Pine-Richland’s King aims to keep winning tradition going in Class 6A

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Thursday, July 12, 2018 | 5:27 PM


A four-year run that included a pair of WPIAL football championships, two trips to the PIAA finals and a state title sparked by a pair of Division I quarterbacks has come to an end at Pine-Richland.

But that does not mean the winning has stopped, according to senior Tyler King.

The Naval Academy recruit believes the Rams will still be a force in Class 6A without the likes of Ben DiNucci and Phil Jurkovec under center.

“Our coaching and desire to win sets us apart from the rest,” King said.

King’s coach at Pine-Richland, Eric Kasperowicz, was asked what makes King a standout on defense.

“Toughness, a knack for finding the ball and tackling,” he said.

King plays both H-back and tight end on offense (3 receptions for 27 yards in 2017), but was the Rams leading tackler a year ago on defense with 150 tackles, 13 of them coming behind the line of scrimmage. But he has hardly rested on his past achievements this summer.

“I’ve worked a lot bettering my footwork and agility,” he said.

Kasperowicz didn’t hold back on what he wants from King this season.

“Expectations are (for King) to be the leader of the defense and have an increased role on offense,” Kasperowicz said.

King is one of three Rams players hoping to keep the golden tradition going at Pine-Richland in 2018, as they’ve been named to the Trib HSSN WPIAL Preseason All-Star team.

“I was excited to hear I was picked to be a part of the Preseason 25 team and especially excited to have two other teammates (Andrew Kristofic and Mike Katic) selected, as well,” King said.

Many players dread the thought of two-a-day practices in the August heat, but don’t count King among them. He said he’s looking forward to training camp in about a month.

“I’m for sure a fan because it allows us to get better and jell as a unit,” he said. “Also, it’s fun to get after it with the guys.”

This past April, the all-state linebacker selected Navy over the likes of Akron, Army, Ball State, Buffalo, Eastern Kentucky, Fordham and Old Dominion.

“A big part in my decision was life after football, and the Naval Academy was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” King said. “Along with the outstanding education and discipline at the Academy, comes great football, as I’ll play in the AAC versus a lot of good FBS teams.”

Tyler King

School: Pine-Richland

Class: Senior

Ht/wt: 6-1, 225

Positions: HB/TE, ILB

Stars: 3

Committed to: Navy

Division I offers: Akron, Army, Ball State, Buffalo, Eastern Kentucky, Fordham, Old Dominion

2017 statistics: 150 tackles, 3 receptions, 27 yards, 2 extra points

Don Rebel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Don at drebel@tribweb.com.

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