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Perkiomen Valley finds strength in its skill positions

 

The quick maturation of a sophomore-laden Perkiomen Valley squad may have surprised some across the PAC-10 landscape.

However, after their first outright PAC-10 Championship a season ago and its second-straight trip to the District 1-AAAA playoffs, the Vikings have turned into the hunted, rather than the hunter.

Quarterback Stephen Sturm returns after a scintillating sophomore campaign which saw him pass for an area-best 2,029 yards while tossing 21 touchdowns opposed to five interceptions. He turned in one of his best performances at a crucial juncture of the season, throwing for 146 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings conference-clinching 49-21 victory over Pottsgrove on Oct. 25.

Perkiomen Valley's Stephen Sturm returns after throwing for more than 2,000 yards in 2014.

Perkiomen Valley’s Stephen Sturm returns after throwing for more than 2,000 yards in 2014.

According to Perkiomen Valley head coach Scott Reed, 2015 could see even more from the junior signal-caller.

“He worked extremely hard this offseason,” Reed said. “We’re putting more and more pressure on him to run the offense and do more things because he already has the base stuff down. I think he’s doing a good job. He’s going to have to step up and be a leader this year and hopefully he can fill those shoes.”

David Williams returns after a similarly sensational sophomore campaign in which he rushed for 652 yards with 10 touchdowns on 105 carries. He’ll be joined in the backfield by Ronnie Arch who Reed said “is having a great camp so far.”

Justin Jaworski, the area’s leading receiver with 49 receptions (679 yards), returns after a breakout sophomore season. He will be joined by Aaron Morton on the outside as the Vikings look to replace the multi-faceted Taiyir Wilson.

“Even though we have these players coming back, right now it’s about building chemistry,” Reed said. “You go through all the seven-on-seven and you go through the workouts with helmets and stuff but until you get the full pads on and start running your stuff and actually have defenses coming at you, you can’t really rep it like you can in camp.

“So far we’ve had a couple of kids that have had a good camp so far. David Williams really looks alot better in this camp, even better than last year. We got some young kids that have had really good camps. Defensively, TJ Foley has been really good. he was solid for us last year. He’s had a great camp. The guys that we were hoping and expecting to be impact players seem to be doing their job and having a good camp.”

Perkiomen Valley's David Williams hauls in a pass during practice Thursday.

Perkiomen Valley’s David Williams hauls in a pass during practice Thursday.

Banged Up Big Men

Perkiomen Valley’s offensive line, which will be featured in The Mercury’s Annual Football Preview next week, has taken a beating in the opening week of camp. Already departed due to graduation are Andrew Narducci, Seth Jonassen and Dan Roh while John Tittle serves as the only returning starter from a season ago. That line helped the Vikings to 39.3 points per game, second in the PAC-10. This line, however, is still a work in progress with injuries only providing road blocks to building cohesion.

“We’re going to be limping into Pennsbury and Exeter in the first two scrimmages,” Reed said. “Up front we’re going to have a lot of young kids and a lot of backups which is going to be really tough. Not only do we have young kids playing against varsity opponents, but then the kids that are actually filling in for the four kids that graduated aren’t getting the reps in camp and in scrimmages. The plan now is to get everybody healthy for Council Rock North because that’s when it matters the most.”

Opening Week

Perkiomen Valley heads to Council Rock North on September 4 to open the season. The Vikings fell to CRN 29-27 in last season’s encounter.

Not enough?

Not enough content on Perkiomen Valley? Need not to worry. The Vikings will be featured in the annual Mercury Area Football Preview with stories about the rebuild of the team’s offensive line while also taking a gander about key pieces who return on defense. That edition will come out Sept. 2.

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