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Football: Coach brings stability, success to Deer Lakes

Written by Joe Bendel on .

Joe Bendel profiles the Deer Lakes football team.

2015 1030 DeerLakes Football(Photo: Deer Lakes' Hunter Burns is the WPIAL's rushing leader with 1,605 yards on 251 carries. Justin K. Aller/For the Post-Gazette)

"Nate Morrissey was disillusioned with the football program at Deer Lakes High School. He had played for a different coach in each of his first three years and the results were subpar.

A 3-6 record in 2012, 0-9 in 2013 and 1-8 last year.

"I'm not going to lie, it was kind of awful," said Morrissey, a two-way senior lineman. "It wasn't fun anymore. People in school would talk trash. I really thought about quitting."

Good thing he reconsidered, because Morrissey is part of a rebirth at Deer Lakes thanks to second-year coach Steve Sciullo and a prideful group of 16 seniors."

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Football: North Feature Athlete - Deer Lakes' Hunter Burns

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

Name: Hunter Burns
School: Deer Lakes
Grade: 12
Sport: Football
Position: Running back/Defensive back

Background: A 5-foot-11, 175-pound running back, Hunter Burns has emerged as the WPIAL's leading rusher. Through six games, Burns accumulated 1,220 yards and 12 touchdowns on 185 carries. Last Saturday against Summit Academy, Burns rushed for 231 yards on 25 carries during the 41-16 Allegheny Conference win. He also scored a pair of touchdowns for the Lancers (5-1, 4-1), one of which was from a 59-yard run and the other from a 30-yard fumble return.

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Deer Lakes 2015 Football Preview

Written by Brad Everett on .

Steve Sciullo is a former NFL offensive lineman who is in his second season as coach at Deer Lakes. It just so happens that the strength of Sciullo's team appears to be its offensive line. And, boy, it sure is a super-sized one.

Deer Lakes boasts one of the biggest groups of linemen in Class AA. In fact, there probably aren't many Class AAAA teams much bigger. The starters — from left to right — are Brandon Zilavy (6-2, 290, Sr.), Nathan Morrissey (6-2, 290, Sr.), Geoffrey Matthews (6-0, 330, Sr.), Billy Palmiere (5-11, 275, Jr.) and Cody Edwards (6-2, 245, Sr.). Also in the mix are Mark Brenner (6-2, 245, Sr.) and Dan Cervone (5-11, 290, Sr.).

"We have a lot of size, and we have seven linemen with starting experience," Sciullo said.