Football team tries to find positives in winless season


Tom Rekowski

Shaler Area QB Dominic Rossi awaits a snap against West Allegheny.

Anthony Cugini

Another year, another football season in the books. Despite COVID-19 restrictions the team was able to play a shortened season.

With all of the cancellations in the spring and through the summer, it was difficult to prepare for the season.

“Missing the rest of winter in the weight room and missing spring practices really put us behind for the season,” head coach Mr. Jim Ryan said. “Typically we have 7 on 7 passing camps in the spring and summer.  That provides the players with an opportunity to compete against other players from other schools before the season starts.”

Not only were they not able to get in normal preparation when it came to actually playing, but they also had issues with keeping the players in shape throughout the off-season.

“We were posting workouts, having chalk-talk sessions, and even asking players to record themselves performing specific drills at home from March to July, but it’s not the same,” Ryan said.

Then the Titans actually had to play games during this pandemic which brought a whole new set of restrictions and issues for coaches and players to deal with.

“Once we were allowed to get started, I spent more time on COVID protocol than actual football.  It was quite a challenge to say the least,” Ryan said.

Throughout the season restrictions were constantly being changed. Preparing for each game was difficult as nobody was sure if the game was even going to occur or not. There was always a chance that someone on the team or the opposing team could get the virus and force everyone involved into quarantine.

Unfortunately, the results on the field were not any more uplifting. The Titans finished the season 0-7, but showed some improvement. After three games the team averaged less than 5 points per game, but in the final four games they averaged 19.5 points per game.

There are always positives and negatives to take away from the season no matter the record at the end of the year.

“The take away for me in all of this…There is no substitute for the real thing.  I have an idea of what to expect moving forward in a world with COVID and will reconfigure how we prepare this off-season assuming we will have the same challenges ahead,” Ryan said. “I also have a greater appreciation for the real thing.  I have already begun to evaluate my performance in regards to what I can do better and my expectation is that our football players do the same for themselves so that winning becomes a real thing.”