The Herald, Sharon, PA Published Thursday, Aug. 30, 2001

Football 2001

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  • 2001 season preview: GREENVILLE

    Stone, stability synonymous at Greenville

    By Ed Farrell
    Herald Assistant Sports Editor

    Some people maintain that age is relative, a mere number, and that success or failure are not particularly predicated on chronology. As he enters his 40th year as a teacher-coach in the Greenville Area School District, stability and Bob Stone are synonymous.

    The Trojans' taskmaster embarks on his 24th season at Greenville's gridiron helm with a 192-45-6 mark, second only to Sharon's Jim Wildman among county coaches in terms of triumphs.

    "No question, a stable situation has had a lot to do with it,'' Stone acknowledged following a preseason 2-a-day session. Speaking in reference to coordinators Gary Hull and Brian Herrick and his other assistants, Stone praised, "These are good people. They're good teachers, they're good coaches, they're good to the kids, and they know what is expected of them. And as a result, they're easy to work with.''

    Hull played junior varsity football for Stone at Greenville, then toiled under legendary Ed Snyder before matriculating at Penn State University, while Herrick quarterbacked Stone's '82 Greenville grid squad before becoming a 2-sport athlete at Grove City College.

    "I, obviously, feel like the 'grandfather' of the bunch,'' Stone quipped. "We have a lot of good, young people on the staff ... and they're good 'kids,' too.''

    Stone, who assisted Snyder and Bob Ballock before assuming the reins in '78, admitted, " ... I look forward to the beginning of the year; it's a new challenge every year.''

    This season's challenge will be improving on a 9-win campaign that included yet another Northwest Conference championship. Only a 16-7 setback in the District 10 Class AAA title tilt to PIAA semfinalist Wilmington short-circuited the Trojans' 2000 season.

    "I think we were probably disappointed last year because of the way we played in the last half of the season, and that still kind of haunts me a little bit,'' Stone admitted. "From about midseason on we didn't seem to progress very well, and that's something we'll try to avoid. You must improve, and we just didn't improve after midseason. And the big problem is I'm not sure why. But we're trying very hard to keep that from happening again.

    "I hope we can learn from it. We lost to a good football team in the District 10 playoffs, but the thing that bothered me was we didn't seem to improve in the second half, and we can't monkey around this year 'cause we're right out of the gate with (Quad-A) McDowell, and McDowell has some skill people back and enough kids back that they're a very formidable opponent,'' Stone cautioned.

    In spite of graduating 23 seniors, the Trojans' troika of Mike Maluk, Eric Spurlock and Andy Young, who account for approximately half-ton of trouble for foes, will ease the task.

    A tight end last season, Maluk has been moved to fullback where he hopes to clear running room for 3-sport standout Mike Stephens.

    Not a traditional Trojans' tailback, Stephens' style, according to Stone, is reminiscent of Dan Beahm, Greenville's grind-it-out plowhorse of late '80s vintage. Young will anchor the defensive line as a nose tackle, while Spurlock could see action at tight end, guard and defensive end.

    Phil Mason, following in the footsteps of older brothers Andy and Cliff, assumes the starting signal-caller's spot after serving as an understudy for two seasons. The offensive line will be anchored by 180-pound Aaron Zane, who despite his size is one of the team's strongest specimans. Linemen Ryan Lindsey, Steve Thomas, Dan Alexander, Glen Foy and Eric Marburger also will be expected to contribute as newcomers.

    Stone also hopes to reap rewards from Greenville's junior-laden roster that includes versatile Dennis Reynolds, hard-nosed tight end-linebacker Steve Bayer and gritty Trevor Cascio and Timmy Hudson.

    Succinctly summarizing his squad's goals, Stone said, "First of all, we hope to be able to have a winning season; after that, a conference championship, and after that maybe an undefeated regular season, and then of course if we make the playoffs, to go as far in the playoffs as we can.''

    Stone's other assistants include Kirk Smith, Mark Hayes, Terry Cooper, Gary Zane, Mark Karpinski, Brian Tokar, Dave Henderson and Rick Zilla while Andy Mason, a recent Duquesne University graduate, also will volunteer time, as did Brent Hoffman before returning to Lehigh University.

    A tight end last season, Maluk has been moved to fullback where he hopes to clear running room for 3-sport standout Mike Stephens.

    Not a traditional Trojans' tailback, Stephens' style, according to Stone, is reminiscent of Dan Beahm, Greenville's grind-it-out plowhorse of late '80s vintage. Young will anchor the defensive line as a nose tackle, while Spurlock could see action at tight end, guard and defensive end.

    Phil Mason, following in the footsteps of older brothers Andy and Cliff, assumes the starting signal-caller's spot after serving as an understudy for two seasons. The offensive line will be anchored by 180-pound Aaron Zane, who despite his size is one of the team's strongest specimans. Linemen Ryan Lindsey, Steve Thomas, Dan Alexander, Glen Foy and Eric Marburger also will be expected to contribute as newcomers.

    Stone also hopes to reap rewards from Greenville's junior-laden roster that includes versatile Dennis Reynolds, hard-nosed tight end-linebacker Steve Bayer and gritty Trevor Cascio and Timmy Hudson.

    Succinctly summarizing his squad's goals, Stone said, "First of all, we hope to be able to have a winning season; after that, a conference championship, and after that maybe an undefeated regular season, and then of course if we make the playoffs, to go as far in the playoffs as we can.''

    Stone's other assistants include Kirk Smith, Mark Hayes, Terry Cooper, Gary Zane, Mark Karpinski, Brian Tokar, Dave Henderson and Rick Zilla while Andy Mason, a recent Duquesne University graduate, also will volunteer time, as did Brent Hoffman before returning to Lehigh University.


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