Deer Lakes is set to begin its 50th football season by unveiling an offense popular at the time the school was formed.
New head coach Tim Burk is bringing back the two-tight end offense.
Lancers fans are hoping senior Colin Kadlick and junior Jack Hollibaugh will give opposing coaches and scouts fits with an offense not seen that often as the 21st century nears the end of two decades.
“With the two big horses we have this year, they’ve very athletic, very skilled,” Burk said. “They do a very nice job blocking, we’re able to run the football with the two-tight end set. We can put them on the same side, on the opposite sides, we can do all different kinds of formations.”
Wherever they line up, they will be complements to the two tackles.
“These two can get out in space and catch the football, too,” Burk said. “It makes these two very important keys to our offense. They will be very versatile in what they’re doing. We can sneak guys across the middle and into the flat with our two-set look.”
Last season, Kadlick (6-foot-4, 250 pounds) caught 33 passes for 347 yards and two touchdowns. Hollibaugh (6-3, 245) was on the receiving end of 18 passes, also for 347 yards and one touchdown.
Talk about versatility - Burk is exploring the option of lining Kadlick and Hollibaugh as part of a four-wide set.
“We can line them up and line one a yard off the ball and that can give us an extra weapon running the football,” Burk said. “It’s a package that we have. These two like to get dirty and mix it up a bit. It becomes difficult for teams to prepare for us.”
One thing is certain: both Kadlick and Hollibaugh are on board.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Kadlick said. “We can stay on the line and block or we can create a mismatch among the kids in our conference. There’s not many kids who can guard a 6-4 tight end or a 6-4 receiver.”
“Colin and I have a lot of experience and a lot of chemistry,” Hollibaugh said. “That’s a big key, learning to work with each other.”
Right now, Kadlick is going through the recruiting process with Youngstown State showing the most interest, though no scholarship has been offered.
“It’s gets to the point where it gets exciting,” Kadlick said of the recruiting process. “You get voice mails and calling and texting all these coaches, but then it can get stressful at points. Most of the time, it’s very exciting.”
Kadlick attended showcase camps at New Hampshire, Youngstown State and elsewhere over the summer.
Deer Lakes won’t be playing a Week Zero game, and that suits Hollibaugh.
“I don’t mind not playing,” Hollibaugh said. “We’re kind of getting ahead of the game in my eyes. They might be getting a game experience, but we have another week to prepare.”
Instead, the Lancers will be scrimmaging former conference rival Shady Side Academy.
Deer Lakes will begin season No. 50 on Aug. 31 at Elizabeth Forward. The school will mark its 50th anniversary in 2019.