Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lebo's Roth Makes Smooth Transition to Quarterback Role

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lebo's Roth Makes Smooth Transition to Quarterback Role

Article excerpt

Tyler Roth is used to being in the spotlight.

Roth was an all-conference selection as a defensive back and a punter last season for Mt. Lebanon. He also started as a sophomore for the Mt. Lebanon basketball team as it reached the WPIAL Class AAAA championship game in 2011.

Thus, Roth was neither anxious nor nervous when new Mt. Lebanon football coach Mike Melnyk picked him as the starting quarterback last spring. Melnyk replaced Chris Haering, who left to become the linebackers coach at Pitt under first-year coach Paul Chryst.

"I was excited," Roth said. "It meant a lot to me. I was excited he had that kind of faith in me and I was excited to take on a new challenge as a senior."

Roth has met the challenge so far this season as he has led Mt. Lebanon to a 3-1 record. After losing to North Allegheny in a non- conference game on opening night, the Blue Devils have won three in a row inside the Southeastern Conference heading into a big game at Woodland Hills (3-1, 2-1) on Friday night at the Wolvarena in Turtle Creek.

"He's done an outstanding job, especially when you consider he had thrown three varsity passes prior to this season," said Melnyk, who previously coach at Manheim Township, near Lancaster. "I'm not surprised, however, at how he's done. He was an all-conference cornerback so you know he's a great athlete and he's also very intelligent.

"He's one of those kids who takes the instruction you give to him verbally and immediately puts it into action physically. He picks up on things very fast."

Roth has been the perfect fit for Melnyk's more wide-open offense as he has thrown for 776 yards and 10 touchdowns without an interception while completing 45 of 82 passes.

The regular season reaches its midway point this weekend and Roth is closing in on the 873 passing yards Pat Goff had for Mt. Lebanon last season when Haering used a more run-heavy attack that featured 1,907-yard rusher Luke Hagy.

"We were all stunned when coach Haering left," Roth said. …

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