Eric Ravotti once attributed his making the Steelers as a sixth-round draft pick to his understanding of how to play all four linebackers positions in the 3-4 defense.
When he became the head coach at Fox Chapel in 2011, Ravotti found a pair of freshmen who became his protégés.
Because of his big frame, David Brown was a perfect fit at inside linebacker. Carrington Vaughn, however, grew from a running back to outside linebacker before moving inside this past off-season.
“David’s a downhill, 230-pound inside linebacker that’s very fast and athletic. He’s a run stuffer but also one of our best cover guys,” Ravotti said. “Carrington is learning. He hasn’t played it as long, but he makes up for it with speed. By Game 2 or 3, he’ll have that down-pat. Then his athletic ability will take over. Carrington is becoming a great inside linebacker. The two of them together are going to be really good.”
No wonder Ravotti raved about his dynamic duo in my Monday column, calling Brown and Vaughn the “two best inside linebackers” in the WPIAL.
Even if the best friends are totally different types of players.
“He uses his quickness a little bit more; I use my strength a little bit more,” Brown said. “I like to take on blocks; he likes to scrape and make tackles.”
“We balance each other out really well,” Brown added, “which fits our defense perfectly.”
Vaughn has found the switch to his benefit, much the same way it was for the Steelers’ Lawrence Timmons.
“We both make a lot of tackles now. We’re always in the play, one of us,” Vaughn said. “We’re both physical. We’ll hit you. And we’ll catch you, too.”
Which is exactly what Ravotti is counting on from his terrific tandem at inside linebacker.
“He’s taken everything from all of his experiences,” Brown said, adding that Ravotti has “worked us so hard these last four years. We’re going to put it together our senior year, put on a show.”
HITTING THE LINKS
The seventh part in the #TribHS countdown to kickoff series focuses on linebackers, where size isn’t the only measure, by Chris Harlan.
Moving from outside to inside linebacker isn’t the only position switch for Fox Chapel’s Vaughn, by DJ Vasil.
Norwin’s new football coach is trying to restore tradition, by Doug Gulasy.
Latrobe’s boys’ soccer team issues a WPIAL-wide challenge, with a video, and more high school notes.
A Highlands football player has an exotic pet, plus more Alle-Kiski notes, by Bill Beckner Jr.
Southmoreland’s girls’ golf team seeks playoffs, by Dave Stofcheck.
Frazier’s golf team hopes to improve in a tough section, by Jason Black.