SSA grad looks to help turn Lafayette into a winner
Anthony Loyacona was used to playing on both sides of the ball during his playing days at Shady Side Academy.
Last year, as a freshman at Lafayette, the 2011 SSA grad only had to concentrate on one position and he saw enough action to earn a letter.
"One of my goals in football was to earn a letter in my freshman year and I was able to do that," Loyacona said. "I saw playing time at free safety and I also played a lot on special teams.
"As the season progressed, my playing time increased. All in all, I was satisfied with the progress I made."
Something that took some getting used to for Loyacona was the losses.
At Shady Side Academy, he was part of a team that made the WPIAL playoffs all four years Loyacona played.
The Indians also won a pair of conference championships while he was there.
Lafayette finished at 4-7 in the Patriot League last season.
"We had some close games that we lost but we're hoping to turn it around this year," he said. "We'll be getting the majority of the team back both on offense and defense.
"We're hoping to have a good season."
The shift from playing WPIAL Class AA football to playing for a D-I AA team took some getting used to for the 6-foot-1, 205-pound economics major.
"I think the toughest part was learning the defense," Loyacona said, "the strategies and knowing where you're supposed to be on every play.
"Plus, the size of the players was a big difference. But knowing that I was only going to be playing one position made it easier. Unlike high school, I was able to concentrate solely on defense and I think I got better as the season wore on."
He also had to learn to manage his time between academics and athletics a little better, but he said his days at Shady Side had him pretty much prepared.
"I was always involved in two sports at SSA and I learned how to balance the classroom and the field," he said.
And even though he is focused on his game, Loyacona keeps a close watch on the football program at SSA.
"I would always check the scores and I was able to make it back to see them play Burrell," he said. "They should be good again this year.
"They lost some good guys but they have some good ones coming back."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
- Comets hold life building blocks
- Rossi: Nothing huge, but Huntington helped Bucs
- Steelers OLB coach Porter teaches as passionately as he played
- Pirates trade for Dodgers 1B/OF Morse, Mariners LHP Happ
- Inside The Steelers: LB Williams dominates backs-on-backers drill at Latrobe Memorial Stadium
- 2 wounded in Munhall, Homestead drive-by shootings
- 2014 showing has Steelers RB Harris confident he belongs
- LaBar: Piper’s influence can’t be understated
- Gas meter struck, road temporarily closed near Armbrust Wesleyan Church
- Armstrong escapee caught; murder charges pending