Allderdice looks to repeat in City League with new cast
After snapping a 50-year draught and capturing a City League title, Allderdice will look to repeat with new pieces to the puzzle.
Last season, the Dragons (7-4, 4-1) earned their first City League crown since 1967 after defeating Brashear, 35-7. The Dragons aren’t satisfied with one and are eying another title.
“Throughout my tenure at Allderdice, we’ve been in the City League championship six times in the last 10 years, and we finally got over the hump. I told the kids beforehand that this might not be the best team, but we had some really great leaders,” coach Jerry Haslett said.
“I was happy for the kids, the people I coached beforehand and happy for Allderdice in general. Fifty years is a long time. We still had a couple of guys that were on the sidelines and in the stands rooting for us. It was pretty special, but I’d like to win another one.”
Against the Bulls, the Dragons were led by a trio of seniors -- quarterback Azi Humber, running back Justin Morris and wide receiver Raquan Caldwell.
This season, the Dragons will be led by 6-foot-4, 195-pound senior quarterback Dalen Dugger, senior wide receiver Rashawn Harvey and senior tight end Andrew Williams.
“The kids have to believe in themselves. They have been in the weight room from December on. We’ve been on the field since June,” Haslett said.
“As long as you can stick to the plan and be able to count on the guy next to you. When it becomes crunch times in the fourth quarter, we’ll have a chance to wins some games.”
Dugger’s ability to see over the line with his height and ability to throw the ball downfield appeal to Haslett.
The Dragons can lean on their offensive line as they return seven of their top eight linemen.
At tackle are senior Kenny Hardin and sophomore Salmon Johnston. The interior of the line includes seniors Shane McKown, Paris Glenn, Steve Henderson and Justin Salmon.
“The cupboard isn’t bare. We just have to find some pieces to the puzzle,” Haslett said.
With the program’s first title in a long time, the seniors on the team want to make sure to build winning traditions for the underclassmen involved in the program.
“Honestly, anything less than another championship is a disappointment to me. We have talent there is no doubt about that,” Salmon said.
“It’s going to be about us coming together and growing mentally and building a legacy. We have some guys that can play. We have some guys that have played before.”
Salmon and the rest of his teammates want to relive the emotions they went through when the final whistle blew after their win over Brashear.
“It was the craziest feeling in my life,” he said. “I’ve never experienced anything like that before. It felt like tears were going to come out but nothing was happening. I had nothing but everything going through my mind at the same time.”
Coach: Jerry Haslett
2017 record: 7-4, 4-1
All-time record: 296-444-64
Date, Opponent, Time
8.24, at Kiski Area, 7 p.m.
8.31, at Wheeling Park, W.Va., 7 p.m.
9.7, at Altoona, 7 p.m.
9.13, Westinghouse*, 7 p.m.
9.21, Perry*, 7 p.m.
9.28, at University Prep*, 7 p.m.
10.5, Carrick*, 7 p.m.
10.11, at Brashear*, 7 p.m.
*City League game