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2019 Pigskin Preview

Buckeye Trail looking to take next step

OLD WASHINGTON - No more being average. That’s the plan for the Buckeye Trail Warriors as Donnie Kerns begins his fourth year in charge of the football program with a team that lost its go-to guy but returns a hard-working, dedicated group that features more overall experience and ...

Cambridge hoping experience pays off

By JEFF HARRISON For The Times Leader CAMBRIDGE - Despite a disappointing three-win season, the Cambridge Bobcats gained valuable experience that second-year coach Josh Lowery hopes will pay dividends this fall. “Our seniors have been using the term ‘I’ve got your back’ as their ...

Clendenning takes over at Meadowbrook

BYESVILLE - The Meadowbrook High program reached new heights last year - advancing three rounds deep to the OHSAA Division V, Region 19 title game - and the Colts definitely enjoyed the view from there so they are hoping to find their way back up the mountain again this fall. The 2018 success ...

Steubenville wants to carry the community flag

STEUBENVILLE — There are coaches who would be very happy with a 10-2 record, an 18th consecutive trip to the postseason and the 67th playoff victory in school history. Reno Saccoccia, Big Red’s Hall of Fame grid boss, isn’t one of them. “I take a lot of pride in saying we have to ...

Penn State has question marks at quarterback

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — As Penn State head coach James Franklin enters his sixth season at the helm, he does so with question marks swirling around every practice. Mainly because of the fact that he will be tasked with finding a replacement for his record-setting quarterback Trace McSorley, ...

Off-season coaching carousel slows down

Another year and another high school football season in the Ohio Valley is set to get under way. Only one coach in the immediate area is preparing for his first season, which is a vast difference from the number of changes the area coaching fraternity underwent prior to the 2018 ...

Agresta taking over the reins at SCC

By ED LOOMAN For The Times Leader STEUBENVILLE — Anthony Agresta will make his Harding Stadium coaching debut Saturday when Columbus Africentric helps Catholic Central open the 2019 football season. Agresta was hired in April as Central’s new grid boss. He came to Steubenville from ...

John Marshall wants to win in the trenches

By CODY TOMER For The Times Leader GLEN DALE —In his second year as head coach of his alma mater, Jason Willis looks for his team to dominate in the trenches. Last season ended with a first-round exit in the playoffs at the hands of Musselman and with a focus on controlling the line of ...

Wheeling University set for first official season

By KYLE LUTZ For The Times Leader WHEELING — Last year, a new era began on the campus of Wheeling University as football kicked off its exhibition season. The Cardinals, who suited 70 freshmen, completed an undefeated season and gained some valuable experience along the way that will ...

Edison remains ‘focused on the process’

By AARON PETCHAL For The Times Leader RICHMOND — Shane O’Brien is trying to build a program at Edison. The Edison football team took a step forward last season, going 3-2 after five weeks before finishing the season with a record of 4-6. “Our record was not what we hoped it would ...

Brooke players putting 2018 behind them

By ANDREW GRIMM For The Times Leader WELLSBURG — Sometimes after a tough season, the best thing a team can do is simply turn its focus ahead. That is exactly what the 2019 Brooke Bruins are doing, following a winless campaign a season ago. “One thing I have figured out about my ...

Weir boasts a lot of speed at the skill spots

By RALPH COX For The Times Leader WEIRTON — The Weir High football team made it to the semifinal round of the Class AA playoffs in 2018 but, despite losing a lot of talent to graduation, veteran coach Tony Filberto has 15 lettermen returning, which will give him an experienced player at ...

Frontier appears ready to rebound in ’19

By Mike Morrison For The Times Leader NEW MATAMORAS - A fast start would do wonders for the Frontier Cougars as they try to post their first winning record since 2014. Veteran head coach Russ Morris is back for the second season of his second stint and his14th season overall at the helm ...

Ohio University picked to win MAC East

ATHENS — Each year, a contingent from the Ohio University football team travels to Ford Field in Detroit for Mid-American Conference Media Day and gives its reasoning why it’ll be back for the conference title game in a few months. The past few years, media members have agreed in unison ...

West Liberty expects to challenge in MEC race

By DON CLEGG For The Times Leader WEST LIBERTY — A sharpened approach on the recruiting trail has veteran head coach Roger Waialae optimistic that his Hilltoppers are primed to hit the comeback trail in a revamped Mountain East Conference. The dean of MEC coaches, Waialae’s 77 career ...

Harrison Central confident if healthy

CADIZ — Anthony Hayes and his Harrison Central Huskies got a late start to the 2018 season, but they finished strong with three straight wins to finish 4-6 in his first season as head coach. The 41-year-old wasn’t hired until late May, so there wasn’t much time for a lot of planning and ...

Bethany picked sixth in PAC as strong defensive group returns

LATROBE, Pa. — Bethany College seventh-year head coach Bill Garvey and senior defensive lineman Daniel Gibson represented the Bison at the annual Presidents’ Athletic Conference Football Media Day at the Carey Center Student Lounge on the campus of Saint Vincent College. The team was ...

Toronto looking to rely on its defense

By AARON PETCHAL For The Times Leader TORONTO — The Toronto football team is looking to get back to the playoffs. In order to do so, it going to need another strong season out of its defense. The Red Knights made the playoffs in three straight seasons from 2014-16 but have come up one ...

Brown looks to keep Cameron rolling

By KYLE LUTZ For The Times Leader CAMERON — When it comes to Cameron, Tim Brown is no stranger to the school or the football program. Brown —who also is an alumnus of Cameron and has been an assistant coach — will take over the reigns after Scott Holt stepped down after five seasons. ...

Notre Dame must be road warriors

By JOSH STROPE For The Times Leader SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Following an undefeated 12-0 regular season, Notre Dame made its first appearance in the College Football Playoff last season, bowing out in a semifinal to eventual national champion Clemson. If the Fighting Irish look to make it two ...