With experienced roster, Greensburg Salem ready to add to win total

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Friday, August 20, 2021 | 6:01 AM


The highlight of the 2020 Greensburg Salem football season was reaching the 700-win milestone.

Other than that, the season didn’t play out as coach Dave Keefer and his Golden Lions had hoped.

Greensburg Salem finished 1-6 in the WPIAL Class 4A Greater Allegheny Conference in a covid-19 shortened season.

But don’t let that record fool you. The Golden Lions are looking to make a lot of noise this season.

The bright side of the season was Greensburg Salem was forced to play a lot of underclassmen because they had only three seniors who started.

There are only three holes to fill after the graduation of running back Alex Briggs, kicker Wyatt Ramer and tackle Joey McGough. Briggs and McGough were two-year starters and two-year all-conference players.

Up front, the Golden Lions will be stout with the return of four-year starter Bill McChesney, who is moving to left tackle, Christian McChesney at center, Caleb Chismar at right guard and Kaleb Riggs at right tackle.

“All four players were pretty solid for us last year, and we saw them grow into good football players,” Keefer said. “We have high expectations for them, and the big thing is they have a good understanding of what they are doing.”

The line will be protecting senior quarterback Hayden Teska, who hasn’t been able to stay helathy the past two seasons. Before getting injured last season, Teska completed 34 of 86 passes for 625 yards and five touchdowns.

“Hayden is a heady player.” Keefer said. “He was having a good season until he got hurt in the fourth game. He’s a very poised young man, does a very good job on the baseball field and he’s been in very competitive situations over the course of his career.

“He understands how to handle it. He knows how to distribute the football, he’s very intelligent, and he understands what we want to do offensively, and he’s a very accurate thrower. We hope to build on what he did last year and expand our offense.”

Some of the receivers returning include Donavin Waller, Cody Rubrecht, Christian Hostetler and Jerome Wallish, along with newcomers Matt Wallace and Raequan Rollins.

The running game will be handled by junior Rashad Canady and J.C. Wallish. Briggs rushed for 700 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Canady rushed for 257 yards and a touchdown, and J.C. Wallish gained 50.

“Rashad had a couple nice games,” Keefer said. “And I don’t want to overlook J.C. He spelled Alex as a sophomore. J.C. is a little more of a blue-collar runner, and Rashad has a bit more flash and ability to do some special things. It’s nice to have two guys coming back.”

Keefer also is excited about the defense.

Senior Jayden Stevens returns at linebacker, and Keefer said he has the ability to play in college. His brother Julian Stevens, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound sophomore, will also play linebacker along with Tyrone Williams.

The defensive line will feature the McChesney brothers, Chismar and Riggs.

The secondary will feature Teska, Rubrecht and Jerome Wallish.

“What’s nice is, we have more depth than we had last year,” Keefer said. “We have kids pushing for playing time. We won’t be in as rough a spot as we were in last year because of injuries. But we do have more experience.”

Keefer said he expects Highlands and Plum to be the teams to beat in the conference.

Greensburg Salem opens the season in Week Zero at rival Hempfield. It plays host to Connellsville on Sept. 3 and travels to Mt. Pleasant on Sept. 10 before opening conference action at Knoch.

Greensburg Salem

Coach: Dave Keefer

2020 record: 1-6, 1-6 in Class 4A Greater Allegheny Conference

All-time record: 700-395-39

SCHEDULE

Date, Opponent, Time

8.27 at Hempfield, 7

9.3 Connellsville, 7

9.10 at Mt. Pleasant, 7

9.17 Knoch*, 7

9.24 Indiana*, 7

10.1 at Hampton*, 7

10.8 at Armstrong*, 7

10.15 Mars*, 7

10.22 Highlands*, 7

10.29 at Plum*, 7

*Conference game

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing: Hayden Teska

34-86, 625 yards, 5 TDs

Rushing: Alex Briggs*

173-700, 6 TDs

Receiving: Donavin Waller

10-177, 2 TDs

*Graduated

FAST FACTS

• Greensburg Salem joined Jeannette (766), New Castle (745), Aliquippa (744), Washington (715) and Clairton (701) as WPIAL teams with more than 700 victories.

