2012-08-25 / Sports

Football season opens Friday

Coudersport’s Falcons and Cameron County’s Red Raiders have some things in common as they prepare for the high school football openers next Friday night.

Both teams are trying to fill some gaping holes left by graduation.

Each of them opens with a home game.

And from all appearances both squads will be trying to hold off the juggernaut Port Allegany Gators in the Allegheny Mountain League North Division.

Cameron County head coach Mark Morelli returns for his third season with about half of last year’s starters coming back. He’s optimistic the Red Raiders will better their 2-7 mark of 2011.

There will be experience in the offensive backfield equation with quarterback Tucker Britton (5-10, 175) and halfback Tony Olivett (5-7, 165). Other returning starters are Devin Mason (5-11, 185), C. J. Markum (5-11, 230), Cameron Horning (5-10, 190), Joseph Reynolds (5-11, 215) and Dylan Armstrong (6-0, 165). Also returning with experience are Taylor Saline (5-11, 150), Marc Farren (5-11, 245), Zach Cokely (5-3, 130), Cain Barr (5-8, 150), Brogan Lovett (5-10, 130), Eric Spehalski (5-7, 155) and Andrew Lathrop (5-11, 170).

The team has speed and should be able to limit opponents’ inside running game. The jury is out on the pass defense.

Offensively, Olivett and the speedy Antonio Johnson should have some success and Horning gives the Raiders strength between the tackles. Cameron County looks to be a run-heavy team.

The Raiders host Brockway in the opener on Friday (7 pm).

Coudersport comes off a gutsy 9-2 season that stood at 8-0 until the Falcons ran into Port Allegany.

Chris Fink, back for his third season as head coach, has been looking to fill the leadership void left by graduation. Eight starters are back among the 13 lettermen, as Coudersport prepares to host Curwensville on Friday at CARP’s Paul Simcoe Field (7 pm).

Junior Ethan Hite (5-10, 185) is targeted as the starting quarterback and he’ll likely hand the ball frequently to senior running backs Mitch Freeman (6-1, 190) and Caden Whitman (5-10, 180).

Joining that trio among returning starters are solid linemen like Forest Tuttle (junior, 6-0, 200), Jeffrey McManus (senior, 6-0, 245), Jesse Lincoln (senior, 5-8, 260), Ryan Counts (senior, 6-0, 180) and tight end Clayton Wilson (senior, 5-9, 185).

Other lettermen coming back are Zac Elenchin (junior, 5-9, 180), Alex Hershey (junior, 5-10, 155), Patrick Bollhorst (senior, 5-11, 150), Jake Lincoln (senior, 5-8, 180) and Alex Fletcher (senior, 6-5, 290).

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