South Allegheny sports finding success this fall
By Keith Barnes
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, 12:20 a.m.
Glassport Stadium hasn't been the site of many victories in recent years for the South Allegheny football program.
In fact, coming into the season, the Gladiators had only won three games in the last three seasons and had not won consecutive games since opening the season 2-0 in 2008.
Though it all, South Allegheny coach Pat Monroe was obstinate in his belief that this team was different and had the makings of a competitive squad.
“I've said that this is a good team and I've said that from the beginning,” Monroe said. “This is a good team, we knew that going in, we have a lot of hard-working kids on this team and we're trying to stay healthy and, if we do that, we're going to be a very competitive football team.”
It didn't look like that was going to happen after the first week of the season when South Allegheny was blown out against a running clock in a 35-0 loss to WPIAL Class AA championship contender Seton-La Salle. But things have certainly changed the last two weeks as the Gladiators have put together their first winning streak in four years, and at 2-1, 1-1 in the Century Conference, the team is sitting above .500 three games into the season for the first time since 2008.
To top it off, when South Allegheny defeated New Brighton, 34-14, Friday, it marked the first home victory for the team since a 42-6 win over Quaker Valley on Oct. 1, 2010.
A big reason for the wins has been the play of the defense, led by Division I nose guard prospect Ryan Bednar. The group has allowed just 18.7 ppg through three games.
“These kids have been a good football team and they've been trying so hard and it's no different really than other years,” Monroe said. “They've been in it a lot, they're a hard-nosed team, they've been a hard-nosed team and they've done well for the last three or four years.”
South Allegheny showed flashes that it could become a potential postseason contender in 2011, when despite losing its last eight games including a 10th game against South Park, the team was competitive nearly every week. Four of those eight losses were by single digits, and in their last three games against Washington, Steel Valley and South Park, the Gladiators lost by a combined six points.
It's not only the football team that has finally turned the corner. The South Allegheny boys soccer team is 7-0-0 after a 6-0 win over Trinity Christian on Tuesday and already has a signature victory on the road over reigning WPIAL Class A champion Greensburg Central Catholic. Even the girls soccer team is undefeated (6-0-0) with its biggest test coming up 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bentworth.
Still, even though the soccer teams are having success, for the football team to be in postseason contention, albeit early in the season, is somewhat amazing. South Allegheny is 158-289-6 all-time, has not finished above .500 since going 5-4-1 in 1993, failed to qualify for the postseason every year since 1986 and won its only title in 1977.
To see all that hard work finally come to fruition has been a boon for the player as they head to practice every day.
“Getting the wins is certainly the goal,” Monroe said. “They know everything they've been through and it's been 11 guys on both sides of the ball. There's no one guy. They're all doing their job, and we have a good group.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1977.
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.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Kovacevic: Still waiting on Malkin, Crosby
- Rossi: Lack of together time showing for Penguins’ defense
- Three ejected after Pirates, Brewers brawl
- Court upholds EPA emissions restrictions
- Man dead in Beaver County brush fire
- Population expansion in Western Pennsylvania hinges on immigrants
- Landslides put Baldwin firefighters in financial peril
- Pirates pitcher Cole’s strong outing wasted in 14-inning loss at home
- Attorney wants lesser term for woman in Greensburg torture death
- LaBar: Did WWE referee know finish to Undertaker match?