Speedy Luke Meckler has high expectations for 2-time defending champion Pine-Richland

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Monday, July 15, 2019 | 5:41 PM


The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 23 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

Luke Meckler will be doing something this season that is rare at Pine-Richland — he will be a four-year starter for the football team.

And the senior wants opponents in Western Pennsylvania and around the state to know that despite some graduation losses, “Don’t count out the Rams just yet.”

Meckler is the starting running back and safety for the two-time defending WPIAL Class 6A champion Rams.

One of Meckler’s biggest attributes is his speed; he runs a 10.89 100-meter dash and a 4.4 in the 40.

“He’s a lot faster that I was in high school,” said Pine-Richland coach Eric Kasperowicz, a Parade All-American quarterback who went on to play linebacker at Pitt. “He’s an intriguing kid.”

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Meckler also is a record-holder on the track team. He owns the top marks in the 100-meter dash and the 300-meter hurdles. He said he runs track to help him in football.

“The strength I have is my speed,” Meckler said. “I’m able to run away from my opponents.”

Being a four-year starter means a lot for Meckler.

“I’ve been working since I was young. My dad was always pushing me to do work,” he said. “I was given an opportunity to play as a freshman and put my heart in it and showed what I could do.”

Meckler calls winning the PIAA Class 6A title in 2017 his biggest high school thrill so far. He’d like to repeat that this season.

“We expect him to be a leader for us,” Kasperowicz said. “He was the leading rusher last year, and we’re expecting the same and even more this year.”

Meckler rushed for 1,492 yards on 183 carries, caught 17 passes for 251 yards and scored 21 touchdowns.

He hasn’t committed to a college, but he has offers from Dartmouth and Kent State, and has talked with Toledo, Akron and Bowling Green.

“I really want to play football in college,” Meckler said. “I’ll play anywhere — running back, multi-back, wide receiver anywhere. I just want to play. I’d prefer to play offense in college and not defense.”

But right now Meckler is focused on having a big senior season and leading the Rams to another WPIAL title.

He said the new offensive line is working hard and improving every day, and he feels the team will challenge for another title.

“It’s means something great (to play for Pine-Richland),” Meckler said. “You have to take into consideration that you have to be a good, loving brother with your teammates to play football. We don’t fool around here.”

Luke Meckler file

School: Pine-Richland

Class: Senior

Positions: RB/S

Ht/Wt: 5-10, 175

Stars: none

Division I offers: Dartmouth, Kent State

2018 statistics: 183 carries, 1,492 yards, 21 TDs; 17 catches, 251 yards

Trib HSSN Preseason All-Stars

A.J. Beatty, Central Catholic

Fintan Brose, Hempfield

Tui Brown, Gateway

Michael Carmody, Mars

Josh Casilli, Peters Township

Johnny Crise, Highlands

Derrick Davis, Gateway

Daniel Deabner, Thomas Jefferson

Deamontae Diggs, McKeesport

Dorien Ford, Baldwin

Aaron Gunn, Union

Dayon Hayes, Westinghouse

Nahki Johnson, West Mifflin

Josh Kaltenberger, Seneca Valley

Caleb Lisbon, Penn-Trafford

Jake Lugg, North Allegheny

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

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