McElhaney takes over at Sharon; Voytik returns

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Sharon's signal caller Lane Voytik threw for over 5,400 yards and 59 touchdowns over the last 2 seasons

Sharon Tigers High School Football

Lane Voytik threw for over 5,400 yards over the past 2 seasons

SHARON, Pennsylvania (WKBN) – For the second straight year, the Tigers were eliminated from the Class 3A playoffs in the Western Final.

In 2017, it was the eventual champ Quaker Valley who eliminated Sharon from the tournament (43-23).

Just last December (Dec. 1), the eventual champ Aliquippa defeated Sharon 41-7 at Slippery Rock. The Tigers advanced to the State Semifinals by defeating #6 Mercyhurst Prep (29-28) and #3 Grove City (23-6) en route to their 12th District 10 title.

Since coach Jim Wildman returned to the sidelines in 2013 – Sharon has not finished with a losing campaign and has compiled a 50-24 record (67.6%). In mid-December, Wildman made it official, he would not return to the sidelines for his 32nd season – finishing his career with 259 wins with 11 District 10 titles and 2 state runner up finishes. His time at Sharon will be remembered as one which he turned the Sharon football program into a proud program for nearly the past 40-years.

On February 11, Jason McElhaney was named the school’s 19th coach in school history. McElhaney served as an assistant for the Tigers over the course of the last three seasons. Previously, he led West Middlesex over six seasons (2007-12) including a 10-3 mark in his final year. Within the first few months, “we’ve had the team in the weight room,” points out McElhaney. “We had the opportunity to have the team engaged in other football related activities. The participation has been strong and the team has made progress. I hope to be able to continue the winning tradition that has been established at Sharon.”


Sharon Tigers
Head Coach: Jason McElhaney, 1st year at Sharon
2018 record (Region 5): 10-4 (3-1), 2nd place
Five Key Points
1.Without the legendary Jim Wildman on the sidelines – how will the Tigers look from an offensive & defensive standpoint moving forward?
2.Over the last four years, Sharon has posted a 38-14 mark.
3.QB Lane Voytik has put together back-to-back over 2,600-yard seasons (2018: 2757; 2017: 2678).
4.Tigers have featured a 2,000-yard passer in each of the past 5 years
5.Without RB Jordan Wilson and 3 All-District linemen, the Tigers must run the football in 2019. Last year, Wilson amassed 86% of the yards the Tigers gained on the ground.

Offense
Returning Starters: 5
Scoring Offense: 30.7 (T-16th in Area)
Rushing Offense: 160.2
Passing Offense: 197.4
Total Offense: 357.6
…Sharon has graduated three All-District offensive linemen (Jordan Volpe, Dorian Jefferson, Josh Torr), their leading rusher from the past three years (Jordan Wilson) and their tight end Frank Shaffer.

Over the past three seasons, Wilson gained 4509 rushing yards and scored 59 times on the ground.

Shaffer has hauled in 69 passes and picked up 810 stripes through the air during his junior and senior seasons.

Just last year, Sharon saw their total offense go from 318.8 yards per game (2017) to 357.6 per contest. The rushing total increased from 115.9 yards in 2017 to 160.2 yards last fall.

Lane Voytik returns after almost having the same numbers as a sophomore (2678 passing yards, 31 TDs, 62.0%) to his junior figures (2757 passing yards, 28 TDs; 61.6%).

Seniors CJ Parchman and Ty Eilam appear to be on track to another strong season in 2019. Last year, Parchman took on the role that Ziyon Strickland carried as the Tigers’ #1 weapon at his wide out position. CJ caught 74 passes for 1105 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Eilam hauled in 58 receptions for 644 yards (7 TDs).

Also, Trey Jones caught 4 touchdowns (17 total catches) as a junior.

McElhaney says, “Lane and CJ have been playing football together since they were kids. Ty and Trey joined us last spring and they never miss an opportunity to work together. Lane feels really comfortable throwing the ball to those guys even when they’re covered. In addition to those three receivers, Lane also has a really reliable senior in Marcel Smith-Austin, and an emerging sophomore in Ja’On Phillips. We feel good about our receiving corps but we must be able to protect the QB if we want to have an effective passing game like the previous two seasons.” That’s where the loss of three key linemen from a year ago comes into play. “Dorian (Jefferson), Jordan (Volpe) and (Josh) Torr were all 3-year starters for us who were not only good football players but also durable and dependable. We’ll have to do a good job as a staff coaching our new starters and putting them into situations where they can be successful. In order for us to be a good offensive football team we’ll have to be good on the line of scrimmage.”

Defense
Returning Starters: 6
Scoring Defense: 22.9 (30th in Area)
…Sharon must replace 7 of their top 8 tacklers. Defensive linemen Jordan Volpe (62 tackles, 12 for a loss), CJ Malloy (79 tackles, 4 QB sacks) and Jordan Wilson (51 tackles, 8 for a loss) as well as linebackers Josh Torr (99 tackles, 11 for a loss), Frank Shaffer (52 tackles, 3 INTs) and Warren Nixon (46 tackles, 3 INTs) have all graduated.

In the secondary, Luke Gaston (81 tackles) is also gone. The defense forced 23 turnovers (15 INTs, 8 fumble recoveries).

Returning from last year’s group will be the likes of Braelin Hawkins (68 tackles), Ty Eilam (3 INTs), CJ Parchman (35 tackles), Noah Kubyako (32 tackles) and Trey Jones (3 INTs).

Schedule
Aug. 23 – at Wilmington
Aug. 30 – at Hickory
Sept. 6 – Fairview
Sept. 13 – Slippery Rock
Sept. 21 – at Sharpsville
Sept. 27 – at Conneaut
Oct. 4 – Grove City
Oct. 12 – at University Prep, 2
Oct. 18 – Fort LeBoeuf

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