The DuBois Beavers are entering the playoffs this Friday at Hollidaysburg where they will face their arch nemesis the State College Little Lions in the finals of the 6-9 Championship. Both teams earned first round byes by dispensing with last year’s champion Mifflin County early in the season. It has been 18 years since DuBois’ last playoff victory and that win came against Hollidaysburg in just the semifinals, only to lose to Altoona a week later in the Championship game.
One of the smallest AAAA schools in the state of Pennsylvania this year’s senior class will graduate only 262 students facing schools with numbers approaching 1000. With rosters and brass bands to match the fans have often been skeptical of the underdogs shot at victory. Despite the apparent mismatch, these are not your parents Beavers. This fine group of young men were being born or carried a the time of DuBois’ last post season success and they believe they are a team of destiny.
Their belief is not a hollow cliché, it is a conviction that stems from hard work and a pattern of record setting success. Coach Frank Varischetti has assembled a team and a system whose offense ranks #2 in the state and a defense that has become formidable as well. His team is led by prolific passer Gabe French who has set as his personal goal a long playoff run. State College will have their hands full with the states #1 ranked passer and his receiver core of Bryson Paulinellie, Cole Kriner, Daute Dawson, Kevin Foley and new comer Nick Labrasca at tight end. Paulinellie owns all school records with more than 2000 yards receiving, Kriner, Dawson and Foley are climbing the charts quickly. Kriner needs only 34 yards to reach 1000 yards on the season the second best total in school history and Junior Dawson has 1200 yards in his career with a year yet to play. In addition to the receivers running back Devin Clark is well known as a touchdown rusher ranking 3rd in school history and now has begun to make a name for himself as one of French’s targets as well.
The success of the Beaver flyboys comes on the backs of a highly ranked offensive line. Joe Peterson , Zach Good, Robert Zillhaver, Branson Luther, Ryan Pasternak, and Dom Foradora have kept French’s jersey clean and opened up big holes for Clark. The line is also a big factor on defense with giant Brad Peterson, Robert Zillhaver, Justin Monella, Caleb Meighen, Ryan Pasternak and Joe Peterson representing a formidable platoon of talent.
Coming into the 2014 season the Beavers had holes to fill at linebacker and in the secondary. New Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pasternak has developed a platoon of backers. Veterans Devin Clark and Adam Bankovich are joined by an experienced Dorian McKay, powerful Noah Shaffer, speedy Wes Russell, and senior DJ Carney. Holes in the secondary have been filled by veterans Dawson, Foley, Kriner, Paulinellie, O’Donnell, and DeSantis. Pasternak’s platoon is becoming very flexible and with that flexibility has come success against some great offenses.
There have been many good Beaver teams who have come before this group. Many have made it this far but none have succeed. This however is a team of destiny. They are a most excellent group of young men who believe… “They were born to win!” The Beavers would like the Greater City of DuBois to join them in celebrating their success and show their solidarity by attending a bon fire at Showers Field this Thursday at 7PM. Go Beavers!