It’s a new era for Berwick football as Frank Sheptock takes over as head coach. He has some big shoes to fill as he takes over for the late George Curry, the state’s all time winningest coach. A three time All American linebacker at Bloomsburg University and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Sheptock was the head coach at Wilkes University for many seasons, but this is his first high school head coaching job.
He welcomes back 11 starters from a team that went 9-3 and reached the District 2 AAA final where they lost to Scranton Prep. Sheptock plans on employing a no huddle, up temp offense. Junior Jared Marshman and senior Mike Force both started at quarterback at various times in 2015. Marshman is the likely starter this season and Force will move to a wide receiver spot. With Force, speedster Harrison Kuchka, and newcomers, Matt Champ and Damon Beckhorn, the receiving corps should be strong , and the passing game should be much improved over last season. Seniors Len Wyda and Anthony Cicini both had touchdown runs of over 60 yards last season. Up front the Dawgs should be strong with four of five starters returning to the offensive line including the versatile Kyle Pierce, a four year starter and a definite All State candidate. Other experienced returners include Stone Force, Ryan Woodard, Chase Strothers, Matt Taylor, Tom Monico, and Austin McLaughlin. Berwick’s offense could be very strong.
Sheptock is very optimistic about his team’s defense. The Dawgs will align in a 4-4 this season and have some outstanding talent led by all state candidate Kyle Roberts who is likely to line up at defensive end. Kyle Pierce and Stone Force both saw action on the defensive line last season, and Anthony Cicini and Justin Groshek are returning starters in the secondary. Evan Klinger was outstanding primarily in a backup role last season. A defense that was good last season, could be even better in 2016.
Sheptock retained Keith Seeley and Jon Jola from George Curry’s varsity coaching staff. They will be joined by Brian Remley, Jake Titus, Chris Matthews and volunteer assistant Mike Dalberto.
Berwick has the potential for a very good season, but will face a challenging schedule starting with a much improved Hazleton Area team in the opener. The Bulldogs will be a Quad A team in the new 6 classification system and should be a strong contender for a District 2 championship.
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