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BVT Football Looks for Skill to Lead the Way

What the Beavers lack in size, they hope to make up for in skill.
The Blackstone Valley Tech football team enters the 2014 campaign on the heels of a 10-1 season and an appearance in the Division 6 Central Sectional final. The Beavers graduated quarterback and linebacker Nic Wojnar along with several players up front, but the skill and athleticism returning has head coach Jim Archibald optimistic.
"It will be a different look for us up front, we aren't the type of team that can lean on you with big guys and move the line, but we are strong and athletic," he said. "I am excited about our skill guys, it's just a matter of working out the kinks."
Perhaps the leading returning skill player is senior running back Ben Reiffarth. Entering his third year as a two-way starter, the co-captain will also play inside linebacker. "He has been with us for a lot of success over the past two seasons," Archibald said. "He is a very good running back, strong, well built, and reliable with the football. He has great football instincts and is very adept at breaking tackles."
Defensive tackle Mike Salerno is another captain and another three-year starter who Archibald hopes will anchor the defensive line. Devin Kempster returns as a captain in the same role he filled last season, as a fullback and outside linebacker. Jake Tancrede, the second-leading tackler on the 2013 team behind Wojnar, will start at middle linebacker.
"He reads the offense well from the linebacker spot, if they run it between the tackles, he will be there to make the play," Archibald said of Tancrede. "He used to be a fullback but we need some help up front, so he will be there to back up at both guard and tackle."
Senior Andrew Carroll is slated to take over at quarterback. He moved from his natural position to wide receiver with Wojnar under center last year, but will bring a strong and accurate arm to the pocket this season. "We are excited about (Carroll) offensively," Archibald said. "He has a different skill set than Nic, he doesn't run but he has a great arm and knows his pre-snap reads and progressions and where to put the football. He is going to surprise some people."
Carroll figures to have a number of options on offense. In addition to Reiffarth, Dylan Ramos and Joe Hanson return with experience at running back. 6'3" wideout Ashton Gasco missed most of last season with a shoulder injury but will likely start this year. Senior Matt Wagner will play tight end, but Archibald says he could be split out wide a little more frequently. Wagner will also play strong safety.
Worcester North transfer Ricky Gonzales will see time on both lines and provide a one-two punch up front with Salerno. An Achilles injury sidelined Gonzalez last year, but he brings a toughness and physicality to the trenches for the Beavers. Seniors Dillon Arnold and Jake Chakalos are two more players who bring athleticism and strength, if not overwhelming size, to the BVT front.
"Dillon is one of the smartest kids in the school, he just needs to get his position down but he is athletic and fast and has worked hard," said Archibald. "Jake is another strong, athletic agile kid. We have some questions on the line, no doubt, but we are hoping these guys can step in and fill the void."




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