Collin College Fall

Returning talent bodes well for Plano East defensive line

by | Jun 24, 2022 | Latest, Sports

With several returning players on the Plano East defensive line, the coaching staff views it as one of the strengths of the defensive unit.

Returning three starters, Plano East head coach Tony Benedetto is excited for the prospects this upcoming season. The group will be led by Chima Chineke and Brayden Bergman at defensive end, while Aidan Miller returns as the starting defensive tackle for the Panthers.

“The other three players coming back should make an impact,” Benedetto said. “We’ve got a little competition now but we’re really excited about what they can do and who’s coming back.”

Not much will change alignment-wise for the Panthers’ front four, allowing them to continue to do what they do best and create pressure in the backfield. They will have to replace Cedric Diggs at the other defensive tackle spot. The senior leader of the defense had three sacks and 10 tackles for loss in 2021.

“I don’t think you’ll see too much schematically different on the defensive side of the ball,” Benedetto said. “It’ll still be four linemen down on the ground and more of the changes will be in our secondary. We like what these guys can do and don’t want to change a lot.”

Four players are competing for the final defensive tackle position. Aden Luecke, who is also working on the offensive side of the ball, along with Jaiden Rowell and Marcus Lee among the players competing at the position. Whoever wins the starting job will be battle-tested, but coach Benedetto believes it will produce good depth to the defensive line.

“We have enough guys that can compete and play,” Benedetto said. “Those top three guys are going to be the ones we rely on and will need to be healthy this year, but we have guys that can come in and play if needed.”

Miller competed for Plano East last season in both football and wrestling after moving into the area. Taking over the starting position as a sophomore, he showed his physicality early in his career.

“He’s just a tough kid,” Benedetto said. “Between wrestling and football, he’s shown really good hands and strength. Wrestling is one of the toughest sports you can play and he goes out there and competes. He’s going to be a good football player.”

Chineke is an edge rusher who’s caught the attention of collegiate scouts early in his career. Standing tall at 6-foot-5 and nearly 230 pounds, he’s already been offered an athletic scholarship by Texas Tech and has impressed in offseason camps.

“He’s obviously got a lot going for him but he doesn’t walk around with it,” Benedetto said. “He doesn’t have an ego, he’s always got a smile on his face, he’s a smart and coachable player and he’s everything you want as a coach.”

For the complete story, see next week’s edition of the Murphy Monitor. Support your community newspaper for less than $40 a year.

By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]

0 Comments

Public Notice - Subscribe

Related News

Council considers higher water and sewer rates

Council considers higher water and sewer rates

Residential water and sewer rates will be going up in October, but the Murphy City Council has not yet decided how much. Chris Ekrut, chief financial officer at NewGen Strategies & Solutions reported to the Tuesday, July 16, council meeting on anticipated cost...

read more
Youth Citizens Police Academy starts July 22

Youth Citizens Police Academy starts July 22

DPS helicopter pilots Clay Lacey and Jordan Teel explain their mission to young cadets during a previous academy. Registration filled quickly for the week-long Murphy Police Department’s Youth Citizens Police Academy for incoming sixth through 10th graders. The...

read more
Disputed development still in court

Disputed development still in court

A sign advertises the sale of 100+ acres in a disputed development in Parker. Another lawsuit has been filed regarding a housing development proposed for 114 acres across from Southfork Ranch with the latest action targeting the city of Parker. Opponents continue to...

read more
Brown House hits home run with latest exhibit

Brown House hits home run with latest exhibit

Base Ball in Victorian America is the newest exhibit at The Welcome Center at the Brown House in Wylie. The display focuses on the Texas League, a cornerstone of minor league baseball. The Welcome Center at the Brown House in Wylie has hit it out of the park with the...

read more
Veteran’s family to receive new home

Veteran’s family to receive new home

Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Semeli Toilolo at the Tuesday, June 18, groundbreaking ceremony where he and his family were surprised to learn they will receive a new home being built for them in Lavon. Courtesy photo Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Semeli Toilolo and his family will...

read more
Council takes more time for two proposals

Council takes more time for two proposals

The Murphy Public Works Department is considering solutions to the repeated problem of motorists failing to stop where eastbound Renner Road dead-ends at Tall Tree Drive. “City staff, along with engineers, are currently exploring permanent solutions to implement...

read more
Author hopes to inspire others with story

Author hopes to inspire others with story

Sachse resident Ania Rust has released a book detailing her personal journey to the U.S. from Poland, along with tips on how to achieve success. Sachse resident Ania Rust, a proud Polish immigrant, recently celebrated her 50th year as a U.S. citizen with the release...

read more
Amazing Grace is growing

Amazing Grace is growing

Amazing Grace Food Pantry now has a new parking lot with lights and 73 parking spaces, more than doubling the number of spaces. Amazing Grace Food Pantry in North Wylie recently celebrated the culmination of an ambitious five-year goal: the completion of a...

read more
Public Notice - Subscribe