Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Playoff-Bound Kiski's Big Win over Penn-Trafford Assures Postseason Bid

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Playoff-Bound Kiski's Big Win over Penn-Trafford Assures Postseason Bid

Article excerpt

The faithful of Kiski Area High School are witnessing a trend this year that they have not been accustomed to in quite some time - - a winning football team.

After its scintillating 34-14 victory against Penn-Trafford last Friday at Davis Field in Vandergrift, the Cavaliers improved to 4-3 overall and 4-2 in the Class AAAA Foothills Conference and now has a chance to record its first winning season since 2003.

"I am just trying to concentrate on one day and one week at a time," second-year head coach Dave Heavner said about clinching a WPIAL playoff berth. "Last year was my first year at Kiski Area and going into the job I knew what we had. I had an opportunity to build on things from last year but the success begins and ends with the football team."

Heavner began the turnaround last year after taking over a team that won three total games the previous two years. Last year he led the Cavaliers to a 4-6 overall record and 4-4 mark in the conference, ending a five-year playoff drought.

"Usually there is a lot of growth between the first and second year," Heavner said. "The foundation last year everyone knew the expectations that I had. In the offseason the coaching staff knew what we had and knew how to tweak our system and get all of our athletes on the field at the same time."

The staff and players have done a great job working to improve their history this year, and make sure to acknowledge the small accomplishments along the way.

"Winning games like the homecoming game was a big deal for this team," Heavner said. "We appreciate the little goals that we have accomplished throughout the season."

The Cavaliers' success this year has been headlined by a mixture of the senior class and underclassmen, and the fact that they returned nine players on defense and 10 on offense.

"We played young guys last year and were able to gain experience," Heavner said. "This year we were able to take that experience and make plays on the football field.

"The strength of our football team is our senior class. All of them are special and have worked real hard."

Some of the seniors whom Heavner is referring to are captains Joe Brungo, Shane Kuhn, Pat Turner and kicker Adam Mitcheson.

Brungo has been a first-team all-conference selection at wide receiver since his sophomore year and as a safety last year. So far in this campaign, Brungo leads the team with 20 receptions for 220 yards and three touchdowns. He is also first on the team with three interceptions and third with 29 tackles.

"He is a great leader and a great defender on the football field," Heavner said.

Shane Kuhn is an all-conference tight end and linebacker. Kuhn has 12 receptions for 181 yards and one touchdown on the season and also has an interception and is first on the team with 62 tackles. Kuhn was also a WPIAL champion and PIAA runner-up in wrestling. …

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