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Jefferson-Morgan getting fresh start with new coach

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 7:02 p.m.

Jefferson-Morgan needed one victory in its final three games to make the WPIAL Class A playoffs last year.

But the Rockets' offense went M.I.A. They were outscored by playoff teams Monessen, California and Beth-Center by a combined total of 124-0.

After the season, the school district's board opened Jan Haiden's job. The board hired Liam Ryan, 31, to replace the 20-year veteran. Ryan is 1999 Fort Cherry graduate who played four years at Defiance College in Ohio as an offensive lineman.

After earning a degree at Robert Morris, he's spent the past five years at Waynesburg, where he was a line coach and strength coach.

“I can't wait to get started,” Ryan said.

“The kids here are similar to the kids at Fort Cherry, hard-nosed with a great work ethic. I have a good group of players who are working hard in the weight room.”

Ryan has three all-Tri-County South Conference players returning, though one player — running back Dustin Conti — might concentrate on a wrestling career.

The other two all-conference players are quarterback Tyler Bowman and linebacker Jesse Jento.

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