published Tuesday, August 27,1996
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Polding to guide Lakeview Sailors
New Lakeview High School head coach Arthur ``Herky'' Polding is accustomed to a different brand of football, and is hoping to instill some of the smash-mouth, reckless-abandon style he learned while playing in New Castle into this season's Sailors.
Polding, who played scholastically in the traditionally tough WPIAL at Neshannock under Bob Bleggi (losing only five games in three seasons) and also spent a year with the Salem Packers semi-professional team, admittedly was `` ... surprised a little bit in the sense of how (the Sailors) were satisfied with a laid-back attitude, very relaxed. I come from New Castle, where it's very aggressive, so I was surprised it was so laid-back.''
So Polding, who is in his first scholastic head-coaching assignment after most recently serving as Mohawk's Junior High coach, is hoping to effect a change in the Sailors' fortunes from last year's 0-10 campaign, as well as adjusting their collective attitude.
``The old Lakeview,'' according to Polding was the ``doormat. ... We played against Lakeview in the '70s and they always were the cellar-dwellers when we played. I'm hoping (his influence) makes a difference, but whether or not it does, I don't know.''
Asked, two weeks into camp, to name his starters, Polding would pinpoint only one position, that of 5-foot-6, 160-pound sophomore center John Carruthers. However, Polding is encouraged by one intangible _ his club's collective attitude. Conditioning camp began with 28 players and increased to 33, and players consistently have been on the field (including daily practices under the lights) early.
``They're very coachable and very eager, and one thing I've noticed in 99 percent of the kids: you can just tell by the look in their eyes that they'll give 100 percent, every play. That's somewhat surprising in itself.''
On the field, Polding will have talented tailback Mike Dye, a senior who rushed for 824 yards, at his disposal. Dye was the focal point a year ago, though the Sailors were outscored 372-91 and gained only 179.8 yards/game.
However several individuals who have distinguished themselves in other athletic endeavors are on the preseason roster, including a pair of fullback-linebackers in senior Bert Bell and sophomore Brad Bell; two 2-way senior tackles in Chris Saeler and Ben Knoch; a pair of senior halfback-defensive backs in Reid Saeler and Mike Marshall, and junior Jeremy English, who saw action at quarterback last year.
Senior center-nose guard Ray Daye possibly could anchor both lines, while another pair of seniors, John Perrine and Brad Fry, also could see time in the trenches. Polding also said he's been impressed with freshman quarterback Travis Marsteller.
Polding and his staff have been teaching the most rudimentary fundamentals to a team that includes 16 9th- and 10th-graders.
In addition to installing new offensive and defensive schemes, Polding is hoping to steer the Sailors on another course.
``Bob Bleggi made football fun for me and that's the name of game _ fun _ at this level. One thing I want the kids to remember about football is not me, but that they had fun playing football at Lakeview, that they have fond memories of high school. I have great memories because Bob Bleggi made it fun. It helps to win, but I've seen teams win and be miserable, too.''
Assisting Polding are Bill Beith, Jim Walter and Dan Natale.
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Updated August 29, 1996