"We do not have a whole lot of varsity experience, but we have some talented players," Plymouth-Whitemarsh coach Joe Iacovitti said. "We graduated most of our team, but some of our skill people are back and that's always an asset."
The biggest asset has to be Pergine.
Pergine, who played junior varsity as a sophomore and started last season for P-W, has matured physically and emotionally. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 190-pound leader will engineer the Delaware Wing-T offense that has been a favorite of the coach and has secured winning records each of the last four seasons.
"John has thrown the ball extremely well in camp so far," Iacovitti said. ''He has the ability to see both the primary and secondary receiver and has accepted a leadership role on this football team."
The Colonials will not lack for leadership with Pergine and Rubin in the backfield.
"Jon Rubin will be the primary runner in our offense," Iacovitti said. ''The only question we have right now is the state of our offensive line. It is completely inexperienced, and we're to the point right now where we think too much and don't react to things. But that reaction will come with time."
Time is something precious. C.B. West is again the first team on the 10- game schedule for the Colonials this season, and P-W is looking forward to it.
"Playing a team with the reputation of a West is good for the program," Iacovitti said. "The focus of this team all through summer camp was West."
COACHING. Iacovitti will begin his fifth season as P-W coach. His assistant coaches include Bob Malehorn, Jerry Concello, John Joe and Ernest Smith.
LAST YEAR. The Colonials won the Suburban One Liberty Division title with an 8-0 mark. Plymouth-Whitemarsh was 10-1 overall, with the lone loss coming, 10-9, in the opening game against Central Bucks West.
LETTERMEN LOST (18). Key players graduating were Tony Todd (running back- defensive back), Dwight Shirley (running back-defensive back), Doug Avery (guard-linebacker), Rod Calhoun (running back-defensive back), Tony Mallozzi (two-way tackle), Paul Davis (offensive tackle-defensive end), Kris Kofer (split end-defensive back), Chris Smith (guard-defensive end), Ed Swetkowski (center-defensive tackle) and Chris Carbo (two-way tackle).
LETTERMEN RETURNING (10). Key players back for the Colonials will be Pergine (senior, quarterback-linebacker), Jon Rubin (senior, running back- linebacker), Joe Dugan (senior, tackle-linebacker) and Rick Boyer (senior, tight end-linebacker).
NEW PLAYERS. The biggest impact players for the Colonials this season might be two first-year seniors. Calvin Hagwood, who attended Plymouth-Whitemarsh last year but did not play football, and Nate Stovall will get long looks as running backs. Stovall was a sprinter on the Colonials track team, and Hagwood also has excellent speed.
SPECIAL TEAMS. As of last week, Iacovitti wasn't certain who would placekick or punt.
OUTLOOK. "We are looking forward to the season and feel that we should be able to compete with people," Iacovitti said. "We play a tough nonleague schedule, and that should help us when we get into the league games.
"Souderton, Quakertown, Upper Dublin, Upper Merion, Hatboro-Horsham, and all the rest of the league games are almost always competitive. And we should be able to play with those teams."
SEASON OPENER. Plymouth-Whitemarsh will open its season with a nonleague game at Central Bucks West at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Jon Rubin is a powerfully built 5-foot, 10-inch, 195-pound fullback who will be featured in Plymouth-Whitemarsh's Delaware Wing-T offense. Last season, he rushed the ball for more than 900 yards and shared the rushing load with team-leading rusher Dwight Shirley.
Shirley has graduated, and coach Joe Iacovitti plans to make Rubin the workhorse of the an inexperienced Colonials backfield.
"Teams that play us are going to key on Jon, no question," Iacovitti said. "He is going to be a big part of our offense, and teams are going to want to take him away."
Rubin, a senior, also will be an important part of the Colonials' defensive scheme. Iacovitti will showcase Rubin as both an inside and outside linebacker in the multiple Plymouth-Whitemarsh defensive sets.
"Jon is a solid tackler and is a great asset to our defense," Iacovitti said. "He is going to get a workout on both sides of the ball this season."
Rubin has prepared himself for the extra workload by working hard in the weight room.
"I lifted, with (teammate) Rick Boyer, at a local weight room," Rubin said. "I lifted for about two hours a day, six days a week from the end of wrestling season until June. Then I did a lot of running between June and football camp to build up both my legs and my stamina.
"The attitude that every one has on this team is to win, and you have to be able to do the work in the off-season in order to get that done. The seniors on this team have lost one game since we've been here, and we really don't like losing."
Rubin is one of the team captains and believes it is his job to keep the team focused on whatever it takes to win.
"Jon is a leader by example both on the field and off the field," Iacovitti said. "He seeks out responsibility and accepts a challenge."
Another challenge for Rubin will be to win a football scholarship to
"I want to work as hard as I can, get noticed by the scouts and hope for some type of scholarship," Rubin said. "I also wrestle, but football is my favorite sport and that is the sport I hope to play in college. I'm really excited about the season. We should have a good team, and I hope I can do my part."