, Salem, MA

Sports Special

September 6, 2012

In Peabody, experienced line paves the way for new runners

PEABODY — This fall, the Peabody High football team is hoping that what its ball carriers don’t know can’t hurt them.

The Tanners (5-5 a year ago) graduated every single player that scored a varsity point last season and more than 2,500 yards of total offense. Returning players combined for just six carries last fall.

“What they don’t know may hurt them, but we hope not,” fifth-year head coach Scott Wlasuk said with a chuckle. “Certainly that inexperience is our biggest concern.”

Peabody does return a few faces up front, namely captains Frank Lowry, Max Gordon, Jared Vachon and Brian Norwood.

“Those guys really impressed me with the way they took charge in the offseason,” Wlasuk said.

That quartet, all seniors, will anchor the front on both offense and defense.

“I think having a line that has some experience makes it easier for young kids running the ball. They can follow our path,” Lowry said.

Sophomore Billy Teehan (a transfer from St. Mary’s) and classmates Tanner Moquin and Ryan Collins are getting the lion’s share of the carries in the preseason.

“The thing about young guys is you never know who might step up. Someone could really surprise,” Gordon said. “They’re all looking good so far and Teehan is a downhill, natural runner.”

Junior Cody Wlasuk is taking over at quarterback. Senior George Tsonis, out for football for the first time, will be one of his targets at receiver, along with Jake Summit.

Peabody is hoping to build on the hybrid pistol/spread/pro sets it used a year ago.

“We’re young and I think we’re going to balance the run and the pass,” Cody Wlasuk said. “Everybody’s working hard, and being behind this experienced line has been great. They’re all good blockers.”

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