A rejuvenation within the football program in Sharon began with the announcement of Jim Wildman’s return to the sidelines in mid-February. Coach Wildman guided the Tigers to 9 District championships, 8 PIAA playoff appearances, and 208 wins over a career of twenty-five years. During his tenure, Sharon played for the state championship twice in 1994 (losing to Berwick, 27-7) and in 1995 (losing to Berwick again, 43-6).
Since winning the District title in 2010, Sharon has posted just 3 wins over their last 20 games. A year ago, the Tigers competed in four match ups which were decided by 7 points or less (0-4). Over their final five games, Sharon’s defense gave up 41 points or more in four outings.
The Tigers will take the field against Franklin (August 17 at 10 a.m.) and Strong Vincent (August 23 at 7 p.m.) to prepare for the season ahead. Coach Wildman’s bunch will begin the season at home against Farrell in the Steel Bowl.
2013 Sharon Tigers’ Football Preview
By Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Jim Wildman, 26th season (208-78-6)
2012 Record: 1-9 (1-6), District 10 Region 3 (AA)
2012 Post-Season Finish:Did Not Qualify
Returning Starters: Offense - 5, Defense – 5
2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 18.4 (46th in Area)
Points Allowed: 31.8 (50th in Area)
Receiving: Carnell Hawkins – 36 rec, 407 yards, 4 TDs
Aug. 30 – Farrell, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – Saegertown, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – at Titusville, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – Greenville, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – at Reynolds, 7 PM
Oct. 4 – Hickory, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – West Middlesex, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – Wilmington, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – at Grove City, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – at Sharpsville, 7 PM
Offensive Strength: Senior Carnell Hawkins caught 14 balls within a two-week frame (8 vs. Greenville and 6 vs. Reynolds) a year ago. Those 14 catches would’ve been good for 2nd for the season in 2011 (behind Dallas Rodgers, 16). Hawkins adds another dimension to an offense which has struggled moving the ball through the air.
Offensive Weakness: Who will start at quarterback? Jesse Rodgers has moved on following a 1,033 yard season through the air. The last quarterback to lead a Coach Wildman team was highly touted Mike Schneider in 2001, who went onto play at Duke and Youngstown State.
Defensive Strength: Despite losing JeVontes Torres to graduation, the Tiger defensive front returns two seniors in tackle Craig Osmon and rush end Beau Dignall.
Defensive Weakness: Getting past the fact that Sharon allowed 646 points over their last twenty games.
Storylines Facing the Tigers
1. Tradition Returns. The Sharon Tigers finished the 2012 season by losing eight in a row. Coach Wildman brings a pedigree of winning back to Sharon High School. The next closest coach on Sharon’s all-time win list is Dave Stewart, who won 114 games between 1928 to 1947.
2. Defense, Defense, Defense. The Sharon defense has been picked apart over the last two seasons. Prior to 2011, Sharon had held their opponents to below 20 points per game in five of the previous six seasons.
Did you know? Sharon did not have a losing season from 1981 to 2002. The Tigers accumulated a 205-53-3 record (78.5%). The team won 15 conference crowns during that stretch (Keystone Football Conference: 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993; Mercer County Athletic Conference: 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002).