Dorn anxious to get football season started
There was a time last season when Catasauqua suited 24 players for a varsity game.
Injuries and inexperience plagued the Roughies last year, as they struggled through a rebuilding year from a Colonial League championship and deep playoff run.
In fact, they had four freshmen starting in last year's annual Thanksgiving Day skirmish with Northampton.
First-year head coach Phil Dorn realistically knew his team had the odds stacked against them to repeat as league champions, but he expected them to compete.
Through it all, the Roughies did just that. They managed a 3-3 record through their first six games before dropping their last five games to finish with an overall 3-8 mark.
With a small senior class and a horde of retuning underclassmen with experience, Dorn is anxious to get his second season underway. The Roughies began their assault on the upcoming season with workouts that began in early January.
"I think things are going well," said Dorn. "We had a number of players in other sports, but we nearly had everybody back after baseball and track seasons ended. We have had a good number of kids with us for three or four days a week."
Dorn noted the team participated in the Pocono Mountain and Lafayette passing camps and the results have been positive.
"We worked hard and we looked good," added Dorn. "We'll have a good-sized sophomore and junior class coming back. We had a number of freshmen who stepped in last year and got some valuable playing time.
"We know that will be invaluable for them this season."
Senior Cristian Burker, who shared time with Brandon Keks, last season, looms as the starter for this season. Sophomore Andrew Brett has also looked good in the early going.
Fellow senior Travis Lebron should also figure prominently in the Roughies' plans.
"Cristian (Burker) has worked very hard in the offseason," said Dorn. "He has come in on Saturday to work with our coaches. They already have established a lot of continuity.
"Brett is a young player with a lot of potential and he can also help us."
Dorn also expects to have approximately a reasonable amount of incoming freshman this summer. It will be a matter of whether they will play varsity or help field the program's JV squad.
"We'll determine that later," said Dorn. "We want to have a solid junior high, junior varsity and varsity program. We know some of them can make an impact on varsity."
With a bumper crop of players back with experience, Dorn expects his players to respond to the challenge of taking the program to the next level. The Roughies will open the season Sept. 4 at Bangor before they return home the following week against Notre Dame.
"These are the dog days of summer," said Dorn. "The kids might be tired of hearing us talk in the eight room or with speed drills. Last year at the end of the year, things unraveled for us and that's fine.
"We had a good amount of kids who got more playing time that they expected. I know it will help them. We expect those kids to step up their game and help us move along."