[tps_title]West Chester East Vikings [/tps_title]
Cichanowsky key as Vikings aim to continue upward swing
EAST GOSHEN >> The West Chester East football team had a very successful 2018 campaign, as the Vikings, under head coach Scott Stephen, won the mythical West Chester Championship for the first time, defeating West Chester Henderson and West Chester Rustin.
The Vikings, in Stephen’s second season, qualified for the District 1 Class 5A playoffs, and the feeling is bright around Vikings camp coming into the 2019 season.
“I really think the strength of our team coming into the season is our senior class,” Stephen said. “They have been together since they were freshmen and they are a real hard-working, tight-knit group that looks out for each other and works extremely hard.”
One of those seniors is running back Kyle Cichanowsky, who had multiple Division 1 offers before deciding to play his collegiate football next fall at Bryant University. Cichanowsky is a shifty runner who has good speed and accounted for more than 1,400 rushing yards last season. The talented senior can beat teams running between the tackles or skirting the edges and can also catch the football out of the backfield.
“Kyle is just one tough dude,” Stephen said. “He does so much work in the offseason and he loves football and goes about his business that way. He is a very good practice player and we are very lucky to have him. He is just very coachable and a great kid.”
West Chester East will have to find a replacement for graduated signal caller Ryan Cassidy, and Stephen has high hopes for junior Ryan Duell, who is 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. Duell has a big arm and has really developed over the offseason, according to Stephen, and the head coach said Duell is ready to go.
“We have a lot of confidence coming into this year,” Cichanowsky said. “We have some young guys but we also have good senior leadership and we are very confident that we will have a good season. The feeling is very good here right now.”
The Vikings also have some talent returning on defense as West Chester East boasts the return of a two-year starter Hugh Lemmon-Kishi, who is a handful for opposing blockers to handle. Lemmon-Kishi is a two-year starter who will pilot a Vikings defense that also features returning secondary men John and Joey Wileczek, who are both good cover men with a lot of speed.
The Wileczek brothers also will play a big role in the West Chester East offense as both will carry the football and are both skilled slot receivers.
With the new Ches-Mont League alignment, West Chester East will open the season with a nonleague game against Council Rock North, and the Vikings will also play both Downingtown East and Downingtown West in their crossover games with the National Division.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kyle Cichanowsky >> Running Back
The Vikings senior is one of the best backs in District 1 and will be the primary worry of every opposing team’s defense.
Hugh Lemmon-Kishi >> Defensive Line
Lemmon-Kishi is a two-year starter who is very strong against the run, and will be a handful for opposing offensive linemen and backs.
By Pete DiGiovanni; email@example.com