Saucon Valley looks for consistency
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.