After playoff run last year, Ellwood City faces tall task

Ellwood City quarterback Brandon Magnifico.
Ellwood City quarterback Brandon Magnifico.
Photo by Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 6:26 p.m.

For Ellwood City, the highlight of last season was a 31-28 victory over Beaver Falls.

“It was a very big victory because it proved to our team that they could play, that they could line up and play against the best teams in our conference,” coach Don Phillips said. “We're in the mix with most of those teams.”

Last year, the team advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals, where it lost to Greensburg Central Catholic, 18-15. This year, however, the Wolverines will be hard-pressed to repeat the same success.

Ellwood City lost 18 players to graduation, in addition to its starting quarterback, Julian Cox, a junior, who transferred to New Castle.

“It's a challenge every year, because kids graduate,” Phillips said. “You have to have that program going so that the younger kids know they will have to step up and perform.”

Phillips is looking to develop talent this fall, including senior Nick Valentino and juniors Seth Maley and Brandon Magnifico, who are all fighting for the starting quarterback position.

“It's their time,” Phillips said. “They've stepped up, they're excited. They're working like crazy.”

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