The Phoenixville Area High School football team began practice on Monday, Aug. 12, on campus. The Phantoms are under the guidance of head coach Bill Furlong, who began his 11th season at the helm.
Phoenixville left Tuesday morning for practice at Camp Kweebec in Schwenksville.
The Phantoms are coming off a 6-3 season in the Pioneer Athletic Conference and 7-5 overall. They reached the District 1-AAA playoffs for the second straight year and fell in the first round to eventual district champion Interboro, 35-14.
Senior Kyle Karkoska is penciled in as the starting quarterback this fall after starting at safety last year. Karkoska is expected to start on both offense and defense this season.
The fullbacks will be senior Justin McDougal and sophomore Matt Raniszewski. The tailbacks will be a group consisting of senior DJ Brock, junior Damien Davido, junior Donnie Jackson, junior Mike Ciaverelli and sophomore Matt Palubinsky.
The tight end is junior Zach Gallow, who started at outside linebacker last year and will see double duty this season. A host of players are competing for wide receiver positions.
The offensive line includes returning senior guards Paul Hossler and Colin Mea, joined by junior Dave Rosati, junior Jason Waltman and sophomore Cory Bird.
Defensively, the Phantoms will use many of the same people. At safety are Karkoska as well as Palubinsky, Raniszewski, Ciaverelli and sophomore Ian Brown. At cornerback are Jackson, Brock, Davido and junior Tom Hammaker. Senior track star Mackensey Thomas has joined the squad as a first-year player at wide receiver and defensive back.
The linebackers will be Gallow, junior Theo McLemore, a conerted lineman; Waltman and McDougal. The down linemen will be Hossler, Mea and Rosati.
Senior Cole Luzins, a two-year starter at cornerback and wide receiver, has medical issues that could limit his playing time this fall. He may be used as a punter and placekicker. Senior girls soccer player Alex Wertman is also expected to do some kicking for the Phantoms in 2013.
The Phantoms will open their season on Saturday night, Aug. 31, with a road non-league game against Great Valley. Following a second non-league game at Exeter Township on Sept. 6, Phoenixville will start the campaign with an away game against Owen J. Roberts on Thursday night, Sept. 12. The first home contest is against Pottstown on Friday night, Sept. 20.