on his shoulders in the offseason and has been limited in his preparation for the season.

That is set to change with the official start of practice Monday. Devola is ready to hit someone.

He expects a big season for himself and the team. He was disappointed how the 2022 season ended, even though the Panthers were WPIAL Class 5A Big East Conference champions.

Franklin Regional lost to Penn-Trafford, 28-21, in overtime in the regular-season finale, then fell 21-0 to Woodland Hills in the first round of the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs. The Panthers finished 6-4, and three of the losses came in overtime.

As a team leader, the 6-foot-1, 245-pound Devola took the season-ending struggles to heart.

“We probably should have won the Penn-Trafford game,” Devola said. “We didn’t deserve to win the Woody High game the way we played.

“We need to play to our full potential every game. We’ve been underperforming, especially in the playoffs, and I don’t like that. I want to make sure our team is ready to perform every single game. That’s my goal.”

Coach Lance Getsy said Devola sets the tone in practice.

“He’s first in the sprints, and he leads by example,” Getsy said. “He can also be a vocal leader.

“What makes him special is his work ethic, his determination and his competitiveness. He believes he can beat anyone at anytime. He has the right mentality. He wants to go against the best all of the time.”

Devola loves to lift early in the morning, but the surgery on his shoulders has limited his lifting to just his legs.

“He couldn’t lift, but he did other things to prepare,” Getsy said. “His upper body needs some strength. He’s been slowed because he had surgery on both shoulders. His legs really got strong.”

Getsy said Devola prepares like no other player he has coached. Devola is always looking for an edge.

“He’s already broken down film from last year of every opponent a couple times,” Getsy said. “He’s looking at their steps and how he can attack them.

“He’s a dominant blocker. He has the explosiveness and the quickness.”

While Getsy feels his big junior is one of the top players on the team, Devola said a lot of his teammates also can make an impact.

“I just want to try to continue to improve and help the team,” Devola said. “I have to improve my upper-body strength, and I need to continue to work on my speed, not that I’m getting slower. My speed probably throws people off. My job as a left tackle is to move the down linemen.”

So what does Devola feel lies ahead for the Panthers?

“I feel we can be good,” he said. “Our defense is really good, and the running corps is strong.”

And with Devola pushing his teammates, the Panthers could repeat as Big East Conference champions.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .


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