For the first time in 18 years Chris Haering will not be roaming the Mt. Lebanon sidelines during football games this fall. Haering left to become linebackers coach at the University of Pittsburgh and former Manheim Township coach Mike Melnyk takes over.
Melnyk inherits a team that has been to the WPIAL quarterfinals the past two seasons but also a team that lost 23 seniors to graduation, including Luke Hagy, one of the all-time great WPIAL rushers.
The Blue Devils only return two starters on offense, Alex Booster (6-5, 285, Jr., OT) and Troy Apke (6-3, 185, Jr., WR) and three starters on defense, Tyler Roth (5-11, 175, Sr., CB), Will Gladden (6-0, 235, Sr., DT) and Doran Graham (5-9, 160, Sr., CB).
Roth was an all-conference cornerback and one of the top punters in the area. This year he will take over at quarterback.
"Tyler is one of our leaders at quarterback," Melnyk said. "He has been in a lot of big games, football and basketball. I think he understands what it takes to win."
Melnyk also expects a big season from Tim Briercheck (5-9, 205, Sr., FB/ILB), who missed most of last season due to injury
"If Tim stays healthy, that will be a huge thing," Melnyk said. "Will Gladden on the defensive line, I think he can be a difference-maker up front. Alex Booster is going to anchor our line and Troy Apke at wide receiver, has great athletic ability. I think he is going to have a breakout year."