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BVT Football Eyes Repeat
The 2013 Blackstone Valley Tech football team will have a tough act to follow. The 2012 squad finished 12-1, capping off its season with a 6-0 win over Bay Path to claim the Central Mass Division 6 Super Bowl championship. Head coach Jim Archibald's team did not lose a lot of players, but the players who did graduate last spring were all key cogs in the championship wheel.
"Winning the Super Bowl was a great finish to the season, but losing five senior captains is a blow," he said. "They brought a lot of experience and skill, namely our two best running backs, our quarterback, best wide receiver, and our best offense and defensive lineman."
The late summer weeks of practice have been spent trying to figure out who can replace the lost skill, and all-star Nick Wojnar may be an answer to more than one question. The senior will be back at linebacker this year, and is moving from tight end to quarterback on offense.
"Nick is our best athlete, best receiver, runner, blocker, kicker, long snapper, you name it, he's our most important guy," said Archibald. "He's very athletic so we are going to let the ball start in his hands most of the time."
The Beavers will run a few packages with Wojnar in other positions, and junior Andrew Carroll will take over at QB. Chris Nazzaro, Ben Reiffarth, and Devin Kempster present a three-headed attack in the backfield and all bring something different to the table.
"Chris is a quick back who can change directions quickly, Ben is a straight-ahead, between the tackles runner, and Devin is the big physical fullback we want to move the pile four or five yards," said Archibald. "Including Wojnar, we feel we have four guys to give the ball to at any time."
The backs will run behind an experienced offensive line. Senior David Kwansy, who is 6'6", 250 pounds, will start at left tackle with fellow seniors Joe Trettel, Brady Neyland, and Mike Iacovelli starting up front. Junior Brandon Gosselin will start at center. Matt Wagner is expected to start at tight end and Bailey Leacy will be the top receiving tarter for Wojnar.
"Bailey isn't as explosive as some of the guys we have had in the past, but he is a precise route runner with great hands and a great feel for the game," said Archibald.
Defensively, a lot of the same players are expected to play big roles. Mark Brownell and Mike Salerno will start on the defensive line alongside Trettel and Neyland. Wojnar will play linebacker with Reiffarth, Nazzaro, and Leacy all returning to start in the secondary. Altogether, the Beavers have eight starters back on defense. Archibald says the Beavers have looked strong so far in practice and in scrimmages against Grafton and Maynard. BVT will open up with the team it beat in the Super Bowl, Bay Path, next Saturday. The Beavers play Assabet in week two.
"We are going to find out pretty quickly what kind of a team we are going to have," said Archibald. "Those are two teams who are well coached and always seem to give us a lot of trouble, so it will be a good measuring stick."
With so many players playing both ways, depth and health are legitimate concerns. But it has not tempered Archibald's high expectations.
"We've got to stay healthy," he said. "But if we can, we are going to have a say as to what happens in division six."




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