The Frantic Race: Tecza Characterizes Mount Lebanon Football Mantra | Sports
When Mount Lebanon football coach Bob Palko describes Alex Tecza, he doesn’t start with the size, speed or strength that has turned him into one of WPIAL’s top rushers.
Palko begins with the character of Tecza.
“First of all, what really makes you feel good is how amazing Alex is a kid and an amazing teammate,” said Palko. “He has an unpretentious shy side but quite a lot of self-confidence. He knows what he can do but he is not paralyzed by his quality. It doesn’t affect him because he’s such a sweet kid who enjoys the fun and simple things in life.
That’s what makes him great to be around him, “added the coach.” Not many kids think like him and that’s another refreshing and cool quality of him as a person. “
Tecza knows there are several reasons for his success.
Heading into a critical game with Central Catholic on Oct. 8, Tecza had 718 rushing yards on 75 carries for an average of 9.6 yards and 10 touchdowns. Tecza placed eighth in the ground race in the WPIAL and No. 1 in Class 6A, the league’s highest ranking.
“To be honest, my success is down to our line. My name, Joey’s (Daniels) and Eli’s (Heidenreich) still grab the headlines, but without them we wouldn’t be successful, ”Tecza said. “I get credit, but it all depends on them and the receptors blocking it as well. The linemen were the big dogs.
Senior James Cline centers the line around Owen Halter, who will play at Middlebury College in Vermont next year, and Division I prospects Kade Capristo and William Harvey. Joey Peters is the newest member of an experienced lineage, having replaced Cooper Austin, who tore his ACL in last spring’s lacrosse season.
Tecza said he often foots the bill for hungry linemen after wins. Lebo’s favorite post-game restaurant is Primanti Brothers and they have their share of burgers and chicken fillets.
“They can eat whatever they want and I’ll buy it,” Tecza said. “They are a big part of this team and we all know what they are doing. They have the hardest part. When they do their job, we all go. The o line gets the credit for mine and the team’s success this season.
Tecza credits his early days in the sport to his parents.
Her mother, Dana, excelled in horseback riding, swimming, and cheerleading while growing up at State College. A graduate of Lock Haven University, she teaches at Lincoln Elementary School in the Mount Lebanon School District. She also teaches and coaches at T2 Crossfit in Bridgeville.
His father, Randall, played football at Allegheny College and Lock Haven after being an athlete in three sports at Cathedral Prep in Erie. He started Alex in a flag football league before his introduction to freshman football.
“My parents were always athletic and they kept me motivated and kept going,” Tecza said. “My dad made me fall in love with the game. I love football and being a running back. It’s something I’ve done my whole career and now I’m a defensive back like my dad. He played that post too. “
Versatility is one of Tecza’s main strengths.
Tecza has been used as a running back, quarterback and wide receiver. In fact, he’s tied for second on the team, behind Heidenreich, in receptions with eight catches for 50 yards. He’s also deadlocked with Heidenreich to score with 60 points.
He also adopted his position in the Blue Devils’ defensive backfield as a solid safety.
“I like that, freedom,” he said. “You can line up where you want and play where you want. I like attacking and carrying football, but there is something about playing defense. Going down and making a tackle feels good. Learning the coins is also a lot of fun.
Besides soccer, Tecza enjoys lacrosse.
“It translates well in football as it helps with hand-eye coordination, speed, strength and conditioning,” he said. “It also helps with other things like processing information and multitasking.”
In the classroom, Tecza processes data up to 4.3 GPA. A member of the National Honor Society, he has attracted the attention of academic institutions such as the universities of Dartmouth, Delaware, Fordham, Colgate, Holy Cross, Robert Morris and Duquesne as well as the military and naval academies of the United States. He visited Annapolis and saw the Midshipmen abandon a 23-3 decision to the Air Force on September 11.
Tecza visited Heidenreich, who has since enlisted in the Navy.
“It was a cool experience,” said Tecza, who noted that he had two grandparents who served in the military. “People should come through (serve their country) at some point in their lives.”
In the meantime, Tecza wants what all the Blue Devils want: a championship. The Blue Devils haven’t won a WPIAL title since 2000, when they beat Woodland Hills for the WPIAL Class 4A Trophy.
“Other than winning the WPIAL, I haven’t set any goals for the season. The numbers speak for themselves, so whatever yardage I win it’s good enough if we hit my goal for a championship, ”Tecza said.
Whether on the grill or in life, Palko predicts that such an attitude will result in Tecza’s success.
“Alex is super talented and he does a lot of things but he’s a great teammate and extremely humble,” said Palko. “In the end, he will succeed because of his qualities.
“Alex is like all the kids I have. He’s not just one person. They’re the ones playing for each other and they applaud everyone’s success. no jealousy. That’s the most beautiful thing. Hopefully we change the way people think. Every individual success takes care of itself. If you trust the process, they will all get there. But, it is. so much more fun when you do it together.