PREVIEW 2015: PENN KINGSMEN
The Penn Kingsmen were one missed PAT away from playing for a state championship last season. The 14-13 loss to Carmel in the semi-state was the only blemish after 12 straight wins to start the season. Coach Cory Yeoman looks to win their first state title since 2000. The Kingsmen return four starters on offense and three on defense. Yeoman will have some tough holes to fill as TE Inoke Moala, OL Payne McCaskill, OL Ben Makowski, RB Tyler Carpenter, RB Tim Pletcher, LB Joe Martorano, LB Chase Osborn, LB Kyle Treber and S Jacob Parmater have all graduated. The Kingsmen was added DAC power Merrillville to the schedule as well as a pair of Michigan powerhouses in Birmingham Brother Rice and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.
Flat out Camden Bohn is the man for the Kingsmen. In his first year as a starter the 6-5, 215 QB threw for 1333 yards and 20 touchdowns as well as ran for 754 yards and 15 more scores.
As the third back last season Cedric Valakahi rushed for 378 yards playing behind Tyler Carpenter and Tim Pletcher. This season he will be the main Kingsmen ball carrier.
It is very rare that a freshmen even makes the tournament roster for Penn, it is even more rare for one to actually play. Junior offensive lineman Mike Dhuivetter (6-4, 300) enters his third varsity season as a starter.
BEST POSITION BATTLE:
Whoever steps up at linebacker in the Kingsmen “Wild Bunch” defense.
SCOUTING THE: KINGSMEN POSITION BY POSITION
Bohn returns for his second varsity season. He is one of state’s most overlooked athletes. Like many Penn athletes he is a multi-sport standout also excelling as a starter on the basketball team.
Cedric Vakalahi and junior Rashid Fahim saw plenty of action last season in blowouts. Now is their time for center stage.
Look for senior returner Brice Voorde to put up bigger numbers this season. The Kingsmen have a nice target at tight end in junior Noah Metcalf. You may also see senior Dominic Mares and junior John Ohlson at wideout.
Mike Dhuivetter at left guard and Max Bernard at right guard give the Kingsmen two returnees up front. Ben Knutson, who started as a sophomore up front before moving to defense last season, may also see time on offense again. Other names you may see are: Daniel Yu, Anthony Lovisa, Tony Bode, Keegan Hurst and Andrew Donati.
The absolute strength of this team. Actually the strongest DL in the state resides here. Ben Knutson (6-8, 280) made the move to defense last season and created havoc for opponents. The University of Virginia took notice as well in garnering a verbal from the dual sport standout. If there is a tougher linemen around than Kobe Woods show me. He dominated all season on the gridiron, only to top it by winning the state’s 220 pound wrestling title. Senior Zach Main is also back as a starter at DT. Look for Nate Boone and Andrew Claeys to also find action on defense.
Graduation losses were big here as all four linebackers have earned their diplomas. Look for Will Vakalahi and Alex Wilcox to shine here.
Graduation also took its toll here as well. Look to hear the names Austin Laughman, Parker Adkins, Denzyl Prentice and Jason Alexander frequently.
There is no reason for Penn not to think big heading into the 2015 season. The key will be how the back part of a young defense performs. A tougher regular season schedule may end up helping them come playoff time.