Coal Bowl Preview
By Jarann Johnson
The Coal Bowl is here and that’s the way local football fans like it. Hazen and Beulah were state semifinalists in their respective classes last year, but are in different situations to start the 2015 campaign.
The Beulah Miners went to the state semifinals last year and want to go further this season. Beulah’s coaching staff hasn’t changed much this season and their roster hasn’t either. There are two very important players the Miners have to replace: Tanner Erickson and Isaac Ripplinger.
Ripplinger was one of the team’s best two-way linemen last year and Erickson was a starting running back.
Don’t expect the graduation losses to have a big affect on the Miners. The Miners return a very strong senior class.
The names I think fans should be most interested in are Devin Sardelli, Josh Remmick and Alex Barbion. There aren’t many teams with one athletic kid that could play anywhere on the field but Beulah has three of them.
Sardelli and Remmick are the known commodities and have proven themselves as effective pass rushers. Adding Barbion to that athletic mix is like adding gasoline to fire.
Barbion is a strong kid who runs well. He isn’t highly experienced, but his athleticism will be a matchup problem for most teams in a 1-on-1 blocking matchup.
Opponents better have linemen who are strong and can move their feet because those three players will be tough. To simplify things – Beulah has a defensive line that will be tough to pass and run against and everyone else on the defense is experienced.
On offense the Miners return their quarterback, Casey Walcker, and have two dangerous weapons. Cory Alt proved viable in crunch time by scoring a game-winning touchdown last season, and Matt Krizan’s blend of speed and power worries most safeties and linebackers.
Miss-play an angle or give too much running room, and either Beulah running back can hurt a defense. The Miners have an experienced team with weapons in multiple positions.