Frazier hopes to equal regular season success of 2011
Frazier's Joseph Hela (left) and Steven Prescott are two offensive linemen who helped the Commodores qualify for the playoffs last season and hope to reach higher goals this year. Evan R. Sanders/Daily Courier
By Jason Black| Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, 12:05 a.m.
The 2011 football season was a barrier-breaking campaign for Frazier. The Commodores won six games in the Tri-County South and qualified for the WPIAL Class A playoffs for the first time since 2002.
A 69-25 loss to Sto-Rox in the first round of the playoffs did little to diminish the accomplishment.
“It was a major goal accomplished,” Frazier coach Mike Steeber said. “It was a difficult challenge, and they felt the pride in that accomplishment. The kids will be disappointed if they don't make it back this year. They are hungry for more.”
The Commodores lost key pieces from that team to graduation, but Frazier has plenty of players that remember the feeling of playing in a meaningful game in Week 10 of the high school season.
“It was a great feeling,” junior running back Zachary Mastowski said. “It felt like a college atmosphere. It was a great experience and it makes us want to win a playoff game this year.”
According to Mastowski, the feeling of making the playoffs after such a long drought for the program is never far from the minds of the players. Building on that success is also a regular topic of discussion in the Frazier locker room.
“We talk about it every day,” Mastowski said. “It's our No. 1 goal.”
Steeber and this year's Frazier team understand that the past is the past and making the playoffs last year doesn't guarantee anything this season. However, the team can't help but draw upon last year's breakthrough season.
“It was a special thing, and we played a lot of important games,” Steeber said. “And a lot of the kids we have left from that team played important roles.”
Several of the players that had key roles on last year's team can again be found on the offensive line.
“That's a core group,” Steeber said.
Senior Justin Kulwicki was a member of last year's offensive line that helped the Commodores make the playoffs. He put into perspective what a trip to the playoffs means for a program that has struggled to get there for the better part of a decade.
“What matters most is that as a program we've been getting better and better each year,” Kulwicki said. “And we only want to go further and do better than last year.”
There are 16 players on Frazier's roster this year that were on last year's team as the Commodores began their quest for a long overdue playoff appearance. Steeber is hoping they all remember the sacrifices it took to reach their goal in 2011 as the team looks forward to 2012.
“We have to remember what it felt like to be there and what it took to get there,” Steeber said. “We have to remember the pain of losing and know what it will take to go further.”
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3534.
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 â 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.