LOWER POTTSGROVE — Over the past five years, the Pottsgrove football team has lost just three times in Pioneer Athletic Conference play.
There's a reason for that, according to Falcons' senior offensive guard Anthony Pond.
"We never change our philosophy here,' Pond said. "We're never satisfied. We always get after it and bust our humps. If we take just one day off, Spring-Ford, Perkiomen Valley or any other PAC-10 team is going to gain a hand up on us. We just want to keep working so no one gets ahead of us.'
That blue-collar mentality should again be on display this season, as the Falcons (9-0 PAC-10, 11-1 overall last year) set out to defend their league crown.
Pottsgrove graduated a couple of home-run hitters (and All-Area first team selections) in quarterback Tory Hudgins and tailback Mark Dukes, and the Falcons offense is still a work in progress, according to veteran coach Rick Pennypacker.
Riley Michaels, Mark Mandia and Torin Verdone are waging a three-way battle for the starting quarterback spot, with Marquis Barefield and Jalen Mayes the main returning threats in the backfield and playmaking senior Michael Fowler leading the receiving corps.
"People won't be able to key on just one back,' Pennypacker said.
While the skill position hierarchy might still up in the air, there's no uncertainty as far as the Falcons' offensive line and defensive corps.
Pond, Patrick Finn, Tom Sephakis, Max Wickward and Jeff Adams are the main building blocks for a typically strong O-Line.
"Coach Pennypacker is constantly working us and drilling technique into us,' Pond said. "Come game time, we're ready to go. We don't need to think about who to block or our steps; it's just second nature to us. We just get off the ball and focus on running the play correctly.'
On defense, Pottsgrove returns nine starters from a unit that allowed 11.5 points per game in league play last year, highlighted by a shutout of eventual District 1-AAAA finalist Spring-Ford.
"We have good chemistry, and we just work really well together,' said Adams, a senior linebacker and All-Area first team pick. "We're just really hyped for the season.'
Coming tomorrow: Spring-Ford.Follow Darryl Grumling on Twitter at @MercSmokinD.