Pittsfield football team aiming to shore up defense for upcoming season

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PITTSFIELD — Three hundred and fifty five.

That's the total number of points allowed by the Pittsfield football team last season. That number has been ingrained in the minds of the Generals as they prepare to tighten up their defense heading into a new season.

"We have a lot to prove after last year," Pittsfield coach Brian Jezewski said. "We took it on the chin. A lot of teams scored a lot of points against us."

After starting 3-0, the Generals were outscored by a 255-48 margin over a five-game losing streak. They allowed 30 points in a 32-30 win against Lee to snap the skid, before closing the season with a 18-13 loss to Athol. Teams scored 50 or more points on the Generals four times.

Jezewski said the chip on the player's shoulders motivated them to get stronger this offseason.

At first glance, this year's Pittsfield football team is noticeably bigger than the squad that went winless in the Suburban North division last season.

The program has good numbers with about 75 players, and physically, players appear ready to handle the rigors of a 10-game season.

"Across the board," Jezewski said of the position groups that have shown improvement physically. "We really made a conscience effort to improve our strength and conditioning in the weight room. The guys did a really good job in making sure they were there, with academics and family — making the weight room a priority — we're hoping it pays off."

One area where the Generals will certainly be stronger is in the trenches. They've got improved size along the defensive line, which should allow linebackers Edwin Rodriguez and Markie Perras to flow to the ball more freely. Improved strength on the offensive line will allow them to generate a more consistent running game as well, giving the Generals the ability to sustain drives, control the clock and keep scoring totals down.

Reach sports writer Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252 or @TheAkeemGlaspie.


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