AAA / PARKWAY: Another Posluszny is determined to make his mark at Hopewell
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Lake Fong, Post-GazetteHopewell's David Posluszny is one of the top underclassmen defenders in the WPIAL.
Takes one to know one.
So you should perk up and listen when Penn State senior linebacker Paul Posluszny uses what might be the mightiest of mighty football player descriptions.
"He'll be a stud," Posluszny said.
The square-jawed, cement-chested, Butkus Award winner was describing his younger brother, David.
A 6 foot 2, 208-pound junior safety at Hopewell, David Posluszny is heading into a season in which he's being touted as one of the top underclassmen defenders in the WPIAL.
The general sentiment is that he's forcing people to take notice not only because of the obvious family ties, but also because he's proven to be his own entity. In short, he's building his own reputation.
The proof is this -- he's coming off a year in which he was a unanimous all-Parkway selection and was picked for The Associated Press all-state second team.
"He's not afraid to put his hat on you," Blackhawk coach Joe Hamilton said, which in football parlance means Posluszny will wallop ballcarriers when given the opportunity.
But David Posluszny -- who also will play running back this year -- is aware that people look at the "Posluszny" portion of his name before the "David" part. And how could you not?
Paul's merits are well known at Penn State, as are that of his other older brother, Stan. One of the top hitters in West Virginia University history, Stan is chasing a baseball career and is a minor-leaguer in Seattle's system.
"Because of my last name, there is an obvious sense of pride, and I think people do notice me because of the name," David said. "But I never felt any pressure and I feel that what it really is, is that I have been given an advantage. [Stan and Paul] have taught me a lot of things and helped me in a lot of ways."
As has Hopewell coach Dave Vestal. His guidance and how he has pushed David Posluszny along is common knowledge.
"He's very lucky to have a great high school football coach like Dave Vestal," Paul said. "Because of that, he's able to prepare and see everything as college football players do."
One day not too distant, David Posluszny should be one of those college football players. The interest from a number of schools is ever growing. Common sense says he'll lean on his family for advice.
"If he asks for advice from me, I'll give it to him," Paul said of David. "I will tell him how things are. But, he's going to want to make a lot of decisions on his own. He's definitely his own person."
David Posluszny knows he has risen to a sought-after commodity, but he's also aware that there's a lot left to be accomplished at Hopewell.
"I've heard from a number colleges," he said, without going into specifics. "I've gone to a few camps, but I definitely want to take the process slow. I want to concentrate on playing high school football right now."
In doing so, he'll attempt to lead the No. 3-ranked Vikings where Paul did in 2002, to the WPIAL championship.
TEAM TO BEAT
Hopewell The Parkway is as tough of a conference in Class AAA, and many around it are buzzing about the Vikings' chances. Who will replace graduated running back Mike Elmore (1,064 yards) is a big question and most of the responsibility falls to junior Jared Rains (5-11, 185). Also, pay special attention to junior David Posluszny (S/RB 6-2. 208), a second-team all-state selection who will anchor the defense.
Blackhawk Senior Brian Sweeney (QB 6-2, 185) missed all of last season with an injury. Look for him to be very good, especially because he can utilize proven commodities in seniors Josh Gumbert (WR 6-1, 190) and Matt Parker (RB 6-0, 215).
Moon The Tigers have proven skill players at all but quarterback. Senior Justin Fuller (5-9, 165) is slated as the starter and, to this point, has been a backup. He does have weaponry around him, though, in seniors Michael Battles (RB 5-8, 160), Chris Jeannot (WR 6-6, 210), Alex Laipple (WR 6-1, 195) and Andrew Dowdell (TE 6-2, 220).
West Allegheny The Indians are as young as they have been in quite some time. Senior Nick Zemanek (WR 5-9, 180) and junior Ryan Revtai (TE/LB 6-2, 215) are vital cogs. Junior Tyler Joyce (6-3, 200) is slated to start at quarterback and much rides on how he plays.
Montour Dick Butkus isn't around any longer and that leads to one certainty -- the Spartans will be improved (albeit on television less). Christian Wilson (LB/RB 6-3, 210), a junior, is one of the premier athletes in the WPIAL.
Ambridge The Bridgers are short on big-bodied guys up front and that could hurt. Senior Mitch Kuvinka (WR 6-1, 175) and junior David Duke (QB 6-1, 175) make a fine pair.
New Castle Since a 2002 season when the Red Hurricane went 9-2, they have had three consecutive 3-7 seasons. Is this the year they get to four wins? That remains to be seen.
FIVE TO WATCH
Michael Battles, Sr., Moon, RB/DB, 5-8, 160; David Posluszny, Jr., Hopewell, FS/RB, 6-2, 208; Jared Rains, Jr., Hopewell, RB, 5-11, 185; Brian Sweeney, Sr., Blackhawk, QB, 6-2, 185; Christian Wilson, Jr., Montour, RB/LB, 6-3, 210.
GAME OF THE YEAR
Hopewell at Blackhawk, Sept. 22.
First Published August 30, 2006 12:00 am