• The Golden Lions have been playing football since 1894 and have played in 1,136 games.

• Greensburg Salem has won eight conference titles, one WPIAL title and four mythical state titles. The team has made the WPIAL playoffs 17 times and the PIAA playoffs once.

• From 1894 to 1959, the school was known as Greensburg High School.

ROSTER

No., Player, Pos., Ht./Wt., Yr.

1, Rashad Canady, RB/DB, 5-10/170, Jr.

2, Raequan Rollins, WR/DB, 5-8/150, Jr.

4, Jerome Wallish, RB/DB, 5-7/130, Jr.

5, Christian Hostetler, WR/LB, 6-0/180, Jr.

6, Richie Christeleit, QB/LB, 5-11/170, Sr.

7, Hayden Teska, QB/DB, 6-2/190, Sr.

8, Desmond Sanders, WR/DB, 5-7/135, So.

9, Matthew Wallace, WR/DB, 5-9/160, Sr.

10, Donavin Waller, WR/DB, 6-3/170, Sr.

11, Cody Rubrecht, WR/QB/DB, 5-11/170, Jr.

12, Peyton Chismar, QB/DB/LB, 6-/165, Fr.

13, Jayden Stevens, TE/LB, 6-2/195, Sr.

14, Mike DeNezza, WR/DB, 5-9/160, Sr.

15, Alex Firestone, RB/LB, 5-7/170, Jr.

16, Kaidyn Gonder, WR/DB, 5-11/155, Jr.

17, JC Wallish, RB/LB, 5-7/170, Sr.

18, Dominic Rosensteel, WR/DB, 5-8/120, Fr.

20 Brandon Fazio, WR/LB, 5-7/150, Fr.

21, Keegan Young, WR/DB, 5-9/130, Fr.

22, Kyrel Vuletich, RB/DB, 5-9/135, So.

23, Kai Brunot, RB/DB, 5-9/155, Fr.

24, Adam Dipasquale, WR/LB, 5-7/155, So.

26, Maddox Massera, WR/DB, 5-6/115, Fr.

31, Blake Leone, TE/LB, 5-11/165, So.

32, Cooper Dann, WR/DB, 5-7/155, Fr.

33, Cameron Susman, WR/DB, 5-10/140, So.

34, Brady Smith, WR/DB/LB, 5-8/145, Fr.

44, Joshua Adomaitis, OL/DL, 5-10/200, Sr.

45, Jaden Wespi, WR/DB, 5-11/180, So.

46, Tyrone Williams, TE/LB, 5-9/185, Sr.

50, Kaleb Riggs, OL/DL, 6-0/260, Jr.

51, Isaiah Payne, OL/DL, 6-3/260, Jr.

52, Clayton Hudspath, OL/DL, 5-10/200, Sr.

53, Azreal Franklin, OL/DL, 5-8/190, Fr.

54, Billy McChesney, OL/DL, 6-2/265, Sr.

55, Casey Susman, OL/DL, 6-3/210, So.

57, Jake Geary, OL/DL, 5-9/230, So.

59, Caleb Chismar, OL/DL, 6-3/230, Sr.

60, Jack McGough, OL/DL, 5-7/215, Fr.

62, Ryan Ebersole, OL/DL, 5-10/190, So.

63, Christian McChesney, OL/DL, 6-0/230, Jr.

64, Wesley Heverly, OL/DL, 5-8/161, Fr.

67, Cole Savage, OL/LB, 5-9/200, Fr.

71, Sam Ghrist, OL/DL, 5-9/280, So.

73, Ayden Thompson, OL/DL, 6-1/235, So.

75, Thomas Kohl, OL/DL, 5-9/180, Fr.

78, Ender Cosgrove, OL/DL, 5-9/180, Fr.

86, Julian Stevens, TE/LB, 6-3/240, So.

99, Preston Henry, OL/DL, 6-0/210, Sr.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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