Sau­con Val­ley looks for con­sis­tency

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Stephen Miller

Sau­con Val­ley fol­lowed its best day of prac­tice Tues­day with an un­even ef­fort Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

A ros­ter loaded with fresh­men and sopho­mores is still learn­ing its way un­der a new leader.

“We have good foot­ball play­ers,” first-year coach Brad Trem­bler said af­ter Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice, while the Pan­thers ran con­di­tion­ing drills on an ad­ja­cent hill. “We have a lot of tal­ent and skill around here. How fast are we go­ing to grow up and ma­ture? That’s the big ques­tion.”

Sau­con Val­ley has big holes to fill through­out its ros­ter. The Pan­thers fea­ture two line­men en­ter­ing their third sea­son as starters. Two sopho­mores re­turn who started last sea­son. Most of the other con­trib­u­tors from last sea­son’s team that

went 10-3 over­all and 8-2 in the Colo­nial League have de­parted.

That doesn’t mean ex­pec­ta­tions have dropped at Sau­con Val­ley. The Pan­thers reached the Dis­trict 11 Class 4A fi­nal for a sec­ond straight sea­son in 2018, again los­ing to Beth­le­hem Catholic.

Their sopho­more quar­ter­back, Dante Ma­haf­fey, wants more.

“I feel pretty good,” Ma­haf­fey said. “I have good con­fi­dence in this sea­son. We’ve been work­ing hard all off­sea­son. I’m def­i­nitely not as ner­vous as last year. I’m just fir­ing out, get­ting ready to play.”

Se­nior Evan Deily and ju­nior David Os­man lead the block­ers who will try to pave a path for Sau­con Val­ley’s of­fense. The Pan­thers would like to ex­pand their pass­ing at­tack this sea­son, but they don’t ex­pect to stray too far from the run-heavy ap­proach that has helped them win big in re­cent years.

Sau­con Val­ley’s de­fense must re­place four all-Colo­nial League first-team picks, two each at de­fen­sive line and line­backer. The Pan­thers don’t have much time to find the con­sis­tency Trem­bler seeks with a tough opener ahead. Sau­con Val­ley starts its sea­son with a home game against South­ern Le­high.

“We’re like a roller coaster,” Trem­bler said. “Our highs are high, and we look good. Then some of our lows are low.”


Brad Tem­bler is the new coach at Sau­con Val­ley and in charge of a young team.


Sau­con Val­ley quar­ter­backs Dante Ma­haf­fey, left, and Travis Riefen­stahl face off in a drill dur­ing a prac­tice Wed­nes­day.

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