MVP lineman Bauer in leading role for Brentwood
Monday, August 19, 2019 | 8:09 PM
The centerpiece of the Brentwood football team is a 5-foot-11, 200-pound senior lineman.
Luke Bauer, along with being named first-team all-conference on offense and defense last year, was voted as the most valuable lineman in the Class 2A Three Rivers Conference.
“He won it hands down,” coach Kevin Kissel said. “That’s a pretty good recognition. Luke’s a very good player. We’re going to try to build around him.
“He’s a phenomenal athlete, and he’s one of the fastest kids on the team. He runs past players on the defensive line; he’s also stronger than most of the other players. He practices everything at full speed. I think the other kids on the team see his work ethic, and that’s how he’s become a good team leader.”
Bauer also was an all-conference selection as a sophomore in 2017.
He is strong, athletic and quick. He also is highly motivated and unfailingly aggressive.
“I have a high confidence level now, more than ever, because I’m a three-year starter,” Bauer said. “I feel like I’ve proved to myself and everyone else on what I can do. And I feel now that I am going into my senior year I have the knowledge on what to do in an important situation.
“I think our team has a lot of speed, and our defense will be very strong. We have a lot more experience compared to last year.”
Bauer, seniors John Milcic (QB), Jayneil Latham (WR/DB), Eddie Gomez (WR/DB) and Ian Thomas (RB/LB), and junior Aiden Wardzinski (WR/LB) all are speed-burners and should give the Spartans one of the fastest lineups in the conference.
“We have an experienced team,” Kissel said. “We only played three seniors last year. Hopefully, we stay healthy and we have a better season than last year.
“A plus for us is our skill people. They are talented kids.”
Bauer, Milcic (QB), Latham (DB), Wardzinski (H-back/WR) and junior Steven Bakowski (DL) were all-conference selections a year ago.
“We should be a solid team because we only lost three starters from last year,” Latham said. “We definitely have the skill to fill those gaps. We’ve been lifting and doing a lot of conditioning. Coach always says we may not be the biggest and strongest team, but we can be the fastest.”
Latham (6-2, 160) is a versatile three-sport athlete; the 2019 season marks just his second year in the football program.
“I will definitely have more experience and know what to expect,” he said. “I am pretty tall for a cornerback in high school so that should help me a lot. And we are very good on the defensive side of the ball.”
Milcic (6-4, 170) led the Spartans in passing and rushing a year ago. He completed 98 of 227 tosses for 1,189 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also ran for 503 yards and eight scores, giving him 1,692 yards and 21 touchdowns in total offense.
“I feel great going into the season knowing a lot more than I did last year,” Milcic said. “I feel my biggest strength is being able to use my legs and run the ball when needed.”
The Spartans’ receiving corps was led last fall by Drew Wilson, with 33 catches for 284 yards and four touchdowns, and Wardzinski (28-294).
Other leading pass-catchers included Gomez (19-291), Latham and Thomas, who accounted for nine touchdowns between them. Thomas also complemented Milcic in the rushing department.
Returning starters on defense include Bauer, Bakowski and senior nose guard Matt Veatch on the line; Thomas, Wardzinski, senior Aidan Davis and sophomore Jack Wisenauer at linebacker; and Latham and Gomez in the secondary. Latham racked up four interceptions last season, which proved to be a tough time for the Spartans. Brentwood finished with a 3-4 record in the conference and 4-6 overall.
The four wins were against Carrick, 35-7; Fort Cherry, 28-7; South Side, 26-7; and Carlynton, 34-21.
Close losses to Seton LaSalle and Serra Catholic cost the Spartans a possible playoff berth.
The highlight of the season was a 26-7 win Sept. 28 against conference champion and WPIAL finalist South Side.
Coach: Kevin Kissel
2018 record: 4-6, 3-4
All-time record: 410-401-28
Date, Opponent, Time
8.23, Keystone Oaks, 7
8.30, at South Allegheny*, 7
9.6, Seton LaSalle*, 7
9.13, at Fort Cherry*, 7
9.20, Frazier, 7
9.27, at South Side*, 7
10.4, at Serra Catholic*, 7
10.11, Carlynton*, 7
10.18, at Burgettstown*, 7
10.25, Ellwood City, 7
*Class 2A Three Rivers Conference game
Passing: John Milcic
98-227, 1,189 yards, 13 TDs
Receiving: Drew Wilson*
33-384 yards, 4 TDs
133-503 yards, 8 TDs
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