Smethport letterwinners

Shown are eight of 11 letterwinners who return for coach Jim Berlin at Smethport High School. Front, from left, are Daniel Confer, Braydon Howard, Justin Elder, and Adam Shunk. Back row: Ryan Burdick, Dylan Dinch, Caleb Wian, and Dustin Zetwick. Missing are James Duffy, Devon Brown and Akete Kindle.

SMETHPORT, Pa. — The 2014 edition of the Smethport High School football team is fully cognizant of the Hubbers’ storied gridiron past.

These young men also realize the Hubs haven’t won a District 9 playoff game since 1998 or an Allegheny Mountain League crown since 2001 when they reached the title game 12 times and won seven from 1989 to 2001.

“The kids are aware of all that stuff,” said Jim Berlin, third-year (9-11) head coach and 1997 Smethport graduate. “Those are some of the goals we are striving for. We did make the playoffs the last two years and now were striving for a win. The kids are starting to buy into this after seeing some success.”

The Hubbers were 5-5 overall last season and 4-1 in the AML North, losing a tiebreaker to Sheffield for first-place honors.

“We have to play better on the road,” Berlin said of the 2-9 mark the past two years. “That’s another hurdle we have to overcome.”

The Hubbers must also replace 15 seniors including four Big 30 All-stars.

“We have a lot of young guys filling in holes and hopefully they can step in and play,” Berlin stated. “We have some skill guys back with our quarterback and two running backs.”

Senior Dustin Zetwick (6-1, 185 pounds) returns at QB, junior Adam Shunk (5-6, 150) is the tailback and junior Jimmy Duffy (5-9, 165) will be the fullback.

“I like Zetwick’s toughness and how much he has matured these last couple of years,” Berlin offered. “Adam Shuck will be our primary back and Jimmy Duffy will be our fullback. We also have two sophomores in Akete Kindle (5-6, 155) and Devon Brown (5-8, 170) in the backfield.”

The wide receivers should be senior Andy Price (6-1, 170) and sophomore Dalton Palmer (6-1, 150), and junior Dylan Dinch (6-4, 280) returns at right tackle.

“We have only one returner on the offensive line and that could be our Achilles Heel,” Berlin admitted. “All the other line positions are up for grabs.”

On defense Dinch is set at one defensive end, Shunk and Duffy will be the linebackers, and Zetwick returns for a third year at safety.

Other returning lettermen are seniors Daniel Confair (5-9, 160), Charles Burdick (6-0, 175) Caleb Wian (6-4, 330) and Justin Elder (6-1, 180); and junior Brayden Howard (5-10, 270).

“The keys to the season are winning on the road and the young guys filling in for the graduated seniors,” Berlin surmised. “We played for the North championship last year and we feel it will be the same deal this year.”

Maybe they should bring back the end zone cannon for the home opener versus Brockway on Aug. 29.

“I miss the cannon,” Berlin concluded. “The kids would like that.”

The assistant coaches are Jim McGuire, Ryan Yingling and Rob Cosper.

The returning lettermen:

Dustin Zetwick, senior, 6-1, 185, quarterback/safety

Adam Shunk, junior, 5-6, 150, running back/linebacker

James Duffy, junior, 5-8, 165, running back/linebacker

Dylan Dinch, junior, 6-4, 280, tackle both ways

Daniel Confair, senior, 5-9, 160, running back/defensive back

Akete Kindle, sophomore, 5-6, 155, running back/ linebacker

Devon Brown, sophomore, 5-8, 170, running back/linebacker

Charles Burdick, senior, 6-0, 175, lineman/linebacker

Brayden Howard, junior, 5-10, 270 lineman both ways

Caleb Wian, senior, 6-4, 330, lineman both ways

Justin Elder, senior, 6-1, 180, split end/linebacker

Andrew Price, senior, 6-1, 170, split end/linebacker

Other players to watch:

Quarterbacks: Kevin Long (so., 6-0, 160)

Running backs: Robbie Arnett (so, 5-3, 130), Austin Crooks (so., 5-6, 145), Robbie Ruffner (so., 5-5, 150), Lucas Frontino (so., 5-5, 148), Ethan Dennies (so., 6-1, 150)

Ends: Justin Aharrah (so, 5-3, 130), Dalton Palmer (so., 6-1, 150), Tristen Duffy (sr., 5-3, 140), Bryce Hale (so., 5-3, 110), Billy McDowell (5-4, 140), William Pezer (fr., 6-1, 130)

Guards: Brendan Dickinson (so., 5-11, 230), Nick Dibble (jr, 6-0, 200)

Tackles: Lance Herzog (fr, 5-8, 220), Braedon Southart (fr., 6-1, 240), Andrew Bunting (so., 6-3, 245), Bailey Kinner (so., 6-1, 220)

Centers: Stone Spencer (sr., 6-6, 290), Matthew Stratton (fr., 5-7, 220)

The schedule:


29 - Brockway, 7 p.m.


 5 - at Kane, 7 p.m.

13 - at Elk County Catholic, 7 p.m.

19 - Clarion-Limestone, 7 p.m.

26 - Sheffield, 7 p.m.


 3 - at Otto-Eldred, 7 p.m.

10 - Cameron County, 7 p.m.

17 - at Port Allegany, 7 p.m.

24 - at Coudersport, 7 p.m.

NEXT: Bradford High