New roles at Southmoreland but familiarity remains

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Thursday, August 18, 2022 | 12:01 PM


Familiarity is a buzz word around Southmoreland camp.

The more things change with the Scotties, the more they seem to stay the same.

The coaching staff is different — only in titles. Tim Bukowski was elevated from offensive coordinator to head coach, and Dave Keefer went from head coach to assistant.

The Scotties were shaken by the death of new incoming head coach Ron Frederick, another assistant who was set to replace Keefer when he had a heart-related event a day after he was hired.

But again, while Frederick is gone, the team is moving forward with purpose and sticking to what has worked in the past.

“Gone but not forgotten,” Bukowski said. “We need to keep going for Ron. He would have wanted it that way.”

The offense and defense should also remain intact with some no-huddle formations and three- or four-man defensive fronts.

Graduation losses could hurt initially, as the team loses senior leadership and speed.

Anthony Govern was the leading passer and rusher and accounted for 26 touchdowns.

Bukowski, a championship-winning assistant at Clairton, might go with two quarterbacks who bring something different to the offense.

Junior Kadin Keefer (6-3, 200) is a pocket passer, while senior Travon Lee (5-10, 160) presents more of a dual threat as a runner.

“They might split time with one getting 40 or 50% of the snaps,” Bukowski said. “We’ll see who steps up.”

Keefer also shows promise as a tight end, while Lee can handle carries at running back where “he can score from anywhere,” Bukowski said.

Freshman QB Caden Matthews is also on the depth chart.

With big-play receivers gone in graduates Isaac Trout, JJ Bloom and Josh Bass — “They were all sprinters,” Bukowski said — the Scotties could be more of a plotting, possession team rather than one that swings for the fences.

Junior Ty Keffer, a 6-4 basketball standout, could be the answer.

“He might be the go-to guy,” Bukowski said. “We have high expectations for Ty, on offense and defense, as a safety. He can cover a lot of space.”

Southmoreland, which went from not qualifying for the WPIAL playoffs for 40 years to making it twice in three years, has other options at running back in seniors Trey Whetsel and Jeffrey Johnson, the latter a Geibel student. Southmoreland and Geibel have a co-op.

Bukowski likes his depth on the lines.

Junior Aidan Corrin (center) and senior Mason Neiderhiser (RG) are third-year performers on the offensive line, while senior Kaleb Tkacs (RT) and senior Bailey Kennedy (LG), a Connellsville transfer, also are key linemen. Sophomore Jimmy Carson and Cole Marker, a transfer from Mt. Pleasant, were competing at left tackle.

On defense, the linebackers will be Whetsel, Kennedy, junior Malik Trout-Lewis, senior Mike Oraretz and Lee, who is more of a strong safety.

Kaiden Grady (6-6, 185), another Geibel product, Keefer and senior Nick Dzambo are pass-rushing defensive ends, while junior Ronnie Collins, sophomore Cam Phillips, junior Wyatt Richter and junior Cody Bateman will roam the secondary.

A strong freshmen group, coupled with some talented players in the youth program, have the arrow pointing up for the Scotties’ future.

Freshman Gabe Kabusky (WR/DB) has impressed the staff, along with freshman Stanley Chapman (6-2, 200). Also watch for sophomore Elliott Primus.

Senior Lily Wasmund, who scored a rushing touchdown in a game last season, could get a look as a kicker on extra points. The 5-foot-1 Wasmund, who also plays soccer, is listed as a running back.

