Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

QB Wants Beth-Center to Be a Top Dog in Wpial

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

QB Wants Beth-Center to Be a Top Dog in Wpial

Article excerpt

Davis Slagle became Beth-Center's starting quarterback by way of injury.

He's retained his starting berth this year through performance, hard work and a strong will to return Beth-Center football to elite status in the WPIAL.

Slagle, a junior, believes the Bulldogs are primed to make a run at the Black Hills Conference championship and an extended stay in the postseason.

"We need to keep moving forward," Slagle said, referring to Beth- Center's 7-3 overall mark in 2003 and first WPIAL playoff appearance since 1994. "The same record won't be good enough. We'll view that as disappointing.

"I think we have a team here that is as good, if not better than, the one we had last year. It definitely would be a letdown not to do better this season."

Slagle stepped in as the starting quarterback last year after Garrett Balas experienced a season-ending knee injury.

Slagle made the most of his opportunity, guiding Beth-Center to a 5-2 Black Hills record and a third-place finish. The Bulldogs' losses there came against Sto-Rox, the WPIAL runner-up, and Bishop Canevin, the second-place team in the Black Hills.

Beth-Center's other defeat came in the opening round of the playoffs, a 27-0 decision against three-time defending WPIAL champion Rochester.

Slagle said the experience gained in 2003 was invaluable.

"Now that it is behind us, you can feel how much it helps," said Slagle, who stands 6 feet 3 and weighs 180 pounds. "For me, with a playoff game behind me, I know it helped out a lot. The transition for me from backup to starter was enhanced greatly by going through what we did last year."

What also should help Slagle become a more proficient and polished quarterback this season was his attendance at two quarterback camps during the offseason.

He attended the Metro Index and Penn State camps and believes the biggest improvement he's made in the recent months has been in his accuracy.

"I am 10 times more accurate now than I was last season," Slagle said. "The camps were a big help. …

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