Coach (season, record): Tim Scarvel (1st season at Farrell, 6th overall, 18-32)
2010 overall record: 13-2
2010 region record (place): 7-1 (co-champion)
2010 playoff results: Won the District 10 Class A championship. Lost 48-8 to Clairton in the PIAA Class A semifinals.
Top players lost: Robert Trudo, Kevin Brodie, Jamar Whitman, Malcolm Hailstock, Donte Pegues
Top returning players: Lawrence Hughes, Forrest Wested, Mel Jordan, Diallo Lewis, Jamel Jordan, Jason Pinkins
Assistant coaches: Bucky Newell, Vic Phillips, Lamont Samuels, Omar Stewart, Frank Scarvel, Don Scarvel, Amp Pegues, Jim Cardamon
Outlook: Farrell’s powerhouse program will be under a new direction this fall after the resignation of coach Jarrett Samuels. Tim Scarvel, a Farrell graduate, takes over after stints at Reynolds and Kennedy Catholic. The job won’t be easy this season. The Steelers usually reload quickly and maintain its success, but several standouts from last year’s PIAA semifinal team graduated.
Kevin Brodie was one of the top athletes in District 10 last season and was named the all-district team at the all-purpose position. Brodie graduated as well as all-district lineman Robert Trudo, who is at Syracuse. The two will be tough to replace as well as first-team all-region linebacker Jamar Whitman and all-region members Malcolm Hailstock (defensive line) and Donte Pegues (defensive back).
A big positive for the Steelers is the return of quarterback Forrest Wested. Wested started 14 games last season and has developed into a leader for Farrell. He threw for 682 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore while rushing for 83 yards and two TDs. Wested will be important when helping the underclassmen develop, which his backfield could be full of. The only returning running back that had more than 100 yards last fall is Jason Pinkins (743 yards, 5 touchdowns).
Farrell’s high-flying defense will have several key members back. Lewis was the Steelers’ third-leading tackler with 87 tackles, while Pinkins recorded 85. Junior Billy Carthorn had three sacks last fall, while Anthony Perkins and Ryan Green each had 2 1/2 sacks.
There are a few question marks for the Steelers with a new coach and new system. The biggest hole to fill will be replacing Brodie. Brodie led Farrell in rushing (1,405 yards, 20 touchdowns), receiving (15 catches, 319 yards, 4 touchdowns), interceptions (9), fumble recoveries (5), punt returns (13 returns, 407 yards), kickoff returns (4 returns, 90 yards) touchdowns (33) and scoring (200 points). Farrell always has speed to burn but it will need to find a player to be the “X” factor that Brodie was last year. The Steelers will also need to develop a solid line in camp to support the depth at the skill positions.
Farrell and new coach Scarvel will find out how good they are in the first month of the season. The Steelers start with the annual “Steel Bowl” against rival Sharon before later taking on up-and-coming Mercer on Sept. 16. Mercer has consistently beat Farrell in the regular season in recent history. A week later, the Steelers will be tested by another Mercer County-power Hickory.
2 at Sharon 7
10 at Kennedy Catholic* 12
16 Mercer* 7
23 Hickory 7
30 Conneaut Valley* 7
7 at Linesville* 7
14 West Middlesex* 7
21 at Sharpsville* 7
28 Lakeview* 7
Saturday: Fort LeBoeuf
– Tom Reisenweber