Experience to pay dividends for Waynesburg
Despite suffering through a humbling 1-8 season a year ago, the Waynesburg football team took a lot of steps toward building its future.
The Raiders, coach Russ Moore said, looked more like a traditional junior varsity team on paper, stockpiled with freshmen, sophomores and juniors in the starting lineup on offense and defense.
Waynesburg still is young, but its players gained valuable experience.
“We didn't have a whole lot of options but to play the young kids last year,” Moore said. “The positive is now they have that live game-action experience. It's not like the old days when you had big rosters. We're trying to get more and more kids to come out for the team.”
The offensive and defensive lines will be strengths. All five starters return on offense, including senior guards Tyler and Thomas Ames.
“The line is going to anchor us,” Moore said. “All the boys are back and really improved over the offseason. The Ames' are going to lead us and anchor us … and they are two of the hardest working kids I've ever coached in my life. They will be our backbone on offense and defense.”
Waynesburg plans to deploy multiple offensive looks, including some wildcat. Moore said Bo Hanson and Colby Collins will lead the attack depending on the formation. Juniors John-Glenn Davis and Hunter Cenname saw the bulk of the carries a year ago and offer a one-two punch.
But it will take more than returning players to compete in the rugged Interstate. Moore has stressed execution and playing with a chip on their shoulders to his players, most of whom will be playing on both sides.
With 10 offensive starters returning, the Raiders should improve their offensive output. Last year, they were held to seven points or less in six games.
“This is a group that got thrown into the fire last year and fought all the way,” Moore said. “We had to look at it as building for this year. Our goal is to go out and win some games, compete and make our fans proud.”