Pennsbury back to defend District 1 crown

FALLS TOWNSHIP – It should be an interesting season in the Suburban One League (SOL), at least as far as lower Bucks teams are concerned. Just about all of the teams have senior quarterbacks returning with significant varsity experience.

For Pennsbury, the big question mark is who will carry the ball downfield. While quarterback Mike Alley is back under center, halfbacks Charles Snorweah (Rutgers), Raheem Thompson and Victor Delgado (Bloomsburg) have all graduated.

After amassing just over 2,700 yards rushing last season, Snorweah just can’t be replaced.

“Those guys were some really good ballplayers but a lot of them aren’t with us anymore,” said head coach Galen Snyder.

“Now, we move on and we have to do it a little differently. We have to do what we have to do to get the job done. That’s up to the coaches and players to make the adjustments.”

Carrying the football this season for the Falcons are fullbacks Chris Rupprecht (5-10, 218) and Luke Snyder (5-11, 200) along with halfback Daulton Hose (6-0, 185). While all three are seniors, Rupprecht spent last season playing right guard.

While he has carried the football before, Hose played mostly at linebacker as did Luke Snyder until the postseason when Pennsbury went with an ‘I’ formation on offense. Then, Luke moved to fullback so Snyder has five playoff games under his belt at the position.

Whether they are in a wing-T or an ‘I’ formation, the Falcons are known for utilizing the ground-and-pound offense. And for that you need a dominant offensive line. Junior left tackle Maurice Stukes, a force to be reckoned with at 6-8, 370 pounds, and senior tight end Vinnie Ratamass (6-4, 220) are the only two back on the O-line. Senior Nick Paragano (6-0, 291) takes over at right tackle for the since-departed Sam Raywood and classmate Jack Kenny (6-0, 235) takes over at center.

Vying for the guard positions are seniors Noah Smith (5-10, 200) and Jack Harkins (6-0, 230) along with junior Ryan Harrah (5-11, 190).

“If you look at the last couple of years, our offensive line has really done well,” said Coach Snyder. “Of course, we’ve had some good players in the backfield.”

“Two years ago, we averaged 37 points a game. Last year, it was 38 and a half. They were both school records.”

“Stukes is back and is better – a year older; I’m expecting big things from him. Paragano, after making the move over to offense, I’ve been real pleased with him and the same with Jack Kenny.”

“Even though it’s their first year on the O-line, they’re guys who’ve played a lot of varsity football for us on the D-line; it’s just making that transition.”

Defensively, Pennsbury would have returned most of its starters had not three players jumped over to offense. That said, the Falcons still return five starters on D including defensive ends Joe Maurer and Jeremiah Wells. Both are seniors and they’ll get help at tackle from classmate Makhi Butler along with junior Tyrone Hodges.

Returning starter Luke Snyder (5-11, 200) will anchor a fresh linebacking corps that includes Ned Ibric (5-10, 180) and Johnny Hose (5-11, 182).

While safeties Rob Daly and Greg Lichtenstein – both, seniors – are returning starters, senior Andy McFarlane and junior Zeek Kershaw are all new at the corner position.

“We feel pretty good about where we are,” said Coach Snyder. “If you look at our defensive line, we have a lot of speed and athleticism We have some real experience behind them with Luke (Snyder), Roby Daley and Greg Lichtenstein.”

“We have some new defensive tackles and corners but as we go, I expect them all to perform well.”

Lichtenstein had a monster game in the district title win over Coatesville and made a game-saving tackle on fourth-and-one down at the goal line. Daly can play a variety of positions and Luke was the leading tackler on the team last year.

Along with senior Quentin Davis (6-4, 160), Daley will also anchor the receiving corps.

Pennsbury opens Sept. 4 at home against SOL Continental Conference rival Council Rock South then travels to Plymouth-Whitemarsh Sept. 11 when it will take on Philadelphia Catholic League foe LaSalle. Then, it’s back home Sept. 18 vs. CR North then the league opener at home Sept. 25 vs. Souderton.

NOTES: Snorweah supplanted Jackson Fagan as the Falcons’ single season rushing record holder. Assistant coaches Jeff Arndt (running backs) and Jeff Warnick (linebackers) have joined the Pennsbury staff. Arndt is a returning coach and Warnick comes from Lincoln.

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