Wednesday, August 29, 2018

2018 Lycoming football season preview - Up for grabs wide receivers and tight ends

Courtesy of Lycoming College Sports Information
There is something about wide receivers that attracts me. Maybe it is their free spirit, their ability, their will to go up for grabs and bring that ball in for a reception. They are smart, fast, great pass pattern runners and gutsy. We have had some great ones in the past and still have some today. Clearly the best in Lycoming history is Tim Dumas '99 who holds school records for pass receptions, pass reception yards and passing touchdowns. But I remember some that are on and off the list that have made a personal impression with me. They are in no special order Ryan Umpleby '15, John Kim '18, Ricky Lannetti '03, Ryan Wagaman '10, John Sibel '14, Brock Zollicoffer '18 and Nick Costello '18

Sr, WR Nick Costello splitting the defensive back and linebacker.
In looking at one of the current standouts, Sr, WR Nick Costello comes to mind.  Nick is already 7th on the Lycoming "Pass Reception Yardage" record book with another year to play. And he suffered an injury that kept him out for a time in 2015 I believe. He will be someone this years quarterback wants to keep an eye out for. He can jump, he runs great patterns and has great hands and can get up in the air with his 6'5" body. He also can bring down "Jump Balls" in the clutch. He will move way up the list this year in my opinion.

Now let's take peek at what 2018 talent looks like for the Warrior's wide receivers and tight ends.

Wide Receivers
A trio of senior wide receivers that have combined for more than 2,000 yards in their careers will once again pace the Warrior passing game, while depth at the position includes a group of six talented sophomores and juniors and six new faces.

Nick Costello (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) leads the group, as the team captain enters the season with 99 career catches for 1,559 yards and 15 touchdowns. The 6-5 receiver averaged 17.2 yards per reception as a junior, as he has become the team’s best deep threat, catching 10 passes for more than 20 yards.

Brock Zollicoffer (Baltimore, Md./Owings Mills) is coming off a breakthrough year, as the team captain had 25 catches for 327 yards and three touchdowns as a junior. He gives the team a jolt of explosiveness and another big play option to go with Costello. Senior John Kim (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) will also continue to see action after posting 25 catches for 259 yards in the past two seasons.

Juniors Dezmen Johnson (Browns Mills, N.J./Pemberton Township), Christoff Minott (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) and Stephen Toczylousky (Catawissa, Pa./Southern Columbia) also saw increased time as juniors and will see action for several snaps a game. Sophomore Tyjah During (Accokeek, Md./Surrattsville) will also factor into the receiving corps.

Who Returns: Niko Arhontakis, So., West Grove, Pa./Avon Grove; Nick Costello, Sr., Havertown, Pa./Haverford; Tyjah During, So., Accokeek, Md./Surrattsville; Dezmen Johnson, Jr., Browns Mills, N.J./Pemberton Township; John Kim, Sr., Havertown, Pa./Haverford; Rob Martucci, So., Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central; Christoff Minott, Jr., Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby; Stephen Toczylousky, Jr., Catawissa, Pa./Southern Columbia; Brock Zollicoffer, Sr., Baltimore, Md./Owings Mills.

Newcomers: Marcus Chambers, Fr., Brooklyn, N.Y./Hudson Catholic; Gaven Kratzer, Fr., Freeburg, Pa./Selinsgrove Area; Kevin Krawczyk, Fr., Dupont, Pa./Pittston Area; Tre' Leach, Fr., Middletown, Pa./Middletown; Dan O'Hare, Fr., Philipsburg, N.J./Notre Dame; Damani Sease, Fr., Stroudsburg, Pa./Pocono Mountain East.

Coach’s Take: “It is a good group. The first seven or eight games of Nick Costello’s sophomore year were really good. I didn’t think he made a huge step last year, but looking  back, considering he was coming off a major surgery to still average 17 yards per catch, those aren’t bad numbers. Nick is really motivated. Somehow, he didn’t make all-conference last year and I can’t imagine there are too many receivers better than him this year. Brock is really unique. His speed separates him. He can carry the ball some for us. John has been really steady through the years, dependable and sure-handed. Steve started to show some improvement from year one to year two before he got hurt last year. He is another big target. Christoff is a guy we have to utilize. He maybe assumes a Matt Atkinson-type role from a few years ago. He might go into the game as a wildcat quarterback. I am intrigued to see how those things go. He is a really good athlete.”

Tight Ends
Senior Mike Mulvihill (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) moves from the wide receiver slot to the line after he caught 15 passes for 138 yards in 2017. With his 6-2, 230-pound frame, Clark said Mulvihill gives the team an exciting option as a pass-catching tight end and that Mulvihill is picking up the blocking schemes quickly.

Senior Joe Oquendo (Upland, Pa./Monsignor Bonner) has moved up the depth chart throughout his career and along with senior Logan Mirolli (Coal Township, Pa./Shamokin Area), give the team a pair of experienced options at the position.

Who Returns: Logan Mirolli, Sr., Coal Township, Pa./Shamokin Area; Mike Mulvihill, Sr., Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca; Joe Oquendo, Sr., Upland, Pa./Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast.

Newcomers: Christian Diggs, So., Williamsport, Pa./Loyalsock Twp.

Coach’s Take: “Michael should be the most athletic pass-catching tight end we’ve had in many years. He was the one that requested the move. What that gives us is a really versatile piece because he can play attached as a traditional tight end or he’s a guy we can play aligned wider as a receiver. He’s got some work to do blocking-wise, but he is the best threat receiving wise in my time here. Logan Mirolli and Joe Oquendo are both seniors. Logan is a bit bigger and thicker and can help us in the run game. Joe is a guy who knows everything and has really good hands as well. When we were really good from the 2012-14 time frame, we always had a second tight end show up. We need those guys to have roles on the team.”
Tune in tomorrow for a look at the 2018 Defense.

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