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Mercersburg to hit the road

September 06, 2000

Mercersburg to hit the road



By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer


MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Mercersburg Academy has this goal it likes to live by.

The Pennsylvania private school goes long lengths to get its undergraduates and post-graduates ready for college on all levels. Now the athletic programs are joining the process to make it more authentic for the athletes.

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Mercersburg will include roadtrips to its schedule this season.

The Blue Storm has joined the Mid Atlantic Prep League, a private school league with a nucleus of teams in the New Jersey area. It means many three-hour bus trips for the football, soccer and field hockey teams this fall, just like the big guys.

"This is good and bad for us," Mercersburg coach Andy Schorer said. "The bad is all the time on the road. The good is it will help our program in the long run to help us attract better student-athletes. It's better for the kids to be able to excel to tougher competition and will be more of a challenge each week."

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A number of rule discrepancies - mainly the one surrounding the use and availability of post-graduate players from week to week - forced Mercersburg to eliminate most local games on a schedule for the MAPL, which has teams with the same student criteria. The school names will be foreign to local fans in the beginning. The Blue Storm will be playing The Hun School, Lawrenceville Academy, The Hill School, Blair Academy, The Peddie School and Kiski Prep.

"I think in the Mid Atlantic Conference (Mercersburg's old league), we were the only boarding school that allowed post-graduates," Schorer said. "That was always a problem."

The first and maybe biggest name Mercersburg has to test the new accommodations is quarterback Kyle Fields, who has been the catalyst for the Blue Storm for the last two years. Fields has been the Tri-State area's top passing quarterback for the last two seasons. Now, as a senior, he will get a chance to branch out.

"We'll throw six or seven times out of 10," Schorer said. "We will run to keep them honest. It opens up defenses and spreads them out."

It makes Fields' supporting cast all the more important.

Fields' main targets are Mike Flanagan, Sheanon Summers, Tugger Zema and Chase Brackley.

"Flanagan and Summers are back and they are bigger and stronger," Schorer said. "Zema runs excellent routes and has good hands while Brackley will give us something we haven't had ... a tight end."

The running duties will be shared by Flanigan, Alex Laddbush and Kenan Wright, who has good speed.

The defensive side of the ball will have some similar faces

Defensive end Matt Branton and linebacker Ryan Fay will lead the defense which will have Flanigan at safety, Zema at a corner, Summers at a linebacker and Brackley at tackle.

The whole situation allows for optimism in the Mercersburg camp. Most MAPL opponents run the same basic offense, which will benefit the Blue Storm's preparation. Meanwhile, Mercersburg's offense is unique to the league.

"I think we will be competitive every game," Schorer said. "We have the chance to do well this year."

And Mercersburg Academy will go a long way to prove it ... like up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

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