The Lowellville Rockets completed the 2012 season by defeating not only Columbiana (20-8) but also Southern (41-31) in the final three weeks to end the campaign with a 4-6 mark overall and a 4-3 Lower Tier record. The Rockets began the season with four straight losses only to finish up with three wins in a row. Of Lowellville’s six losses on the season, four were decided by 7 points or less. Two of the aforementioned setbacks were to playoff teams: Youngstown Christian (13-7) and Western Reserve (28-21).
Coach Jeff D’Altorio will have his work cut out for him after losing both his quarterback (Geno Moore) and featured runner (Seth Stevens) to graduation.
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The Rockets begin 2013 with two consecutive home games against Youngstown Christian on August 30 and then the following week (September 6) versus Windham.
2013 Lowellville Rockets’ Football Preview
By Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Jeff D’Altorio, 3rd season (5-15)
2012 Record: 4-6 (4-3), ITCL Lower Tier
2012 Post-Season Finish: Did Not Qualify
2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 23.7 (36th in Area)
Points Allowed: 20.7 (25th in Area)
Aug. 30 – Youngstown Christian, 7 PM
Sept. 6 – Windham, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – at Springfield, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – Mineral Ridge, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – at Leetonia, 7 PM
Oct. 4 – Wellsville, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – at Western Reserve, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – McDonald, 7 PM
Oct. 25 – at Jackson-Milton, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – at Sebring, 7 PM
Offensive Strength: The offensive line should be strong this coming fall with the return of First-Team All-ITCL member Michael Minnie and 6’4, 225-pound Colin Pope.
Offensive Weakness: The playmaking ability of their quarterback Geno Moore and 1,000-yard rusher Seth Stevens (1262 yards, 15 rushing TDs) leaves a huge hole in the Rocket offense.
Defensive Strength: Despite losing Ryan Previtte, Drew McLaughlin and Seth Stevens to graduation, Lowellville’s front seven should be solid once again. Up front Michael Minnie and Colin Pope will provide the push while Jesse Terwilliger and Robert Ciccone should give Lowellville solid linebacker play.
Defensive Weakness: The secondary may be a tad short on experience following the departure of Geno Moore, Joey Smith and Dom Griffith.
Storylines Facing the Rockets
1. Schedule to Test Rockets. The non-conference schedule features home games against Youngstown Christian and Windham; as well as, a road contest at rival-Springfield in week three. The beginning of the conference slate is not going to be easy. Mineral Ridge opens the schedule at Lowellville with visits from Rich Wright’s Wellsville team and McDonald to follow. Sandwiched in the middle is trips to Leetonia and Western Reserve. Not the easiest of roads.
2. Improvement on Both Sides of the Ball. The last time Lowellville scored like they did in 2012 (23.7) was back in 2002 when the Rockets led the area with a 33.0 point per game average. Defensively speaking, Lowellville held their opponent’s to a 20.7 average. You have to go back to 2005 to find the last time that the Rockets were that stingy on defense (20.1).
3. Culture Change? The last time Lowellville fielded a team with a winning record was in 2003 (6-4). Could we see another winning season in 2013?
Did you know? Since merging into the ITCL in 2006, the Rockets have enjoyed three winning seasons in league play (2007, 2009, 2012). Lowellville has compiled a conference mark of 21-28 within that time frame.