Rocky River Football

Rocky River brings athleticism to the gridiron: 2013 football preview

By Mike Holzheimer, cleveland.com

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – Inexperience may surround the Rocky River football team this fall, but there should be plenty of athleticism on display to get Pirates fans excited for the new season.

Coach Rick Adams, in his sixth year at the helm, lost 25 seniors from last year’s squad, but remains optimistic.

“We are more athletic in our skilled positions,” Adams said in his team’s preview form for cleveland.com. “In those positions, we are very athletic with good team speed.”

The Pirates, 6-4 in 2012, were in contention for the West Shore Conference title with roughly two weeks to go before Avon secured its third consecutive WSC championship.

Adams will rely on several key offensive players in center Billy Pelger, guard Cam Kysella, wide receiver Alex Theiling, quarterback Matt Lowry and wide receiver Pat Connors.

“Offensively, we’ll spread things out with an inside/outside zone attack,” said Adams. “Defensively, we will line up in a 4-4.”

Connors will be a key factor on that defense as one of the team’s mainstays in the secondary showcasing great speed as a defensive back.

Rocky River Pirates

Coach: Rick Adams, sixth year.

League: West Shore Conference.

Division: Division III.

2012 record: 6-4.

Top returning players: Billy Pelger, Sr., C, 6-0, 228; Cam Kysella, Jr., OG, 6-0, 255; Alex Theiling, Sr., WR/P, 6-4, 208; Matt Lowry, Jr., QB, 5-9, 160; Pat Connors, Jr., WR/DB, 5-10, 155.

Top newcomers: Travis Smith, Jr., RB, 5-8, 160; Dave Lizanich, Sr., FB, 6-3, 210; Eric Jones, Soph., WR/DB, 6-0, 150; Evin Nugent, Soph., WR/DB, 6-0, 155.

Comments: Pelger is a three-year starter at center, while Theiling and Connors will be good targets for Lowry to throw to. Adams says this year’s crop of flankers is the best group of receivers he’s ever coached.

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