FAIRLESS HILLS >> Following huge graduation losses and the change to a much tougher schedule, all along it figured to be a struggle for this year's Pennsbury High School football team.
Following a late practice start because of a paperwork screw-up, nothing has changed as the Falcons prepare for their season opener on Oct. 2 against visiting Central Bucks East.
"We are very young, the plan is to have just about everyone play on just one side of the ball because it will be easier to teach them their positions,'' said coach Dan McShane. "Right now we are still straightening a lot of things out.
We have no freshman or JV schedules this year so we have like 40 freshmen and 30 sophomores at practice. We don't want to just leave them out on the street. The result is you are going to see some varsity players who would normally play JV.''
You can count on one hand the number of Pennsbury returning starters. One is senior C.J. Kohler, who did a good job when he stepped in at quarterback last year, but this time might be at wide receiver. The other quarterback is junior Pat Kirk.
The team's top returning player is senior linebacker Jake Schilling. Also an excellent baseball player, Schilling has a real nose for the football and will be a solid running back if the team decides to also play him there.
Another player to watch is junior Isaiah Edwards, who is a defensive back and can contribute as a weapon on offense.
Senior Luke Vereb (6-3, 260) is the lone returning from last year's huge offensive line, while junior linebacker Dan Miller and junior end Luis Robles will be counted on to make strong contributions on a rebuilt defense.
One area where Pennsbury is definitely strong is in the kicking department. Punter Tom Kubicka has a big leg and place kicker Brady Burgfechtel showed he could get the job done last year.
It's just going to a strange year all around for Pennsbury. The Falcons are used to playing in front of huge home crowds, but obviously that won't happen because only a handful of fans will be allowed in the stadium.
Not helping matters is the fact that of the five games on Pennsbury's schedule, the last four are all on the road.