Northgate fields young team

By MEL PERKINS

The Northgate Flames begin the 2018 season on Saturday when they host the Commodores from Perry High School.

The Flames start the season with first year head coach Michael Fulmore, who comes to the Flames after coaching two seasons at Charleroi. Fulmore was at Wilkinsburg High School for six seasons prior to that. When speaking about his familiarity with the Flames, Fulmore said, “I competed against Northgate while I was at Wilkinsburg (coaching), and I became very familiar. It was a fun, fun atmosphere, driving to Northgate on Friday nights, seeing the people walk down the streets, the police blocking off roads and inviting us in, as high school football goes it is a great environment.”

This year, like last year, the Flames will not be playing under the lights at their home stadium, instead, their home games will be on Saturday afternoons.

The Flames are a young team this year. Two seniors with will carry the weight when it comes to leadership and experience. Look for Anthony Barbarino (5’10”, 175) to get the bulk of the carries coming out of the backfield. Barbarino has a unique style combining quickness and power with a never-say-quit attitude. Eric Hogan (5’7”, 135) will join Barbarino in the backfield with his own brand of speed and elusiveness. Hogan has hands and undoubtedly will be catching passes and looking to get yards after the catch.

Also, providing some senior leadership is Zach Reskovac, who plays an invaluable part on special teams as the long-snapper. Zach’s talents at this position are garnering a lot of attention from coaches at the next level.

The offense will be led by quarterback Christian Davin (5’11, 160), Davin started most of the games last year as a sophomore, and with a strong arm and some experience under his belt he is looking to air it out, making the opposing teams fear the passing game.

On defense, the Flames will led by Nate O’Mara, O’Mara like Davin gained a lot of experience as a sophomore last year. O’Mara saw a lot of time at the linebacker position as the play caller and he solidified his reputation as a hard hitter with a nose for the ball.

Northgate’s special teams unit will be centered around the kicker Heman Darjee (5’10, 140), Heman returns this year as a junior with a lot of kicking talent. Northgate’s two wins last season came off the toe of Darjee. Darjee kicked a 44-yard field goal with 1:23 left on the clock to give the Flames a 29 – 28 win over OLSH, and he kicked a 15-yarder with 25 seconds left in the game to break a 14 – 14 tie and beat Sto-Rox by the score of 17 – 14. Darjee has a big leg and if the game is close, the Flames can win.

The Flames went away to camp this year, and Coach Fulmore is excited about the progress they made. Upon returning, Fulmore said, “Our goal was to create team unity,” and he feels that the camp was very successful in that aspect. “The boys were already close but it really helped bring us together more.”

Fulmore also felt good about the physicality that was displayed during the camp, and was glad to return still very healthy. The coach believes that the successful camp will translate into wins during the season.

Key games this season will be against OLSH, Rochester and Sto-Rox.