The official start to high school athletics is Monday, Aug. 15 (honestly, where did Summer go?), and with that, comes the start of varsity football camps.
Over the next several weeks, The Varsity Letters will travel to several local places, talking to coaches, players and whomever else wonders past. From those travels, features such as Camp Kovak and Scouting reports will emerge.
So will an official preseason Elite 11.
At the end of every high school football season, the Observer-Reporter honors a Player of the Year, in addition to an Elite 11 and All-District Team. After a little brainstorming, TVL came up with a group of players who could possibly land on the preseason Elite 11.
Michael Beveridge, Ringgold
Beveridge earned a spot on the 2010 Elite 11 after earning All-Conference honors as a defensive lineman and tight end. With the majority of Ringgold's linemen from last year lost to graduation, Beveridge will be vital for what could be the WPIAL's fastest backfield.
Quentin Briggs, Charleroi
Injuries slowed Briggs during his junior season, but the bruising runner recently landed a place as Pennsylvania's No. 10 running back according to Rivals.com. If Briggs produces a season like his freshman and sophomore years, he might join his cousin Darrell Harding as a 4,000-yard rusher.
Zach Challingsworth, South Fayette
Challingsworth was a top receiver last year for the WPIAL Class AA champions. This year, he could be the Lions' quarterback, and expect the possible Division I-prospect to be a key contributor on defense.
Andrew Erenberg, Peters Township
A tough runner with a nose for the end zone, Erenberg should key a Peters Township offense that is transitioning to a new coaching staff. Erenberg was an Elite 11 selection in 2010.
Sal Faieta, Beth-Center
Faieta, who excelled in summer camps, is receiving interest from a few local Division I schools in addition to programs at the Division I-AA and II levels.
Corey Garry, Fort Cherry
TVL considers Garry to be the area's most underrated player. A punishing blocker from his fullback position, Garry is equally tough as a middle linebacker.
Tanner Garry, Fort Cherry
The area's top quarterback prospect, Garry passed for more than 1,000 yards as a junior and displayed a soft touch on deep passes to go with an ability to hit the short post pattern. He's also a threat to run.
Daniel Lis, Chartiers-Houston
Lis' dual-threat capabilities at quarterback led the Bucs to a fine 7-2 regular season before they ran into a stout Monessen defense in the first round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs. Lis earned a spot on last year's Elite 11.
Demetrius Louis, Ringgold (pictured)Ringgold had the luxury of bringing Louis, a standout sprinter and Division I-prospect, along slowly during his sophomore season. This year, Louis figures to get more chances in a backfield with Quad Law and Alfon Cook.
Joe Phillips, WashingtonPhillips has several scholarship offers, and will be counted on to provide a distruptive presence along Wash High's defensive line. If the Prexies offense excels and Washington contends for a Century Conference title, chances are Phillips' blocking will lead the way.
Justice Rawlins, MonessenRawlins' freshman season was one to remember. Playing mostly as a linebacker, Rawlins not only earned a place on the Elite 11, he was a MaxPreps Freshman All-American.
Ones to watch
Deshan Brown, Beth-Center
T.D. Conway, California
Alfon Cook, Ringgold
Mykel Dorsey, Chartiers-Houston
Clayton Evans, Peters Township
Patrick Frey, Trinity
Jaylin Kelly, Washington
Koltan Kobrys, Avella
Quad Law, Ringgold
Juwan Mull, Monessen
Alec Schram, Canon-McMillan
Xavier Severns, Trinity
Jake Sofran, Beth-Center
Josh Wise, Washington
Nick Zupper, Waynesburg