Share This Page

Riverview hopes to build from experience

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:56 p.m.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Riverview quarterback Tyler Nigro drops back to pass during practice at Riverside Park in Oakmont on Thursday, August 15, 2013.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Riverview wide receiver Raymar McCombs runs a route during practice at Riverside Park in Oakmont on Thursday, August 15, 2013.

Riverview's hope for the future might lie in last year's injury-plagued season.

That team was forced to insert many inexperienced players into the lineup.

“Last year's team was a young team,” coach Todd Massack said. “We're looking for that experience they got last year to pay off for us this year,”

That experience will be felt the most in a traditionally run-heavy Class A, particularly on the offensive line.

“We're going to be a typical Riverview football team,” Massack said. “Very hard-nosed.”

Brandon Peluso, an all-conference lineman, is the only starter who was lost to graduation. Returning to the unit are seniors Joe Brown, Jake Paradise, Chris Jarrett and Yianni Tsambis.

Riverview lost skill players Tim and Greg Wagner, as well as Vinny Piccolino to graduation.

All were key factors in the running and passing game.

Junior Raymar McCombs will pick up carries, and Keir Barber and Dillon Provenzo will split time at fullback.

Junior quarterback Tyler Nigro returns under center, and the Raiders have added Zach Hamus, a 6-foot-2 receiver who transferred from a school in Florida.

Hamus has impressed the coaching staff with his ability to throw the ball during seven-on-seven scrimmages, but his value most likely will be in catching passes.

He also will see time in the defensive backfield.

“He's probably at safety or corner,” Massack said. “Our safeties need to know how to play corner, as well.”

So far this preseason, Massack likes what he has seen.

“We've had a good offseason. We've had a good summer. Attendance at our workouts has been very good,” Massack said. “They've been working hard. I've been pleased with things. What that means for wins and losses, I don't know.”

Massack has added 50 years of coaching experience to his staff with the addition of longtime Springdale coach Chuck Wagner. Wagner retired in 2011 but decided to return as a volunteer consultant at the school where he began his prep coaching career in 1958.

“He has a great relationship with the kids. The kids love him. He's a legend,” Massack said. “He's a great guy, and the kids recognize that right away. We're excited. He was my high school coach, and my grandfather was his coach.”

Wagner coached at Oakmont High School for 10 seasons and remained for another 15 after Oakmont and Verona merged to form Riverview.

It's been three years since Riverview has enjoyed a winning season — it finished 6-4 in 2010 and missed the playoffs — and it's been six years since the Raiders made the playoffs. Last season, they were 2-7.

“We kind of use that as motivation. We don't dwell on the past,” Massack said. “We don't dwell on last year. We do use it as motivation.”

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.