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Class AAA / Parkway: West Allegheny has large weapon in Brytus

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

By Paul Zeise, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

He is 6 feet 4, weighs 235 pounds and has the physique of a standout linebacker or tight end.

But West Allegheny senior Dave Brytus is actually one of the best punters in the state and he has one of the strongest legs among kickers as well.

More on Class AAA

Parkway: at a glance

Keystone: Another McLee leads Raiders

Greater Allegheny: Despite loss of 25 seniors, Knoch hasn't lost confidence

Big Seven: Gallagher focuses on football, for now

2003 High School Football Preview


"Everybody that comes in here thinks he is a linebacker or something," said West Allegheny Coach Bob Palko. "You don't see too many kickers his size, but then again, that's why he can kick the ball so far. He'll be a punter and a kickoff guy in college, but he's a great field goal kicker as well."

Brytus' leg is so strong, he has more than a dozen Division I scholarship offers. He has verbally committed to Purdue.

The amount of attention he got is amazing considering he missed his junior season with a broken bone in his leg. He made up for the missed season, however, by attending several recruiting camps in the spring and outperforming the competition at every stop.

At Joe Butler's Metro Index camp, for instance, his punts were hitting the ceiling at the UPMC indoor facility and he was hitting field goals from 60 yards away.

"I'm not the type to brag or anything, but I did have some good camps and that helped a lot," said Brytus. "But colleges knew about me off of my sophomore year because I averaged about 45 yards a punt. The injury caused a few teams to back off for a while, but once the schools saw I was healthy, they all started coming after me.

"Purdue was the one that stayed with me and kept recruiting me when I was hurt, and that showed me it was where I want to be."

Brytus is a soccer-style kicker, but unlike many kickers, he never has played soccer. He said he learned to kick soccer style from watching former West Allegheny kickers and he's pretty sure he knows where his leg strength comes from.

"I have a black belt in karate and I was a junior Golden Gloves kick boxing champion a few years ago as well," he said. "I can't tell you how much a martial arts background helps me as a kicker. From the flexibility, to the concentration, to the mental preparation, it all works together for me now."

Paul Zeise can be reached at or 412-263-1720.

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