Coach Dave Havern has guided Shady Side Academy to the postseason eight years in a row, and he'll try to extend that to nine by using the same formula that has worked so often in years past.
"We'll run the football and play good defense. That's our M.O.," said Havern, who is in his 11th season.
The Indians have finished as one of the top three defensive teams in the Allegheny Conference each of the past eight seasons, topping the conference in scoring defense four times. They've also boasted a boatload of talented ball carriers in that time.
After going 6-4 last season, the Indians return seven starters from a defense that surrendered 23.3 points per game, which is a bit higher than the Indians are accustomed to giving up. The top returnee is four-year starter Mike Ware (6-4, 247, Sr., DE), who is receiving Football Championship Subdivision and Ivy League interest. Jordan Conn (6-3, 218, Sr., LB) is back, as are three starters in the secondary — Doc Szlachetka (6-1, 182, Sr., S), Eric Yoest (5-8, 140, Sr., CB) and Clayton Krol (5-10, 174, Jr., CB).