Team # 7 Thomas Jefferson (7) 0-0
Written by: Josh Funk on Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Just because the Jaguars haven’t made it to Heinz Field in the last two seasons doesn’t mean the black and yellow have fallen off of Class AAA’s radar. Two consecutive WPIAL AAA semifinal berths, with season records of 11-1 (2009) and 10-2 (2010), have seen the Jaguars bow to the eventual WPIAL AAA champion. Thomas Jefferson, believe it or not, could make a run to Heinz Field this year, and can be counted in that fold due to a bevy of skill and a couple of key returning offensive linemen.
The returning skill features quarterback Dom Presto (46-of-87, 886 yds, 9 TD; 36 rush, 133 yds, 2 TD); running back Ryan Ruffing (138 rush, 861 yds, 12 TD), wide receivers Nick Raimondi (14 rec., 415 yds, 6 TD) and Zach Schademan (8, 177, 2) and tight end Bruno Natter (7, 98, 2). There are holes on the offensive line to fill, but returning starters Pete Hall and Alex Reber should help provide a veteran presence.
Defensively, Angelo Natter (22 tackles, 5 sacks) finished second on the team in sacks as a freshman, and he’ll be joined by Schademan (15 tackles, 2 INT, 2 FF); Bruno Natter (53 tackles, 1 FR); Raimondi (35 tackles, 1 FF); and Ruffing (45 tackles, 2 INT). Assuming head coach Bill Cherpak (173-32 overall, 4 WPIAL AAA titles, 3 PIAA AAA titles) can find the answers to plug up the holes on the offensive and defensive lines, expect TJ to be sitting pretty come late November and among the conversation of prime contenders for the WPIAL championship crown.
Follow WesternPAFootball.com on Twitter @WPAFootball