Colonials hope tweaked offense sparks turnaround
WHITEMARSH >> After a couple down years, Plymouth Whitemarsh is tweaking its offense.
“It’s not new,” head coach Dan Chang said, “maybe back to my original roots. We strayed away from what we’ve done in the past, just with different personnel. I wouldn’t say it’s anything new, just a slight tweak.”
“We implemented a (different) offense,” quarterback Larry McLaughlin said. “We’ve been working on that, getting that down. Execution is huge. Pace of play is huge, too. We’re working on that so everything is smooth. Execution always has to be good.
“We’re running similar plays but different personnel groupings, different formations, different pace. It should be fun.”
Chang going back to his roots means an emphasis on an option attack and that should be at its best with an experienced signal-caller.
McLaughlin is entering his third season as the starting quarterback and the difference has been night-and-day.
“When he was a sophomore it was like throwing him into the fire,” Chang said. “He was learning as he was playing. The last two years he took his bumps — we all did as a team — and we’re all hoping this is the breakout year for everybody here.”
“(Deep passing) is something I’m trying to work on,” McLaughlin said. “I’m really precise with the short balls, but I also want to get precise with those long, deep balls. Those are the home run plays that get the crowd going — try to get them going as fast as possible.”
The quarterback believes this year’s team has a different feel compared to his first two.
“Big culture change this year,” he said. “We have guys that want to stay after each day, which we haven’t had these past two years. We have a lot of new leaders. A lot of these seniors are stepping up this year which is awesome to see.”
The QB should benefit from having a strong unit around him. The coaches like the skill position players, like running backs Chris Pierce and Mike Paciello, and have seniors Tim McNally, Zach Davis and Jake Davis leading the offensive line.
“As long as we finish out that O-line,” Chang said, “I think we could be pretty good (on offense).”
The Colonials expect big things from all three levels of their defense.
Chang mentioned the linebackers as being the defense’s strength. Paciello is an established player in the middle and underclassman Nate Kern has been impressive so far in camp.
In the secondary, Pierce is the leader at free safety while everyone else is getting better every day.
The defensive line should look pretty similar to the offensive line with the big guys playing both ways.
Being solid on both sides of the ball should result in a major improvement on last season’s 1-8 record and 1-5 finish in the Suburban One League American Conference.
“Our goal every year is to try and win the league,” Chang said. “That’s our goal No. 1 — win the league and see if we can make some waves in the playoffs. That’s no different this year.”
Plymouth-Whitemarsh 2019 Schedule
OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH
Chris Pierce, Running Back >> The running back transferred into Plymouth Whitemarsh in the middle of last season as a member of a military family. Pierce is the complete package — big, strong, electric, good blocker, good vision. The Colonials see him as a breakout guy this year.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH