GRATERFORD - The lights shone brightly on Perkiomen Valley's football team a year ago as the Vikings finished 7-2 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference and 10-3 overall with a rush to the District 1 Class AAAA semifinals in their postseason playoff run.
And despite the graduation of numerous high-profile caliber players, Perkiomen Valley figures to be in the thick of the PAC-10 title chase again in 2014.
Head coach Scott Reed will build this contingent around the solid nucleus of returning all-league senior lineman Seth Jonassen (6-3, 275), senior wide receiver/outside linebacker/defensive end Taiyir Wilson (6-2, 208), senior wide receiver/defensive back Liam Grande (6-1, 185) and senior running back/outside linebacker Ryan O'Donnell (5-10, 175).
'Graduation wiped us out pretty good,' said Reed, who begins his 11th season at the helm of the Vikes. 'We've had competition ongoing throughout the offseason and into the preseason so we continue to evaluate to put our starters out on Friday night and hope they reach a high level. The new focus is interesting.'
Perkiomen Valley graduated PAC-10 Most Valuable Player Rassan Stewart, a star quarterback/defensive back who has taken his skills to Villanova University for defense. Other stalwarts missing include wide receivers Dakota Clanagan and Clay Domine as well as 1,000-yard rusher Mark Bonomo.
Perkiomen Valley opens its season at home on Aug. 29 against Council Rock North.
The Vikings had two tough scrimmages against Pennsbury and Exeter to help them prepare for the campaign.
'We scrimmaged two very good opponents in Pennsbury and Exeter,' said Reed. 'Our kids did some really good things, but our kids also made a lot of mistakes. We have to continue the learning curve and cut down our mistakes.'
The new PV quarterback will be either sophomore Stephen Sturm (6-0, 165) or senior Bobby Pagel (6-3, 186).
Senior Sean Sedgwick will line up at middle linebacker. Senior Daniel Roh (6-3, 265) is another big man inside at offensive guard and nose guard on defense. Sophomores David Williams and Justin Jaworski could make an impact right away in the backfield.
Follow Barry Sankey on Twitter @BarryBSankey1.