New coach looks for turnaround
Cella takes over a team that went winless last year
He is also bringing a sense of reality with him.
Cella, the Trojans third coach in four years, knows there is no easy fix to getting the program back on track.
Cella has been pleased how the players have responded since he was hired in February.
Every single one of our kids made 90 percent of the workouts in the summer, Cella said. Theyre ready to go. They work very hard and are very coachable.
I mean when youve been this bad for this long, you have to change learned behavior. How we change learned behavior is we found kids who wanted to be here 12 months a year. If they were playing other sports, they wanted to be active 12 months a year and we built the program around them.
Thats how we start to turn around this program.
Nanticoke will switch to a triple-option offense, which will give new starting quarterback Deric Grohowski the choice of running the ball himself, handing it to the running back either Nick Kerbaugh Justin Wiernusz or pitching it to either the slotback.
The offense, said Cella, will take the burden off the offensive line, which had trouble blocking last season. The rushing attack averaged 2.1 yards per carry in 2007, with Wiernusz the teams top rusher with a mere 189 yards.
We ran it when I coached in New Jersey from 98-2000, and we went to the state semifinals in 99 running triple-option and Ive continued to run it to this day, Cella said.
Four slotbacks Ed Espillat, Brandon Novakoski, Darian Twyman and Darryl Widder will also get their cracks running the ball.
Center Alex Golanowski will be the anchor of the line.
Hes a tough kid, a hard working kid, Cella said. He represents exactly what we want in this program.
Stan Hughes and Al Leiby will be the guards. Andrew Agustini will be the right tackle, while either Chad Hashagen or Kyle Kotz will be the left tackle. The tackle trio isnt very bulky, but thats not a huge obstacle in the offense.
Chris Chesla, former quarterback Beau Colatosti, Crestwood transfer Ryan Evans and Jake Myers will be the receivers.
The rush defense was terrible last year. It allowed 8.2 yards per carry, had two opponents rush for over 300 yards and another fall just short of 500 in a game.
We have to turn the ball back inside, eliminate explosive plays in the running game, Cella said. Those runs over 12 yards have to be eliminated.
The hope is Joe Johnson a 6-foot-6, 385 pounder can clog thing up at the nose. Golanowski will be at defensive tackle, with Agustini and Kotz at ends.
Rob Smith will be on the weak side, Myers and Colotosti will be in the middle and Novakoski will be on the strong side.
The secondary is the strength of the team. Twyman and Widder will be at the corners, Evans at strong safety and Espillat or Chesla will be the free safety.
Success wont be determined in the win column at least for this season. Cella and his staff want to put down a foundation for a program that is 7-43 over the last five years, with five of those victories coming against the now-closed Bishop Hafey and Bishop OReilly.
The schedule is a little easier as Coughlin and Dallas have been dropped and Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech and Mid Valley added, so that should help as well.
Coach: Lou Cella (2-18) 1st at Nanticoke; 3rd overall