If there is one thing Spring-Ford coach Chad Brubaker has learned in the last three seasons, it is that there are no mulligans in the Pioneer Athletic Conference. Every game counts.
While many expect the league to be a toss-up between the Rams and Pottsgrove, Brubaker thinks the league will be much closer than some might imagine. He points to tight league wins for his squad late last season as proof of how competitive the PAC-10 has become.
"If we said that," Brubaker said of the conference's being a battle between Spring-Ford and Pottsgrove, "we'd be selling some other teams short. I think it is still a little cloudy."
Last year, Spring-Ford finished 9-0 in PAC-10 play and 10-2 overall, and Pottsgrove went 8-1 in the league and 11-3 overall. Pottsgrove won the District 1 Class AAA title by defeating Phoenixville, 42-13. Spring-Ford lost to Coatesville in the first round of the Class AAAA district playoffs.
If who will reign supreme in the league is a little bit cloudy this season, it would be in part because of the talent the conference has at quarterback.
The PAC-10 boasts five standouts, including Methacton's Brandon Bossard, who has committed to Eastern Michigan, and Spring-Ford's Hank Coyne.
Junior Rasaan Stewart of Perkiomen Valley, senior Dylan Wesley of Upper Perkiomen, and Pottsgrove senior Tory Hudgins round out the group of extremely athletic, talented youngsters behind center.
Pottsgrove coach Rick Pennypacker says the play of Stewart and Bossard makes their respective teams instant contenders in league play. Pennypacker also acknowledges that his star quarterback, Hudgins, who won the PAC-10's most valuable player award last season, will have a bull's-eye on his back every time he steps on the field.
Other players Pennypacker expects to perform well for the Falcons are senior tailback Mark Dukes, who rushed for almost 1,050 yards in eight games last year before suffering a broken ankle; senior offensive tackle Madison O'Connor (6-foot-6, 330 pounds); and junior tight end Jeff Adams.
Pennypacker is especially excited about Adams, who also plays linebacker.
Phoenixville coach Bill Furlong doesn't know if his Phantoms can match the "firepower" of Spring-Ford or Pottsgrove, but he says that what they lack in explosiveness they make up for by not making many mistakes.
The Phantoms quarterback, senior Chris Demey, doesn't have a lot of game experience, but he does have "a good arm downfield" and can throw with extreme accuracy, a different set of skills from past Phoenixville quarterbacks, Furlong said.