It’s understandable that Pittsville Coach Dan Hahn has high expectations for his squad this season, considering nearly his entire team is back from 2011.
The Panthers return eight starters on both sides of the ball, including their most talented players from last season.
Pittsville again plans on feeding the ball often to senior workhorse running back Eric Hahn, who amassed 223 carries for 1,364 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns last year. He earned first-team all-conference honors last season.
A senior-laden offensive line will be paving holes for Eric Hahn, headlined by first-team all-conference lineman Ollie Voight. Fellow seniors Andy Fox and Gabe Hautala are also two-year starters on the offensive line, as Fox shifts from tackle to center while Hautala remains at guard this season.
Coach Hahn has plenty of depth on the offensive line this season, including eight seniors among starters and backups. He emphasized the importance of having good offensive and defensive lines.
“Success in high school football starts on the offensive and defensive lines,” said Dan Hahn.
Second-year starting quarterback David Sojka will again be leading the team behind center. The senior racked up 1,185 yards passing with 11 touchdowns as a junior last season. Sojka again has trusty wide receiver Kyle Kolar at his disposal, as Kolar had 400 yards receiving along with seven touchdowns last year.
The Panthers also sport a formidable defense led by middle linebacker Eric Hahn, who has led the team in tackles the past three seasons. Pittsville’s two starting safeties Jared Fox and Sawyer Ladick are back this year, but there is a major battle occurring for the team’s starting cornerback.