East Penn Press

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FILEPHOTO Quarterback Andrew Kerson will be in his second year at the helm. FILEPHOTO Quarterback Andrew Kerson will be in his second year at the helm.

Kerson to lead Hornets in football opener

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in HS Sports

The grueling part is over. The ever-hated preseason has come to a close and teams prepare to showcase their improvements from a year ago, as everyone is undefeated.

The Emmaus football team put all of the drills and scrimmages behind them, and look forward to the season opener at home against non-conference Germantown High School out of Philadelphia.

The Bears finished 7-5 in 2011, but Emmaus head coach Joe Bottiglieri feels his team has worked hard during preseason and showed signs of improvement from a 5-5 mark last year, when it missed the postseason.

"I think this is a team that will play hard and is committed to being successful," Bottiglieri said. "By all indications they played hard during practices and the scrimmages. We have good leadership with our seniors, we're just a little short on experience right now at certain positions, but the veteran players are doing well and are committed to the younger players, who are playing with intensity and poise so we're really pleased that they're coming along."

What may help Emmaus is that for the first time since 2007-08, the offense is returning a quarterback that started the previous season. Senior Andrew Kerson started all 10 games a year ago and brings back his knowledge of the system.

"He managed the scrimmages really well," said Bottiglieri of Kerson. "He's showing that he is a good game manager and can make good decisions, and that is such a key thing with quarterbacks."

The Bears bring a powerful offensive skill set, playing in the Philadelphia Public League. Bottiglieri will look to slow down that threat on the defensive side of the ball by using aggressive play.

"Defensively we'll try to be more aggressive and attack a little more," said Bottiglieri. "We don't just want to sit back, we want to try and press the line of scrimmage. We want to be sound for what Germantown is going to give us. We just want to stress being aggressive."

According to Bottiglieri, Emmaus will focus their offensive prowess on the wide receivers, including senior Jake Maehrer and junior Kyzir White. Also running back Dan Velasco will be a key component.

The main thing Bottiglieri wants out of the season is for his team to play hard each week and to stay healthy. Those two factors will be important for a hopeful bounce back season.