Monday, August 31, 2009

Camp Kovak, sixth (and final) stop – Canon-McMillan

Blogger's note: This is the final in a short series based on Observer-Reporter sports writer Mike Kovak's travels to local high school football training camps.

In recent years, Canon-McMillan posted high-profile regular season victories over Woodland Hills, Upper St. Clair, Hopewell, West Allegheny and McKeesport. Each provided evidence that Canon-McMillan is a football program in far better shape than it was 15 years ago.

Similar victories have eluded the Big Macs in the postseason since the move back to Quad-A football. One reason is Canon-McMillan never fielded a secondary that met the level of play exhibited by the linebackers and defensive linemen.

In 2008, the Big Macs rarely let a team rush for more than 100 yards. Against WPIAL champion Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan allowed 80 but lost.

"We have to get better in the secondary," C-M coach Guy Montecalvo said. "We've been good against the run. Now, we have to get better against the pass."

The Big Macs' secondary will be without Ohio State recruit Chad Hagan, who is targeting an October return after being diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a condition which created a rapid heartbeat for Hagan.

No doubt Hagan will be missed in the defensive backfield but Canon-McMillan believes capable talent is in place. Depth, the other facet C-M needs to become a regular player at the Quad-A level, has become a characteristic of the 2009 Big Macs.

In the past, injuries to key players were something the Big Macs struggled to overcome as evidenced in last year's playoff loss to Shaler when key players such as Penn State recruit Mike Hull, Hagan and quarterback Steve Roach exited the game.

This year, as the school's enrollment increases, more talent is on the roster. While there may not be a player of Hull's caliber waiting for a chance, the gap between starters and reserves is closing.

That talent will be needed as Canon-McMillan replaces all five starters from last year's offensive line and three of four defensive linemen.

"There's two across at every position," Montecalvo said.

How well those lines perform could determine whether C-M, a second-place finisher in the Great Southern Conference, improves upon last year's 6-4 record and advances in the WPIAL playoffs.

"Our kids want to set expectations high," Montecalvo said. "There was a tremendous amount of offseason preparation, a heck of a commitment."


Anonymous said...

Will Mike Hull wrestle?
I hope so. He will regret it forever if he doesn't.

Clairton Alum said...

I really think Canon-Mac is going to contend this year...or at least they should. I havent really follwed them much since my cousin played for them in early 90's (when they couldnt win a game to save their lives). I hope they do well...

Anonymous said...

Trinity is in very big trouble this Friday Night.

Hull vs. Wilkens, easy choice.

Hull in a KO!

Trinity 0-1

CM-FAN said...

Im a huge fan of CM dont get me wrong but Ive been to the scrimages and the teams not that impresive.. Other than two plays that Ive seen hull hasnt done anything on O I dont think its him its def. the line there weak.. Canon-Mac will not contend at all this year esp. without hagan till Oct.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if the contend, as long as they beat the hype on the hill this Friday then its going to be a great season.

Anonymous said...

They dont start their conference games till october they really dont need hagan until then and hull probably wont wrestle or play baseball the kid was so beat up last year and he needs to think about his future at penn state.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is Guy Montecalvo calling Trinity the biggest rival to C-M. I agree the rivalry is intense and certainly noteworthy, but I think it loses some cache simply because it is a non-conference game for the teams. It plays no role in each team's ability to make the postseason and only would become relevant in terms of seeding for the playoffs.

I would say that right now Canon-Mac's largest rivalry is with Upper St. Clair. The games have been highly competitive in recent years and there has definitely been some animosity between the teams on the field. Plus, the game is relevant for section championship implications, playoff implications, and postseason seeding concerns.

Just a thought and in no way meant to offend trinity and/or canon-mac.

Anonymous said...

I think a more accurate statement is Trinity is Guy Montecalvo's biggest rival. It feels like it is some Washington baggage he is still carrying.

Anonymous said...

trinity and CM are rivals in every sport not just football so the Guy Montecalvo comment above was unnecessary..

Anonymous said...

Seeing that we are only taking about football here the above post is totally appropriate. The comment was made in a football article and the subsequent comments made referencing that article. Although he is the AD for all sports his comment was made as the FOOTBALL coach. Please pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Trinity and Canon-Mac are definitely rivals. No one is disputing that, but Trinity is not Canon-Mac's biggest rival in ANY sport! Usually it is Peters Twp that is the top of the line rival.

Florida State and Florida are rivals (like CM and Trinity), but the biggest rival for FSU is Miami (like CM and Peters Twp).

Anonymous said...

Trinity is really only a rival in a few sports now i would def say football but not in basketball anymore i dont think trinity has beat them in the last 5 years.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone be a rival of Trinity? They stink at everything except rifle!

In order to be a rivalry there has to be some level of competition and only Avella is on the same level as Trinty.

Anonymous said...

Now that Peters is going to be more competitive than in the past I think the years to come will start a big CM vs. PT rivalry in football. Like the post said before its already a rivalry in every sport.

Anonymous said...

Guy Montecalvo has beaten Trinity so many times it is laughable.

I assure you every game is big to him. I doubt Trinity tops rhe list considering the multitudes of times his teams have defeated the Hillers.

