With Shoaf gone, Yough looks to spread the wealth on offense

Sunday, August 18, 2019 | 11:41 AM

Much to the chagrin of the Yough football program, the Dustin Shoaf era is over, and it’s time for new players to take the football and carry it into the future.

“We’re going to miss Shoaf, but we have some good guys coming back,” Yough coach Scott Wood said. “Our skill is better than what we had last year. More guys will be able to show what they can do.”

Shoaf, now at Mercyhurst, finished his career as the program’s all-time leading rusher. He was one of the most prolific rushers to come out of Westmoreland County, with 5,053 yards. He won back-to-back WPIAL regular-season rushing titles.

Waiting in the wings as the possible heir apparent is Gamal Marballie, an athletic junior with quickness and elusiveness out of the backfield. He is listed as a wide receiver, but the Cougars will try their best to get the ball in his hands.

“Gamal is a game-breaker,” Wood said.

Marballie was an effective pass-catching threat for the Cougars, who last year finished 3-7 but continued to miss the playoff bus. They have not been to the postseason or had a winning season since 2013.

Marballie had 27 receptions for 321 yards and five touchdowns but carried just 19 times for 104 yards and two scores.

Like previous years, and despite Shoaf’s impact, this doesn’t expect to be a one-man show on Cougar Mountain.

Six starters return on offense, but the team will work in a new quarterback, sophomore Tristan Waldier, and will have an all-new line.

Waldier moves from receiver. He was a key defender with 75 tackles as a freshman.

“He is a tough kid,” Wood said. “He can take a kicking and keep coming at you.”

Wood also appreciates the effort of junior receiver C.J. Waldier, who at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds is a viable target for his brother downfield.

And speaking of large targets, senior tight end Russell Pytlak is 6-4, 230. Pytlak has an offer from Seton Hill, and interest is beginning to trickle in from Ivy League programs.

Wood likes his four-pack of receivers: C.J. Waldier, Marballie, Pytlak and junior Cody Bogac.

Senior Reno Ustazewski and freshman Khaden Marballie are other options at running back.

“We’re going to have a lot of people touch the ball,” Wood said.

Of the team’s 371 carries last year, Shoaf had 257. Wider distribution is expected now.

As for the offensive line, Wood became somewhat spoiled with continuity and will face a challenge up front.

“Five new guys,” he said. “We had the same line, give or take, for three years.”

Wood said sophomore Sam Dippolito, a transfer from Laurel Highlands, could be a replacement at center, and junior Austin Caudill has potential at tackle.

“The rest of the line is up for grabs,” Wood said.

Junior Kylie Roebuck returns and could see time on the offensive line.

“Her technique might be the best on the team,” Wood said.

The Cougars could have two girls on the team. Softball, soccer and lacrosse player Hadley Sleith, a senior, is expected to try out for kicker.

Ustazewski and Pytlak are the cogs of the defensive line after combining for 17 sacks last year. Yough, though, gave up 33.7 points a game.

The Waldiers and Gamal Marballie make up an athletic secondary that has the potential to take away deep threats across the WPIAL Class 3A Big East Conference.

That being said, linebacker was a big question mark heading into camp.

Dippolito has the look of a starting nose tackle.

Wood said North Catholic is the favorite in the Big East but expects Derry and Freeport to be strong, as well.

“And Burrell has done well in seven-on-sevens,” he said. “I think our conference could be very balanced, for the most part.”


Coach: Scott Wood

2018 record: 3-7, 3-5

All-time record: 155-310-11

Date, Opponent, Time

8.23, at Serra Catholic, 7

8.30, Uniontown*, 7

9.6, at Mt. Pleasant*, 7

9.13, Deer Lakes*, 7

9.20, at Burrell*, 7

9.27, Freeport*, 7

10.4, at Aliquippa, 7

10.11, at Derry*, 7

10.18, North Catholic*, 7

10.25, Elizabeth Forward*, 7

*Class 3A Big East Conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing: Jake Sever*

45-129, 589 yards, 6 TDs

Receiving: Gamal Marballie

27-321 yards, 5 TDs

Rushing: Dustin Shoaf*

257-1,968 yards, 18 TDs


Yough roster

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

2, Gamal Marballie, WR/DB, 6-0/180, Jr.

4, Tristan Waldier, 6-2/195, QB/S, So.

5, CJ Waldier, 6-2/185, QB/DB, Jr.

6, Christian Park, WR/DB, 6-1/200, So.

9, Russell Pytlak, TE/DE, 6-2/225, Sr.

12, Cody Bogac, WR/S, 6-0/190, JR.

15, Dylan Lynn, WR/DB, 5-10/170, Sr.

21, Reno Ustazewski, RB/DL, 5-11/235, Sr.

Kaden Bizzozero, WR/DB, 5-8/160, So.

Austin Caudill, OL/LB, 6-2/230, Jr.

Glenn Christner, OL/LB, 5-10/180, Jr.

George Dietz, OL/DL, 5-11/250, So.

Sam Dippolito, OL/DL, 5-11/240, So.

Dustin Fitzgibbons, OL/DL, 5-9/220, Fr.

Issac Gavaghan, OL/LB, 5-10/180, Jr.

Tanner Jarmon, OL/DL, 5-10/230, Fr.

CJ Layne, RB/LB, 6-0/180, Jr.

Khadeem Marballie, RB/LB, 6-1/220, Fr.

Nate McKenzie, WR/DB, 5-11/170, So.

Dom Ofchinick, OL/LB, 5-10/180, Jr.

RJ Ramono, OL/DL, 6-1/220, So.

Kylie Roebuck, OL/LB, 5-10/165, Jr.

Cohen Sager, RB/DB, 5-8/160, So.

Hadley Sleith, K, 5-4/125, Sr.

Brett Suehr, OL/LB, 5-11/185, Fr.

Josh Thomas, TE/OL/DL, 5-8/220, Jr.

Conor Thorton, OL/DL, 5-10/250, Jr.

Jonathan Vanzalg, OL/DL, 6-0/180, Fr.

Tyler Vanzalg, WR/LB, 6-0/185, So.

JJ Waller, WR/S, 5-7/150, Fr.

Jake Wardezak, OL/LB, 5-10/195, Sr.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.


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