Moses takes over at rebuilding Edison


For The Times Leader

RICHMOND – The Edison football team is looking to the future, not the past.

This season, the Wildcats under the guidance of first-year head coach Nate Moses.

“We are going to work hard,” Moses said. “The kids and the coaching staff are going to work hard and try to make the most out of every day. The key thing is to work hard and improve every day.”

Moses, who is also the head coach of the boys’ basketball team, was hired to take over the program after former head coach Derrick Stickles resigned July 20.

“The transition has been pretty smooth,” Moses said. “I have got great guys around me. We all have the same goal, and we have kids who are willing to do whatever we ask.”

Edison ended last season with a record of 3-7 after it lost its final four games of the season.

“I told the kids early on that anything that happened in the past is in the past,” Moses said. “We are not going to think about it, and we are not going to dwell on it. It doesn’t matter. We are going to focus on the present, and we are going to focus on the future. Last year is in the past and so is yesterday.”

This season, the Wildcats will be without the services of 13 seniors who graduated in the spring.

Though Edison was hard hit by graduation, the Wildcats do return a good group of talented players. Edison has 34 players on the roster – seven seniors, 13 juniors, 12 sophomores and two freshmen. The seniors are Dustin Calhoun, Kenny Cranston, Tim McCoy, Hunter West, Dylan Haldamin, Zak Kestner and Cade.

“We have got a couple of transfers who are going to have to sit out the first five games, but who I think are really going to help us in the second half of the season,” Moses said. “Kenny Cranston and Zak Kestner both transferred in.”

“We have our backfield back in Seth Cade and River Pappas,” Moses said. “We are going to rely on them on both sides of the ball. They are guys who have experience.

“We are young on the offensive line. We are going to work on continuing to get better there. We have some receivers who are quick, and they are guys we are going to have to get the ball to.

“I think we will have an interesting mesh of being able to run the ball as well as having good receivers on the outside.”

Cade collected 982 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground on 182 carries. He also tallied 86 tackles, 49 of which were solo, and an interception as a linebacker.

Pappas produced 121 tackles, 67 of which were solo, three fumble recoveriers, two forced fumbles and two interceptions as a linebacker last season, while also picking up 327 yards and six touchdowns on the ground on 90 carries.

As of the first week of August, many positions were still being determined.

“We are still competing every day,” Moses said. “Nothing is set in stone. We are going to continue to evaluate individuals. We want to have the best 11 kids on both sides of the ball.”

The Wildcats are expected to have a variety of kids playing quarterback. The list of players who may see time there are sophomore Noah Woods, Dakota Clifton and Cade.

“We are going to look at different things,” Moses said. “We are going to have different packages. We are going to do different things.

“We are trying to get things set. We want to put the kids into positions where we feel they will have success.”

Cade and Pappas led the way at running back, but Kaleb Waggoner and others will also rotate into the backfield.

Several players will have a chance to play at wide receiver. The list includes Bryce Mcafoose, Clifton, Waggoner, Woods and Derek Rohall.

Logan Hanchin will be the team’s main tight end.

“We will attach him, or we will split him out,” Moses said.

Sophomore Troy Hackathorn is also in the mix at tight end.

Edison is young up front on the offensive line. Ben Kuntz is expected to be the center with the two guards being Cody Waggoner and Levi Waggoner. Kaleb Morrison and Lukas McCain are in the mix online as well as a group of other players.

After years of running a spread offense, the Wildcats went to more of a ground and pound attack last season.

“This year it is going to be a combination of the two,” Moses said. “Nothing is set in stone. We want to look dynamic and we want to be able to do different things.”

Defensively, the Wildcats want to be more aggressive this season.

Cody Waggoner, Kaleb Briganti, Kaleb Morrison and McCain are all expected to see time on the line, and Kuntz, Logan Morrison and Blake Chesla are expected to see time at defensive end.

Pappas and Cade are the top two guys at linebacker. Hanchin and Levi Waggoner are also in the mix at the position.

“We are thin at linebacker,” Moses said.

Several players are battling it out for spots in the secondary. That list includes Kaleb Waggoner, Clifton, Devin Allan, Rohall and Woods. Moses said he did not know who would be playing the cornerback and safety positions.

“We are mixing and matching right now,” he said.

Sophomore Carter Montgomery, who also plays on the boys’ soccer team, will kickoff and kick extra points.

Woods is in the mix at punter along with some other guys.

Kuntz will serve as the team’s long snapper, and multiple players are in the mix to be the team’s holder.

Kaleb Waggoner, Clifton and Mcafoose are in the mix to return kicks and punts.

“We have return by committee right now,” Moses said. “We are going to have different guys out there.”

Edison has spent the early part of practice trying to find the best players to put out onto the field.

“Once we get our best 11 guys out onto the field on both sides of the ball, I think speed will be one of our strengths,” Moses said. “One of our weaknesses will be our offensive line. That’s not because we don’t have talent, it’s just that we don’t have a lot of experience there. They don’t have a lot of experience playing on Friday nights and playing in front of everybody.”

Some of the team’s veterans are being counted on to provide leadership for the team.

“Seth leads by example,” Moses said. “He is not a guy who says a whole lot. He just puts his head down and gets to work. Kuntz is the leader up front. River Pappas is a leader. He is our vocal leader, while Seth is our quiet leader.”

This season Moses will be assisted by Spencer Bendle, Ed Weidger, Shane O’Brien, Mike Collopy, Jim Marcus and Mark Smyth, Melissa Hudson, Jacob Hudson and Josh Waggoner.

“They have been a great help,” Moses said. “We have guys who have been here, and guys who have had success here. They have made the transition so easy.

“I believe in our kids. Once we get the guys in the right positions, I am excited to see what we can do.”

The Wildcats have an unusal schedule this season as Edison will be play just four games at home and six games on the road, including three straight games away from Cartwright Memorial Field in Weeks 6-8.

“It doesn’t matter much,” Moses said. “It is what it is.”

Edison is scheduled to open up the season at 7 p.m. Friday night on the road at East Liverpool.

up at Patterson Field.

“Right now, our focus is our game Aug. 25 against East Liverpool,” Moses said. “We will take it week by week after that.”

The players on the team are going to have to earn their spots on the field in order to play on Friday nights.

“Nothing is for granted,” Moses said. “You have to earn it. You have to earn an opportunity, and if you get that opportunity to play on Friday nights you have to take advantage of the opportunity.”

With everything that has happened, the Wildcats are excited about getting the season started against the Potters.

“The kids are really excited,” Moses said. “They are not excited about two-a-days. We are trying to instill in them what is important like being on time and doing all of the little things.”

Edison is looking to take a step forward this season.

“We just want to get better every day,” Moses said. “If we do that, the wins and losses will take care of themselves. Every day we want to get better. You don’t want to have any day where you don’t get better. We want to keep on getting improving. We want to get better every day going into the 25th.”

Like his team, Moses is taking everything one day at a time.

“I am excited to coach football, and when basketball season comes I will be really be excited about coaching basketball,” Moses said. “We are going to take everything day by day this season. Coaching football and coaching basketball is a challenge, but it is a challenge I am glad to have the opportunity to do.”

(All games begin at 7 p.m. )

Aug. 25 — at East Liverpool

Sept. 1 — at Wellsville

Sept. 8 — Toronto

Sept. 15 — at Beaver Local

Sept. 22 — Union Local

Sept. 29 — at Oak Glen

Oct. 6 — at Harrison Central

Oct. 14 — at Steubenville CC

Oct. 20 — Buckeye Local

Oct. 27 — Indian Creek


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