ShareThis Page

Little Prexies set sights on return to Heinz Field

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Shai McKenzie runs during heat acclimation practice on August 8, 2013 in Washington.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Shai McKenzie runs during heat acclimation practice on August 8, 2013 in Washington.
Chase Caldwell photographed at practice on August 8, 2013 in Washington.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Chase Caldwell photographed at practice on August 8, 2013 in Washington.

The goal for Washington this season is simple: Make it back to Heinz Field.

After going undefeated in the regular season last year, the Prexies breezed through the playoffs before falling to Aliquippa in the WPIAL Class AA championship.

“That's really ultimately where we want to be,” coach Mike Bosnic said of returning to the title game. “We were able to get there last year and get a taste of it. We'd like to get back this year and take another crack at it.”

It will be a challenge, but Bosnic said his team has the pieces in place to pull it off.

“There are so many variables that go in to it,” he said. “I feel like we have some talent coming back, and the pieces are there. But it's going to depend on the kids working hard and being willing to do what it takes to get there.”

A bulk of that returning talent revolves around 6-foot, 215-pound senior tailback Shai McKenzie.

The leading rusher in the WPIAL last season, McKenzie gained a school-record 2,700 yards to go along with 42 touchdowns, piquing the interest of some elite college programs.

“He's one of the best running backs in the entire country,” Bosnic said. “He's a great football player, very explosive, and I'm sure a nightmare for opposing teams.”

The Prexies do not lack in talent around the all-state running back. Senior wide receiver Chase Caldwell and tailback Malik Wells are capable playmakers.

Defensive end Anthony Byrd will anchor the Washington defense, which will go up against stiff competition in the Interstate Conference.

“It's a tough conference, a very good conference, and there's going to be a lot of competition,” Bosnic said. “We're going to probably have a target on our back because of our success last year.”

Going 12-1 (8-0 in conference games) last season gave the Prexies a taste of success.

“It really made our town excited when we made the playoff run,” Bosnic said, “and I think the kids really enjoyed it, so I think that's something they would like to do again.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.