High School

“Mr. High School Sports” – Friday Night Spotlights: Hopewell Vikings

Turf field at Tony Dorsett Stadium

Tony Dorsett Stadium, which bears a relatively new artifical surface, will be the site of the 2011 Parkway Conference opener for Hopewell and visiting Montour. (Image credit: Sports Construction Group)

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By Matt Popchock

(mpopchock@kdka.com)

Hopewell head football coach Dave Vestal knows his team is an easy target. Then again, is anything ever easy when it comes to trying to stop his most heavily recruited player?

Not if his next opponent has any sense of history.

In the Parkway Conference opener for both teams, his Vikings host Montour, its defending champion, and 2010 WPIAL Class AAA runner-up.

Last year the Spartans outlasted Hopewell 36-29 at Thomas J. Burko Stadium en route to an undefeated regular camapign, but not without Shell leaving the good folks of Robinson Township with something to talk about. He torched Montour for 303 rushing yards and four total touchdowns, which was, at the time, his second-best rushing performance as a tailback.

In three previous outings, Shell has run for 782 yards against the Spartans, his second-best career total against any WPIAL team. However, that alone still might not be enough.

So how can Hopewell pull off an upset at Tony Dorsett Stadium Friday? Coach Vestal told “Mr. High School Sports” who else he thinks needs to have a big night, and what his keys are for survival in the Parkway Conference…and also shares his unusual method for beating the sweltering heat in Week 1:

Kickoff is at 7:00 P.M. Lanny Frattare and Bob Orkwis will have live coverage on SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan, with pre-game coverage hosted by Don Rebel beginning at 6:00.

(Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/mpopchock)

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