Seventh straight undefeated regular season on Steubenville’s to-do list

Image

Steubenville Big Red

Few teams,
regardless of division, have experienced the success Steubenville has the past decade. Since 1999, the Big Red have missed the postseason only
once, have won two state titles (2005, 2006) and finished state runner-up last
season.

But for veteran head coach Reno Saccoccia, that was then and this is now.


Steubenville (14-1)

* Players to Watch
QB/DB Dwight Macon (5-11, 180, Sr.), WR/DB Isaiah Willis (5-8, 150, Sr.),
WR/DB Anthony Pierro (5-10, 150, Jr.), WR/DB Jordan Meyer (5-9, 155, Jr.),
WR/DB Caleb Westlake (5-9, 160, Sr.), WR/DB Trey Wiggins (5-9, 150, Sr.), RB/LB
Jesse Birden (5-11, 165, Jr.), RB/LB Shaquil Petteway (6-0, 170, Jr.), RB/LB
Demetrius Brandon (5-8, 165, Sr.), TE/LB Danny Bayne (6-0, 170, Sr.), OL/DL
Devon Campbell (5-10, 205, Jr.), OL/DL John Elder (6-0, 175, Sr.), K Brennen
Stover (6-2, 160, Sr.), TE/DE Sage Curti (6-1, 175, Sr.)

Outlook – Few teams,
regardless of division, have experienced the success Steubenville has the past decade.

Since 1999, the Big Red have missed the postseason only
once, have won two state titles (2005, 2006) and finished state runner-up last
season.

But for veteran head coach Reno Saccoccia, that was then and this is now.

“You can’t have your whole program depend on what you have
done in the past,” he said. “Kids have to want to add to the tradition the
guys before them have set. They have to want to develop their own niche into
the tradition and that is what we are working on right now.”

This season has the potential to mark Steubenville’s seventh straight undefeated
season and there is a good chance that streak will stay alive with 15 starters
returning.

“We have a good nucleus back and it is a nucleus we can build around,” said Saccoccia, who was the D-IV
co-coach of the year last season. “We have some experienced players coming back
but there is a difference between an experienced player that is an
underclassman and the experience of a senior leader.”

Though the Big Red return talented players and valuable
experience, Saccoccia said this season’s team still needs to find its identity.

“We have a lot of good individuals back that were members of
a pretty good team last year but every year there is a new beginning,” he said.
“You have different personalities that you have to fit in and you don’t really
become a team until you sweat together, suffer together and go through some
highs and lows together.

“I feel real happy about the kids we expect back and that
expect to be playing. So, this year we have to set new goals and hopefully we
can accomplish those goals.”

Macon is a Division I college prospect with several
scholarship offers, including Ball State, Central Michigan, Kansas, Toledo
and Wyoming. He rushed for 837 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and passed
for 2,424 yards and 28 touchdowns with only four interceptions.

He was the D-IV
co-player of the year last season and is ranked No. 44 in the Ohio High magazine top 150 for the 2010 class.

Petteway is a player to watch in the junior class and has the
potential to be ranked in the Ohio High magazine top 20 for 2011.

Steubenville
moves up to D-III, Region 11 after two successful seasons in D-IV.

“If you look at Division III and the way it is set up, I
can’t see any tougher Division that is more competitive,” Saccoccia said. “We
are just concentrating on improving everyday and preparing ourselves mentally
and physically for a – hopefully – long grind.” 

The Big Red play six games against out-of-state opponents.

“I think our schedule is very competitive with different
challenges,” Saccoccia said. We’re going to find out early if we bit off more
than we can chew.”

Schedule 

Aug.
27, Wintersville Indian Creek, 7:30 p.m.

Sept.
5, at Woodland Hills (Pa.),
12 p.m.

Sept.
11, at East Liverpool,
7:30 p.m.

Sept.
18, Buffalo (N.Y.) St. Joseph Collegiate, 7 p.m.

Sept.
25, Fairview (Pa.), 7 p.m.

Oct.
2, at Wheeling Park
(W.Va.), 7
p.m.

Oct.
9, Massillon Washington, 7 p.m.

Oct.
16, Poland
Seminary, 7 p.m.

Oct.
23, Inkster (Mich.), 7:30 p.m.

Oct.
30, Cardinal O’Hara (N.Y.), 7 p.m.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *