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2017 Bobcat Football Preview (08/19/17)

The Clarion Area Bobcat Football Team is hard at work in pre-season workouts, preparing for the 2017 gridiron campaign.

Bobcat seniors: L-R Front – Seth Nellis, Tom Hearst, Colton Rapp, Ryley McMaster, Brendan Zerfoss, Nick Cherico, Spencer Miller,
Back – Zak Bauer, Thomas Wurster, Jacob Selker, Sterling Conner, Colt Stimmel, Clayton Adams, Traeson Douglas, Keeven Weaver

Clarion Sports Zone caught up with longtime Head Coach Larry Wiser and longtime assistants Scott “Scooter” Miller, Lee Weber and Nate McClaine and got their input on the outlook for the upcoming season. Each shared about their players and a little of what to expect from the Cats in this season.

Following is their take on this year’s team:

Special Teams –  Coach Scott Miller: “Both the kicker and punter, as well as the returners are back. We have a whole lot of special teams guys back. All the main guys are back. Archer Mills is back kicking. We might have some depth at kicking as well, which is nice. Spencer Miller (who had the best average per punt in the KSAC) is back punting and seems to be booming the ball well, so far this fall.

“Our kickoff return guys are back with Sterling Conner and Brendan Zerfoss. We are missing Ryley McMaster (out with an injury) on specials, which is going to hurt. Those are some big shoes to fill. Other than that, I think we have a lot of experience back in most positions.

“Our long snappers are back, in Conner and Drew Wrhen. Nick Porciello also snapping so we are kind of sitting pretty there”.

Defense – Coach Lee Weber: “We have everybody back at defensive end, with Tommy Wurster, Colt Stimmel and Jacob Selker. The interior, nose tackle we’ll have Seth Nellis, Nick Cherico, and Nick Porciello.

“At linebacker, we have Colton Rapp returning in the middle. We do have to replace a couple of starting outside linebackers, but we have some young guys who are worthy of those positions, with the Minich boys, Sam and Logan, Camden Boggess, who transferred from Keystone and Zak Bauer. Zak can be in either the linebacker or tackle position.

“Our defensive backs, we had three guys returning but Ryley is out. But we do have Spencer Miller returning at safety, with Keeven Weaver and Thomas Hearst in at cornerback and at strong safety possibly Sterling moving in from corner to strong safety. So we have athletic guys there to fill for graduated Ty Burford.

“So defensively, high expectations. They had a strong year last year and hopefully they’ll have just as strong, or better, year this year.” (Coach Wiser expects veterans Traeson Douglas, Archer Mills, and Clayton Adams to help in the secondary also.)

Offensive/Defensive Line – Coach Nate McClaine: “On the offensive line we have a lot of seniors back, so we have guys who have been starting two or three years. At center, we have Seth Nellis. At strong guard we have Zak Bauer.

“At strong tackle, Nick Cherico. At tight end we have Thomas Wurster. We also have Drew Wrhen working in at tight end to give us a little depth there.

“We also have Colt Stimmel at quick guard and Jacob Selker at quick tackle. Nick Porciello is a versatile player that could step in at various positions if needed. Some of our other younger lineman will continue to develop as the season progresses to give us depth on the line.”

Offense – Head Coach Larry Wiser: “We return Spencer Miller at quarterback. We also have our two backups Archer and Traeson Douglas back, which is nice. At tight end, Tommy Wurster returns. Drew Wrhen will back him up. Tommy played a lot last year. He split the time about 50/50.

“We have some competition going on at wideout, between Tom Hearst, Clayton Adams and Archer. We are going to try to move Archer from quarterback and get him to do some wide receiver stuff and so forth.

“At Z-back we have some good speed with Keeven Weaver and Brendan Zerfoss. Sterling Conner will move between running back and receiver, basically to give us depth at various positions.

“We return Colton Rapp at tailback. He obviously had a great year last year. We expect Logan Minich to come in and help us out there. Sam Minich and Camden Boggess will be at fullback.

“There are basically a lot of returning lettermen and people we have coming in there. We have a little bit of depth at certain positions. But we need to get some people to continue working at some of that stuff too.

“Offensively, we expect to kind of take off where we were last year. I thought we had a precise passing game. We got the ball in the end zone by air about twenty times. I think our running game was one of the better ones in the KSAC last year. And the returning linemen and backs we have. We have high hopes…”

Coach Wiser’s summary: “I say the same thing every year about our team. It’s always the kind of chemistry. We started out last year and I think most people did not pick us to be anywhere close to being a descent football team. It’s probably a little bit different story this year. But the focus has to be, as it always is, the next day at practice and the first ball game, which is Punxsutawney. So our kids are getting ready for that, not to look ahead, not to listen to whatever the white noise is that goes on around them and stay focused and work hard and to continue improving. We’ve been pleased so far in what we’ve seen in practice.

“I’m looking for an exciting year. I know there are some things coming up. A good possibility we could hit 500 wins. We expect to do that. But we want to win that first game. We are at 497. We want to win that that number 498 and hopefully everything else takes care of itself.”

(Looking forward to another great season. LET’S GO CATS!!!!)

Varsity Football

Saturday Aug. 19 (A) Marion Center 10:00AM (Scrimmage)

Friday Aug. 25 (H) St. Marys 5:00PM (Scrimmage)

Friday Sept. 1 (A) Punxsutawney 7:00PM

Friday Sept. 8 (A) Brookville 7:00PM

Friday Sept. 15 (H) Keystone 7:00PM

Friday Sept. 22 (A) Clarion-Limestone 7:00PM

Friday Sept. 29 (H) Moniteau 7:00PM

Thursday Oct. 5 (A) Redbank Valley 7:00PM

Friday Oct. 13 (H) Karns (HOMECOMING) 7:00PM

Friday Oct. 20 (H) A-C Valley /Union (Senior Night) 7:00PM

Friday Oct. 27 (A) St. Marys 7:00PM

Junior Varsity Football

Monday Sept. 11 (H) Brookville 6:30PM

Monday Sept. 25 (H) Clarion-Limestone 6:30PM

Monday Oct. 2 (A) Moniteau 6:30PM

Monday Oct. 9 (H) Redbank Valley 6:30PM

Monday Oct. 16 (A) Karns City 6:30PM

Monday Oct. 23 (A) Union/A-C Valley at Union High School 6:00PM

Monday Oct. 30 (H) St. Marys 6:30PM

Junior High Football

Thursday Sept. 7 (H) Punxsutawney 6:30PM

Thursday Sept. 14 (H) Brookville 6:30PM

Thursday Sept. 21 (A) Keystone 6:30PM

Thursday Sept. 28 (H) Clarion-Limestone 6:30PM

Thursday Oct. 5 (A) Moniteau 6:30PM

Thursday Oct. 12 (H) Redbank Valley 6:30PM

Thursday Oct. 19 (A) Karns City 6:30PM

Wednesday Oct. 25 (A) A-C Valley 6:00PM