Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Camp Kovak takes the back roads to Fort Cherry

With players like Tanner Garry, Corey Garry, Ryan Babirad, Tyreke Brown, Zack Dysert and Jeff Whalen, Fort Cherry fields one of the better sets of skill position players among Class A teams in the WPIAL.

That set is one player larger this football season.

Koltan Kobrys, a sophomore, has transferred from Avella and is quickly integrating himself into the Rangers' diverse offense.

"He's naturally athletic. He can carry, the ball, and he's really quick," Tanner Garry said Monday following the first day of training camp. "He's a Wes Welker-type player. … He's a very, very well-rounded player and we already have him in on defense to, trying to mix him in."

Kobrys led all local receivers with 55 receptions during the regular season in 2010, and his play drew extensive praise from then-Avella head coach Frank Gray, who lobbied to get Kobrys nominated for All-State consideration.

The addition of Kobrys should help Fort Cherry, which finished 5-5 last season but in second place in the Black Hills Conference, but so showed an additional year of maturity and work for many of their returning players.

Top players: Tanner Garry, Corey Garry
The cousins and grandsons of long-time Fort Cherry head coach Jim Garry enter their senior seasons as key components of the Rangers' offense and defense.
At quarterback, Tanner Garry can make throws a lot of high school quarterbacks can't, which is one reason why he's received college interest from team in the Mid-American Conference and Division I-AA programs like Youngstown State. On defense, Garry will move from safety to linebacker.
Corey Garry is the Rangers' tough guy. At fullback, he'll be the lead blocker for Whalen. As a middle linebacker, he'll be the quarterback of the defense.

Watch out for: Ryan Babirad
Babirad has the size and the speed to get behind defensive backs, and the hands to haul in passes. He's a big-play receiver.

Key positions: Defensive back/safety
In losses, the Fort Cherry defense struggled against the pass. Granted, the Rangers played a schedule that included both WPIAL Class A finalists in Clairton and Rochester, but, for the Rangers to advance in the postseason, players like Brown, Babirad and Kobrys must avoid breakdowns that struck Fort Cherry at inopportune times a year ago.

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burg. blue devil said...


Thanks for your informative Camp Kovak write-ups.

Is there any chance that you venture to Burgettstown to analyze them? They should be improved from last season as they lost only 4 or 5 seniors from the 2010 team. However, the conference is brutally tough and a playoff spot is going to be very difficult.

mike_kovak said...

It's like the Merry Pranksters, you never know.

I agree that Burgettstown will be improved. Off the top of my head, the Blue Devils are Class AA by maybe three boys. That alone makes it tough unless you have the talent base of an Aliquippa or Clairton.

burg. blue devil said...

You're right about that. Burgettstown barely qualifies as a AA team and that does make it tough to compete. But, it is what it is and it is a AA team and a very tough AA conference. Burgettstown has to live with those numbers and not use it as an excuse.

Joey Niklas said...

topics like this makes me wish all the more we had 6 class's in PA. A school like Burgettstown would be in a league w/ likewise sized schools. I'd peg the schools that bounce between 2A and 1A to play in 2A in a 6 Class format like Brentwood, Sto Rox, Bishop Canevin etc. Add in a few more larger current Class A and smaller 2A schools and you have a very competitive division.