Charleroi coach says 'the sky is the limit' for Cougars
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Much like his predecessor, Ed Jenkins, new Charleroi football coach Don Militzer is a high-energy, high-optimism kind of guy.
Unlike Jenkins, Militzer hopes to have more success with the Cougars' grid program.
“The playoffs are our goal,” Militzer said. “That's always the goal and if we continue to get better and do what we are supposed to do, we can do that.”
Charleroi managed just four total wins in Jenkins' two campaigns, and Militzer knows that kind of mentality has to change.
“When you only win four games in two years, it takes a lot to change the attitude that was here. You have to have that confidence,” he said. “As a staff and a team, we have worked hard on that. I won't sugar coat things and I know we can always get better. But so far, I'm happy where we are headed.”
Militzer took over a program that has not had a winning season since going 6-4 in 2009. However, he did not inherit an empty cupboard at Charleroi, as he has 10 players returning who started for the Cougars a year ago.
He also has several players who will start that did not even play on the team in 2013.
Militzer sees the latter fact as a huge positive.
“It's good because they are all quality kids,” he said. “Kids like (Brock) Shannon, (Blake) Carmello, (John) Arnold and (Rashaad) Hairston are difference makers. They are talented kids.”
Among his returning starters, Militzer can't hide his glee to have quarterback Matt Carr.
Carr, a senior, is an extension of his head coach on the field, Militzer said.
“He's experienced, smart and understands what I want to do,” Militzer said. “I think he's a winner.”
Joining Carr in Charleroi's starting offense will be Shannon, a junior, in the backfield, and senior Greg Arnold, who will be an all-purpose back and line up in the backfield or out wide in Charleroi's spread formation.
The receivers will come from the group of Carmello, a senior, and juniors Jesse McQuillis and Trey Douyon.
John Arnold, a 6-9, 255-pound junior, will play tight end, and Militzer is very high on him.
The tackles will be seniors Jake Lemmon and Mason Thomas, while seniors Chad Waggoner and Kevin McClelland are the guards and either junior A.J. DiPiazza or senior Brian Gunniers will play center.
“Our team strength is our offense because of the balance we have,” Militzer said. “We have a quarterback who can throw the ball and we have kids who can catch it and we can run it. We have some dynamic kids on offense.
“Our offensive line has some experience and kids who have started multiple years.”
Defense may be another story for the Cougars.
A unit that gave up more than 44 points per game a year ago, “has to be more aggressive and tackle better,” Militzer said.
In Charleroi's base 4-3 defense, Thomas and John Arnold will be the ends with McClelland and Waggoner the tackles.
The linebacking corps will come from the group of sophomore Errict Tedrow, Lemmon, junior Jimmy Smith and senior Keenan Griffith.
Shannon and Carmello will play the corners with Douyon also seeing action there, while Hairston and Greg Arnold will be the safeties.
The Cougars also return another key player in kicker/punter Sean Cole, a sophomore.
Looking at the Interstate Conference, Militzer sees some tough sledding for his team, but he believes the Cougars can compete.
“Washington, obviously, is the team to beat,” Militzer said. “And Mt. Pleasant has been there and done that. Southmoreland, Waynesburg and McGuffey all have a bunch of experienced players coming back.”
Militzer said his team can battle with anybody in the conference.
‘If we stay healthy and stick to what we want to do, we can do that,” he said of winning. “If we keep working and continue to grow, the sky is the limit. I really believe that.”
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close
- WPIAL history full of football dynasties
- WPIAL Class AAAA final preview: Penn-Trafford looking to reverse trend of playoff losses to Central Catholic
- WPIAL Class AA final preview: Rivals South Fayette, Aliquippa to play for title for record 3rd straight season
- WPIAL Class AAA final preview: Big-play passing attack paying off for defending WPIAL champion Central Valley
- WPIAL Class A final preview: Jeannette proved it was up to challenge of facing Clairton during Eastern Conference matchup
- Central Catholic senior Jones plays key role in all phases for Vikings
- Aliquippa routs Freeport to return to Heinz Field
- Thomas Jefferson humbles Franklin Regional, sprints into WPIAL Class AAA title game
- Belle Vernon’s Sweitzer commits to Georgetown
- Alle-Kiski Valley football notebook: Aliquippa stymies Freeport passing attack