Shenango football preview

In early January, Shenango named Mohawk alum Mike Commesso as their new head football coach. Commesso had served as Hopewell’s defensive coordinator for the past five years. The Vikings’ defense allowed an average of 20.1 points over Commesso’s stint which included two seasons in which they permitted less than 18 points a game (2008: 17.3 ppg; 2009: 14.1 ppg). Mike is the son of former Mohawk coach Lew Commesso (1997-2002).

In 2012, the Wildcats lost all six of their games versus teams who finished with a winning record. In each of those outings, Shenango gave up 33 points or more.

The ‘Cats will look to begin 2013 differently as they travel to Sto-Rox on Friday, August 30.

2013 Shenango Wildcats’ Football Preview
by Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Mike Commesso, 1st season (0-0)
2012 Record: 3-6 (2-6), WPIAL – Big Seven (A)
2012 Post-Season Finish: Did Not Qualify

2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 15.4 (55th in Area)
Points Allowed: 29.6 (45th in Area)

Returning Leaders
Passing: Anthony Prestopine – 295 yards, 46.5 Comp %, 4 TDs
Rushing: Tyler Welsh – 127 att, 728 yards
Receiving: Michael Thompson – 9 rec, 129 yards

2013 Schedule
Aug. 30 – at Sto-Rox 7:30 PM
Sept. 6 – Rochester, 7:30 PM
Sept. 13 – South Side Beaver, 7:30 PM
Sept. 20 – at Neshannock, 7:30 PM
Sept. 27 – Our Lady of Sacred Heart, 7:30 PM
Oct. 4 – Riverview, 7:30 PM
Oct. 11 – at Union, 7:30 PM
Oct. 18 – at Western Beaver, 7:30 PM
Oct. 25 – Laurel, 7:30 PM

Offensive Strength: Shenango’s offensive backfield should be a key to becoming a significant factor in the Big Seven this fall. Each of the team’s three leading rushers are back (Tyler Welsh, Anthony Prestopine, Tyler Root). Welsh scored 8 total touchdowns while Anthony passed the goal line 3 times and threw for another 4.

Offensive Weakness: For the sixth time in the last nine years, Shenango has failed to average 20 points. The Wildcats have seen their offensive figures decrease in each of the last two seasons.

Defensive Strength: Three defensive players return after being named to the All-Big Seven’s Honorable Mention in 2012. Seniors Sam Sibeto and Brent McCormick are back at linebacker while Michael Thompson will be roaming the secondary.

Defensive Weakness: Last year, the Wildcat defense allowed 29.6 points per outing. That was the most that a Shenango bunch had permitted since 2004 (30.4). Defensive minded Commesso will not allow this trend to continue.

Storylines Facing the Wildcats
1. Albertini Returns. Senior Vince Albertini chucks the javelin in the spring but he tosses opponents around in the fall. Albertini was the only Wildcat named to the First-Team All-Big Seven on offense and on defense from his line position.

2. Back to Winning Ways. The Wildcats have only had one winning season (2009: 5-4) over the last six years.

Did you know? Shenango closed out the 2002 and 2003 seasons with a perfect 6-0 Section 4 record.

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