Improvement won't come easy for Canon-McMillan in challenging conference
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It's been a tough couple of years for Canon-McMillan coach Tim Sohyda and the Big Macs.
Coming off an 0-10 season preceded by a 1-8 campaign, Sohyda is determined to get the ship steered in the right direction.
“I grew up in this town, and the people and this place are special to me,” Sohyda said. “I want to make sure I do right by these kids.”
A quick turnaround won't be easy. Canon-McMillan starts the season playing three of the WPIAL's most successful programs in Penn Hills, Upper St. Clair and Central Catholic.
“These things you can't control; it doesn't bother me,” Sohyda said of the early schedule. “I preach to the kids that these aren't last year's teams. You have to be ready to play and challenge these people.”
Despite the position in the standings, major college coaches are finding their way to Canonsburg.
One reason is promising sophomore two-way lineman Alex Paulina. Guard Torre Carr, though just 5-foot-11, is also grabbing the attention of Division I colleges.
Tight end Alex Campbell is being scouted by Massachusetts, a new entry in the Mid-American Conference. Campbell placed fifth at last year's PIAA wrestling tournament at 215 pounds.
Juniors Colin Chupinka (DB), Jules Gdovic (DB) and Alec Rideout (DE) also are expected to contribute.
Among the top defenders will be senior Angelo Broglia (DE) and sophomore Justin Mattola (DE).
Sohyda prefers a four-man defensive front, but will employ seven or eight players.
There are 46 players on the team, so many will have to play both ways.
“It's a great challenge, I tell the players you have to do the little things right,” Sohyda said. “The question is when they start to drag and feel sorry for themselves. You've got to play the whole time.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in 43-19 preseason loss at Bills
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
- Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
- QB Vick hits ground running in debut
- Butler organization seeks answers for unexplained phenomena
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers
- Biertempfel: Pittsburgh native faced quick learning curve as Marlins GM
- Pitt’s cancer institute marks 30 years with eye toward future
- Exclusive to the Trib: Lift the oil export ban? Think again