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Daily Herald's 2014 Season Coverage
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Article updated: 8/21/2014 9:59 PM
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Reloading's the plan for Conant
 

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Reloading's the plan for Conant

At first glance, with just six starters returning, you'd think Conant might be looking at a rebuilding year.

Not so, according to head coach Bill Modelski.

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"In theory that doesn't really bode too well," Modelski said. "But our junior class is very talented and frankly speaking, we could be as good as last year."

To do that, the Cougars, who have qualified for the playoffs the last thee seasons, will need to find a replacement for Modelski's son Danny. The standout quarterback ran the Cougars' offense the last three seasons and threw for 2,036 yards last year.

Kyle Bradley, who started at defensive back last year as a sophomore, will move to quarterback this year.

Bill Modelski says it will be different not having his son on the field.

"Danny was very good for us," Bill Modelski said. "But Kyle is very good. I am excited to watch what he can do out there. His grasp of what is going on around him is further along than we thought it would be."

The Cougars will start four seniors and a junior on the offensive line. They return a pair of offensive linemen in senior Mike Meier (6-foot-1, 260) and junior Joe Novak (6-1, 245); joining them are seniors Chris Siegel (6-4, 215), John Mancuso (6-2, 212) and Brad Kalish (6-4, 270).

"These kids have paid their dues," Modelski said. "They are all program kids and I think we will be better on the offensive line that we were in the last two years."

While the offensive line will be a strength for the Cougars, they will need to replace their entire wide receiver corps from last year.

"It is the most question marks we have for our team," Modelski said.

Palmer Graham, who is a junior and started at defensive back last year, could lead the way for Conant. Carl Hahn will play tight end while Kyle O'Connor will play at the other wide receiver spot.

Elias Gardner, who rushed for 565 yards, is not back with the team this year, so the running back spots will be dependent upon the situation on the field. The fullback spot will be contested by Dylan Drake and Adam Shymanik while the tailback spot will be shared by Odell Andrews and Jake Jakubosky. All four are juniors.

The Cougars will play a 3-4 defense which will rely heavily on juniors.

Novak, Tyler Hickerson, Alex DeFrancesco who are all juniors who will play up front along with Meier.

Drake, Nathan Kawalak and Matt Mills will vie to play inside while Andrews and senior Kevin Smith will be on the outside.

Palmer will return at defensive back while Jay Lunkes and Ishaiah Alvarez will battle for the other spot. Michael Lampert, O'Connor and Nick Catalano are in the mix for the two safety spots.

"If you look at this, there are times when we will have all juniors on the field," Modelski said. "Many of these guys played last year as sophomores, so we feel we have lots of experience there."

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