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Graduation losses don't deter Shenango coach

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 6:52 p.m.

Shenango lost its top rusher and receiver to graduation and its quarterback to Montour. But coach Ryan Mayo believes the Wildcats are ready to make their first playoff appearance since 2006.

“That's our No. 1 goal,” Mayo said. “We've had a great offseason — attendance (at workouts) has been excellent, and the kids have a great attitude. That's definitely our goal, and I think we've done all the right things in terms of achieving that goal.”

Mayo said he views the 2011 season, in which the Wildcats finished 3-6 and in sixth place in the Big 7, as a rebuilding campaign. Six starters on offense and defense return from that team.

Mayo will look to a host of contributors to replace top rusher and receiver Joe Seaburn. Juniors Anthony Prestopine, who rushed for 298 yards and five touchdowns in 2011, and Tyler Welsh are among the backs who will get plenty of carries in the Wildcats' Wing-T system.

“When you've got that big back, you typically give him the ball 20-25 times a game,” Mayo said. “But when you don't, it's better to spread it out among a group of backs and at least have the element of surprise there.”

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