Familiar face returns to revitalize Waynesburg football team
When Russ Moore coached the Waynesburg football team in the 1990s, the town and its fans were a buzz.
Waynesburg was a consistent WPIAL playoff participant, and the team won a Class AA title in 1999. Moore resigned after the season, and Dave Sarra replaced him.
Sarra led Waynesburg back to the title game in 2000, but the program hasn't been the same since.
Well, Moore is back, and so is his enthusiasm. He replaced Joe Kuhns, who resigned after the 2011 season. Moore also brought back Sarra as his defensive coordinator. Sarra had a 45-26 record in seven seasons after Moore left.
“Dave is one of the best defensive coordinators in the WPIAL,” Moore said. “When we coached before, we had great athletes and a great team.”
A couple of lean seasons have hurt the program. Waynesburg has had only one winning season (6-4 in 2009) in the past five. It was 3-6 last season, losing the season finale to winless Brownsville, 20-19, and went 2-7 in 2010. The Raiders were 0-9 in '07 and 1-8 in '08.
“We had a lot of kids in the program before,” Moore said. “The numbers are down, and it's my job to get them up again.”
One way Moore is doing that is getting players involved in community activities.
“The community must know you're here,” Moore said.
Waynesburg returns only a couple starters: kicker Ian Patterson and linebacker Thad McGlinton.
“We have a lot of inexperience,” Moore said. “We graduated 18 seniors, so all the positions are opened.”
Players who have caught the coach's eye during workouts are sophomore quarterback Colby Collins, junior quarterback Bo Hampson, wide receiver Willy Ziefel, wingbacks Hunter Cenname and John-Glenn Davis and linemen Tyler and Thomas Ames.