Whether it's on the football field or in the wrestling room, Chestnut Ridge High School senior Tyler Dibert knows the value and importance of hard work.
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Dibert returns as a starter at both center and linebacker for Ridge's football team this fall. He's also been a three-time District 5 champion and two-time PIAA Class AA state tournament qualifier in wrestling.
"A lot of wrestling is about technique and working hard,'' Dibert said. "I think that's transferred over to football. I just work hard and practice what my coaches tell me.''
Chestnut Ridge coach Max Shoemaker discusses the upcoming season.
Ridge coach Max Shoemaker appreciates Dibert's diligence.
"His work ethic stands out, and he's very unselfish,'' Shoemaker said. "He was a fullback as a freshman and sophomore, but when we needed linemen last year, he was very receptive to becoming our center, and he became a quarterback of sorts on the offensive line, making all our line calls.''
Dibert got his feet wet as a center last year, and things didn't always go smoothly, especially on those plays when the Lions lined up in the shotgun formation. He's been putting his nose to the grindstone this past offseason in an attempt to rectify any problems.
"Last year was my first year playing center, and snapping the ball for me was a learning experience,'' he said. "I knew snapping the ball from the shotgun was an issue for me, and I wasn't as consistent with it as I should have been. I've been working with my coaches in the offseason, getting a better handle on it, and hopefully, I'll be more consistent with it this year.''
Defensively, Dibert said he was helped by the presence of veteran linebacker Logan Kensinger last season. Kensinger has since graduated. As a senior veteran on this year's team, Dibert will attempt to fill one of Kensinger's roles as a leader by example.
"We don't have the number of seniors this year that we had last year,'' said Dibert, who plans to attend college and compete in wrestling there. "I'd rather lead by example than be a vocal leader. I guess I'll just let my play do all the talking for me.''
Ridge is not affiliated with any conference, which means that the Lions will be logging plenty of travel miles on football weekends this fall. Included on the 2012 schedule are visits to Berks Catholic, Bald Eagle Area, Mountain Ridge, Md., Kutztown, and Fort Hill, Md.
Playing for any league title, however, isn't as important to Dibert as making another appearance in the District 5 playoffs.
"Chestnut Ridge has never won a playoff game in its history, and that's one of our goals,'' Dibert said.