Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Class 3a: Freeport Big East Conference

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Class 3a: Freeport Big East Conference

Article excerpt

Like just about every team, Freeport is breaking in new starters and has a bunch of players who will get their first big dose of varsity playing time this fall.

The development of those players will go a long way in determining if the Yellowjackets reach the postseason for the eighth time in 11 seasons.

While that won't be decided for quite some time, one thing is for sure.

The schedule-makers did them no favors.

Freeport has a meat grinder of an early-season schedule, opening with consecutive games at Derry, home against Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic and at Elizabeth Forward. All three teams earned at least a share of a conference title last season and are expected to be among the top teams in the Big East this season.

"Those first three are definitely in the top four, and North Catholic is just loaded," said Freeport coach John Gaillot.

Luckily, Freeport has weapons, too. The Yellowjackets are coming off a strong season, going 7-3 and finishing as the runner-up in the Class 3A Allegheny Conference. They appear to be solid again, too, as they return seven starters on offense and six on defense.

For the fifth time in six years, a Romanchak is starting at quarterback. Andrew Romanchak started for two seasons. Ryan Weigold then took over for a season before giving way to Austin Romanchak, who is now in his third season as a starter. A senior, Romanchak is an excellent athlete - Penn State has offered him a preferred walk-on spot as a receiver - who has been a better runner than thrower, but Gaillot said Romanchak has made big strides.

"Last year passing wasn't his forte, but that pass threat is legit this year," Gaillot said. "We have kids who can catch and run good routes, and Austin is throwing bullets."

They also have someone who can run the ball. Senior running back Conor Selinger is a three-year starter who rushed for more than 1,200 yards combined the last two seasons. …

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