Southmoreland

Coach: Tim Bukowski

2021 record: 7-4, 4-2 in Class 3A Interstate Conference

All-time record: 185-358-12

SCHEDULE

Date, Opponent, Time

8.26 at McGuffey, 7

9.2 Ligonier Valley, 7

9.9 at Derry, 7

9.16 Knoch, 7

9.23 at Deer Lakes, 7

9.30 Elizabeth Forward*, 7

10.7 at South Allegheny*, 7

10.14 Greensburg Salem*, 7

10.21 at Belle Vernon*, 7

10.28 Mt. Pleasant*, 7

*Conference game

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing: Anthony Govern*

85-173, 1,189 yards, 10 TDs

Rushing: Govern*

149-735, 16 TDs

Receiving: Isaac Trout*

33-571 yards, 9 TDs

*Graduated

FAST FACTS

• Former head coach Dave Keefer, who led the Scotties for the last five seasons, resigned in January but has returned as an assistant.

Belle Vernon and Greensburg Salem will be new conference opponents.

• Former Greensburg Central Catholic player Zach Guiser, who played at Akron, is working with the Scotties as a strength and conditioning coach.

• Most of the current staff is 19-19 together in four seasons.

ROSTER

No., Name, Pos., Ht./Wt., Cl.

1, Travon Lee, RB/DB, 5-10/160, Sr.

2, Stanley Chapman, TE/LB, 6-1/210, Fr.

3, Caden Matthews, QB/DB, 5-10/160, Fr.

4, Ronnie Collins, WR/DB, 6-0/160, Jr.

6, Kadin Keefer, QB/DL, 6-3/200, Jr.

7, Ty Keffer, WR/DB, 6-4/200, Jr.

8, Ty Whoric, WR/LB, 5-9/160, Fr.

9, Tray Whetsel, RB/LB, 5-10/190, Jr.

10, Elliot Premus, WR/LB, 6-2/190, So.

11, Jake Kaylor, WR/DB, 5-10/160, So.

13, Ryan Fronczek, WR/DB, 6-2/160, Sr.

15, Kaiden Grady, WR/DL, 6-6/200, Sr.

16, Lily Wasmund, RB/LB, 5-3/140, Sr.

20, Austin Mough, RB/LB, 5-9/170, Jr.

21, Jeffery Johnson, RB/LB, 5-10/200, Sr.

22, Gabe Kubusky, WR/DB, 5-10/150, Fr.

23, Cameron Lee, RB/DB, 5-8/160, Fr.

24, Cameron Phillips, RB/DB, 5-9/150, So.

25, Wyatt Richter, WR/DB, 6-0/150, Jr.

30, Nick Dzambo, TE/DL, 6-3/200, Sr.

41, Cole Teets, RB/LB, 5-8/160, So.

42, Adam Halinka, WR/DB, 5-9/150, Jr.

43, Michael Oravetz, WR/LB, 6-1/190, Sr.

44, Shawn Hollis, RB/LB, 5-11/170, Fr.

50, Bailey Kennedy, OL/LB, 6-0/210, Sr.

51, Phil Wasmund, OL/DL, 5-11/250, Sr.

52, Jake Govern, OL/DL, 5-9/220, Fr.

53, Jimmy Carson, OL/DL, 6-2/265, So.

54, Joey Steben, OL/DL, 6-1/245, Sr.

55, Aiden Corvin, OL/DL, 6-1/235, Jr.

56, Kaleb Tkacs, OL/DL, 5-11/200, Sr.

57, Austin Jones, OL/DL, 5-10/240, Fr.

58, Cole Marker, OL/DL, 6-1/310, Sr.

65, Aiden Mains, OL/DL, 6-0/225, Fr.

68, Makai Trout-Lewis, OL/DL, 5-10/170, Jr.

70, Matt Steele, OL/DL, 6-2/240, Fr.

77, Mason Neiderhiser, OL/DL, 5-10/260, Sr.

80, Vincent Guttilla, WR/DB, 5-9/150, Sr.

81, Cody Bateman, WR/DB, 5-9/150, Jr.

82, Ethan Bell, WR/LB, 5-10/150, Fr.

85, Louis Mains, TE/LB, 5-10/170, So.

Note: Due to publishing scheduling conflicts, the previews for Interstate Conference team Elizabeth Forward will appear on Trib HSSN next week.

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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