Uniontown banking on youth to lead team to postseason
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Uniontown's John Fortugna is concerned about how quickly his team will mature as it attempts to snap a two-year playoff drought.
“This is probably one of the youngest teams I've ever coached,” Fortugna said. “Young kids are going to play, but when will they grow up? We're going to put a lot of young kids in the fire.”
Uniontown won just two games and finished near the bottom of the Keystone Conference standings last season after turnovers plagued the team throughout the season.
“We're going to be fundamentally sound, we work on that all the time,” Fortugna said. “But turnovers are something you can't have.”
After taking over as the starting quarterback late last season, junior Xavier Ellis is back to lead the offense.
“Xavier made some sophomore mistakes when we put him in the last two games as a starter,” Fortugna said. “But he handled the job well. He did a lot of good things and he grew up really quick.”
Senior Doug Lewis and junior Tristan Sandrosky are expected to lead a crowded group at running back.
Both saw increased playing time toward the end of last season.
“Doug didn't start right away, but we put him in for the last couple of games,” Fortugna said. “He got better and better. Then he broke his collarbone before our last game. Tristan started the whole year on defense, and eventually worked his way into the starting lineup on offense.”
Fortugna said he expects senior Jucqui Taylor and junior Bru Martin to see playing time at wideout.
The Red Raiders are undersized and inexperienced up front.
“We're probably going to start a lot of underclassmen,” Fortugna said. “Right now, we don't know who's starting up front.”
On defense, Fortugna expects a lot of new faces as well, but he said the unit will be anchored by Sandrosky and senior Joe Linderman at linebacker.
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.
- Scoring record within reach for Clairton
- Pine-Richland’s ‘Neil’ the ram has happy home
- High school football notebook: Official’s decision impacts WPIAL Class AAAA title game
- End of an era for Ford City football and its coach; Bartolovic steps aside
- Law makes Big Nine first team — on defense
- Liotta, Petrishen represent AK-Valley at WPIAL football finals
- WPIAL’s Top 10 football champions of all time
- Karns City uses bruising running game to gain comeback win over Chestnut Ridge
- Central Valley beats rival West Allegheny to win WPIAL Class AAA championship
- WPIAL Class AAAA notebook: Pine-Richland has titles in 3 classifications
- WPIAL Class A notebook: Clairton climbs all-time title list