Roughies open football camp
With the beginning of summer camp just upon them, Zach Stopay and Zach Labezius can still feel like they have had a few games already under their belts.
It has been a busy summer for the duo and the remaining six seniors as well as a cast of other in the Catasauqua football program. The Roughies participated in series of offseason workouts and a rash of passing camps leading to the official start of practice Monday. It can all successfully culminate when the Roughies open the regular season Aug. 31 against Wilson.
"We have looked pretty good so far," said Stopay, who figures to be a mainstay at a tight end/wing position on offense and either line or linebacker on defense. "We have already taken care of a lot of our regular game day plans and we can concentrate on some advanced stuff. We took advantage of everything we could with the passing camps and other camps.
"Our line will be small, but we will be quick. We have looked good, and we are continuing to do whatever we can to gain advantage."
Labezius, who will be a regular up front on both sides of the ball, sees a similar situation.
"We all have been very happy how things are going so far," he said. "We have had great support and development from the younger kids, and we have been able to start putting things all together. We went to a number of camps and it got us started in the right direction."
After gradually progressing through their first two years, Stopay and Labezius both became thoroughly ingrained in the overall game plan last year.
"Both of them have worked hard and have become a big part of our overall game," said head coach Tom Falzone of his duo. "They have both grown in many ways and we're counting on them for their leadership and skills. We have a small senior class, and all of them realize what they need to do.
"Labezius was a real factor for us on the line last year, especially on defense where he was among our leaders in tackles. Stopay was right in the mix, too, and we know he will expand his role on offense this season."
Usually facing linemen who were larger than him, Labezius spent the offseason concentrating on weightlifting and speed. Both are aware of the Roughies' traditional schedule after the first five games when they will face perennial league favorites and usually bigger Pen Argyl, Bangor and Northern Lehigh.
"I really wanted to get a little bigger and stronger," said Labezius, who was listed as 5-8, 194 last season. "I was able to get the jump on some guys, but I know we will face some teams with some big people."
Stopay, who looms as a prime target in the passing attack, has worked on enhancing his offensive game. He also doesn't want to waste any apparent opportunities.
"I wanted to work on my hands," he said. "I haven't dropped a ball yet this year. "We know we have to beat the teams we are supposed to beat to start the season. It will be important for us to go out and gain some momentum for the rest of the season."