South Park tries to move forward with solid 2013 group
The Sparks have been led by quarterback Maurice Howie the last three seasons. The owner of every passing record in the school record books, Howie will not return for his senior season after being arrested in the spring.
“First and foremost, our thoughts are still with Maurice and his family,” said sixth-year head coach Tim Delaney. “His father is a good man and I still talk to him. We just hope that this situation works out as best as it can for Maurice and his family.”
Throwing over 220 times last fall, the offense won’t change so much as South Park has found a fine replacement in Tyler Mascio.
At Canisius, Mascio, a former Lake Shore student as well, commanded an 11-0 team that won the Monsignor Martin title game in 2012, throwing for almost 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns while running for 300 yards and five more scores.
“We’ve been working hard,” said the First Team Monsignor Martin quarterback. “The tempo is up and we’ve got some really fast guys.”
The Sparks finished 5-4 after losing to Kenmore East and ending their season with a win over Hamburg in consolation games.
South Park lost an opportunity to make the Class A playoffs after dropping its regular season finale to Williamsville East.
Players don’t see their season ending like that again this year.
“We underachieved, but we’re really looking to make the playoffs this year,” said junior Antonio Leonard, a Class A South honorable mention who caught 25 passes last year.
Brian Slisz is another junior that is going to make an impact. He will be anchoring the defensive and offensive sides of the ball on the line.
“It’s been a good summer of practices and we’re ready to start the season,” said Slisz.
Also returning are Class A Second Team selections Laron Watkins and Cody Seagrave, who along with Julius Caffcart, Nick Mills, Brandon Jefferson and T.J. Scott, will head a squad that Delaney claims to be the best team he has coached in his six years at South Park.
South Park, which runs a co-op program with fellow Buffalo City School OTC, also merged with Middle Early College this fall.
South Park will try to show just how good it can be 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7 against Hutch-Tech at All-High Stadium.