Friday's game will be close and low scoring. Turnovers will dictate the winner.

Anonymous said...

Yeah trinity stinks but it's Peters, Canon Mac and Wash High people talking the trash. It's Ironic. What has ANY of those schools done in the last few years that Trinity hasn't?

Look at the newley posted state rankings. Funny, Trinity at least got an honorable mention. Where is CM? Where is Peters?

People are counting down about Trinity's perfect season ending in a few days. You CM and Peters fans should focus more on how your school hasn't done anything in the last several years and less on being jealous.

Peters is the prototypical mediocre team. Canon Mac has ups and downs just the same as Trinity and let me note that they are both bigger schools than THS.

Anonymous said...

CM has good guys. It should be a good game if THS defense is as good as they state.

JB said...

I say Canon-Mac beats Trinity 38-7 in the opener. Zach Hoffman is a way better QB than anyone knows/thinks and he'll have a field day throwing to Hull out of the backfield and WRs like Mike Toward

Dale Lolley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dale Lolley said...

Canon-McMillan should beat Trinity in football and most sports. Look at the enrollment numbers.
Canon-Mac has 130 more boys in grades 9-12.
That's a significant number.
It's almost the same difference in size between Canon-Mac and Penn Hills.

Destroyer said...

So there you have it. If Canon Mac does win.. they were only doing what was expected to happen. It seems as though a win against Trinity is on everyone's agenda?!? So if people claim they're not good, but want to play them and win, I guess that would make Trinity.. the people's champion? It's wierd how Trinity is so bad but everyone wants to play them or trash talk them.

destroyer said...

It's funny, I just read a post saying that Trinity has all these big preseason hopes and then gets beat up during the season. Actually every team in Washington County gets beat up throughout the season. Yeah I'm talking about you mostly Canon Mac and Peters. Respect to Wash High for all the years of dominance, and that's coming from THS.

Anonymous said...

Come on Dale, you know that logic doesn't work. If sheer numbers determined the teams that should win games, then Trinity should have been beating TJ every game since they have 100+ more boys in grades 9-12 than TJ!

To take it a step further, Trinity should have easily been beating Wash High with regularity during their series dominated by the Prexies.......if you simply go by the numbers. Trinity had double the number of boys as Wash High!

Anonymous said...

Trinity is a suburban team. When they play inner city teams they don't have the speed the other teams have in most cases. They are doing alot better now though. I see them only getting stronger with the coach they have.

To the last poster: Wash High doesn't beat Trinity now and has not looked better in the last 3 preseason meetings. To go a step further, Trinity dominates them.

the point Dale was trying to make i think is that you have a better chance in most, not all cases with higher enrollment.

Anonymous said...

"What has ANY of those schools done in the last few years that Trinity hasn't?"

uhhh, how about:
won a state football championship?
won a wpial football championship?
won a state baseball championship?
won state basketball playoff games?

guess i can stop...

Anonymous said...

Your forgot to mention baseball..
2007 3rd Place WPIAL
2007 6th Place PIAA

2008 4th Place PIAA


Ostara said...

Anon at 2:55.. What team won a state title in the last few years? Peters? Canon Mac? Wash High did a WHILE AGO.

I guess you can stop. Because you got served some Trinity info in the following post. Don't be upset because you want to chime in but have no information other than unfactual and meaningless sputtering off of the mouth.

It's ok, Trinity's awesome and you will learn to build yourself a bridge and get over it.

Anonymous said...

The question was "what has any of them (Peters Township, Canon-McMillan, Wash High)done in the last few years that Trinity hasn't?".

won a state football championship--Washington
won a wpial football championship--Washington
won a state baseball championship--Canon-McMillan AND Washington
won state basketball playoff games?--Peters Township AND Washington.
won a WPIAL basketball championship--Peters Township.

Your posting of Section titles doesn't cut it. ALL three of your hated opponents have done that.

The one big thing that they've done that Trinity hasn't is that they all have playoff teams that won their last games of the playoffs, something Trinity has never done!

guess i can stop...

Anonymous said...

Actually it's a football blog. I don't believe that you read it write: Last FEW YEARS.. not a decade ago.

Again, deflecting the point. anyone from either of those schools have no trash to talk. In football every one of those schools are mediocre at best.

Trinity was 5-5

CM was 6-4

Peters was like 2-7

I actually would have to look up Wash High.

My point is NONE are superior to talk the amount of trash that Peter's and CM fans do. But then again, That's why you are who you are and are where you're from.

Anonymous said...

"It's ok, Trinity's awesome and you will learn to build yourself a bridge and get over it."

awFUL, perhaps. awesome? not!

guess dalton will have to quit playing canon-mcmillan now....dalton can not beat montecalvo. can not!

Anonymous said...

trinity and CM are rivals in every sport not just football so the Guy Montecalvo comment above was unnecessary..

September 1, 2009 3:21 PM

I doubt the basketball coach would call Trinity his "biggest rival" so the person who posted that Guy was carrying Wash high baggage was correct.

Anonymous said...

guy appears to carry his "baggage" a whole lot better than ed does. and his baggage has a lot more wins than ed's too.