Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Class 4a: Montour Northwest Eight Conference

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Class 4a: Montour Northwest Eight Conference

Article excerpt

Inexperience defined Montour last season. The Spartans lost 22 seniors from their 2017 run to the WPIAL Class 4A championship game, and their results showed it as they missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years with a 3-7 record that included a 3-4 mark in the Northwest Eight Conference.

A year later, coach Lou Cerro's team is on the other side of that spectrum. Montour returns 18 of its 22 starters from 2018, a reason for optimism that the school's playoff absence will be a short one.

"[Last season] doesn't sit well with a lot of guys in that locker room," Cerro said. "I think some of those guys took their lumps, and hopefully they learned from that."

Junior quarterback Luke Persinger certainly falls into that category. His results were mixed in his first season as the starter, but he, like the team, improved as the campaign went on and helped the Spartans win three of their last five games after an 0-5 start.

That progress continued in the offseason. Cerro has noticed big differences in maturity and body type and expects those factors to round out the game of a passer who has already demonstrated intelligence and command of the huddle.

He will share the backfield with a pair of familiar faces who showed promise last season. Senior William White led the team in rushing with 456 yards, and junior Gannon Kadlecik averaged 4.8 yards per carry in more limited duty.

Cerro expects them to suitably complement a passing game that's replacing leading receiver Anthony Tambellini.

Cerro pointed to two-way standout Dominic Magliocco, a senior, as "our guy" who can be a reliable target for Persinger. He had 12 receptions for 207 yards last season.

Beyond him, Cerro named junior Jaiden Hill and seniors Ean Jones and Anthony Gracy as players who can step up to provide some depth and find space in defenses.

Magliocco will also play an important role on the other side of the ball as a defensive back. …

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