Friday, August 30, 2013

Yisrael Makes Debut as Shamokin Hosts Pottsville

On Friday night, Shamokin Area Football will begin the Yaacov Yisreal era of the program. The Indians are hoping for a new beginning and better start to the 2013 than in 2012. After winning a District title and state playoff game in 2011, injuries and youth added up to a 2-8 campaign in 2012.

The 2012 numbers are a little deceiving. Shamokin Area lost 4 games by 10 points or less and played touch in a few others. Like last year's injury in the preseason to Andrew Hasuga, the 2013 season has also been hampered by injuries to key people and positions.

What will change in 2013? First, from attending a meeting back in May, Shamokin made strides in the weight room. Hopefully, that trend continued through August. The second thing was my Tuesday visit to practice. The players seemed more focused and engaged about football and nothing else. That was good to see. The number that will make or break Shamokin's season will be turnovers and takeaway ratio. Not only did the Indians turn the ball over around 3 times a game, those turnovers resulted in short fields for their opponents. Eventually, something had to give. If your turning it over, you are also putting it on the ground and recovering. This was a also a huge problem and killing drives. So far instead of getting down due to injuries, it looks like some younger guys have stepped up. Let's see if this carried into the 2013 season.

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