Coach (season, record): Jarrett Samuels (5th season, 48-9)
2011 overall record: 6-5
2011 region record (place): 4-3 (tied for third)
2011 playoff results: Defeated Mercyhurst Prep 28-25 in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals before losing to Sharpsville 36-0 in the semifinals.
Top players lost: Jason Pinkins, Lawrence Hughes, Jamel Jordan, Forrest Wested, Anthony Perkins
Top returning players: Lance Messett, Dewayne Burns, Jalen Scott, Rasheem Harrison
Assistant coaches: Omar Stewart, Dante Newell, Anthony Pegues, Paul Muhammad, Tom Platteborze, Victor Phillips, Lamont Samuels, Troy Harrison, Sam Phillips
Outlook: After a one-year absence, Jarrett Samuels is back to coach Farrell. Samuels had plenty of success in his first stint with Steelers, including several District 10 Class A championships. Despite a down season in 2011, Farrell made the playoffs and even picked up a comeback win over Mercyhurst Prep. The Steelers will be without Jason Pinkins, Lawrence Hughes and Jamel Jordan because of graduation along with Forrest Wested, who transferred back to Franklin. Hughes was voted to the all-region first team at all-purpose and linebacker last fall, while Wested was a second-team quarterback. Hughes ran for 586 yards and seven touchdowns on 67 carries and caught 25 passes for 501 yards and seven TDs. Hughes finished with 86 points and leaves a big hole in offensive production. Wested is also a big loss after throwing for 1,208 yards and 14 touchdowns last fall. Pinkins ran for 773 yards and eight touchdowns on 111 carries and scored 58 total points. Jordan was a first-team defensive lineman and second-team offensive lineman. Jason Perkins also graduated after being voted to the second-team defensive line last year.
Farrell has a few experienced players back to lead a young team. Lance Messett is a first-team wide receiver and a developing college prospect. He caught 27 passes for 354 yards and six touchdowns as a junior. On the other side of the formation will be fellow wideout Dewayne Burns, a second-team defensive back. Burns caught 12 passes for 148 yards last season. Also back are Jalen Scott and Rasheem Harrison for the Steelers. Farrell, for the most part, is young this season and could go through some rebuilding pains. Samuels has the experience to find talented players and put them in the right spots, but how quickly his team develops will determine the Steelers’ fate this year. Farrell opens the season with rival Sharon in the annual Steel Bowl before two huge games in September against West Middlesex and Sharpsville. The Steelers also have Hickory and Wilmington on the schedule, meaning if they can get to the playoffs, they will certainly be battle-tested.
31 Sharon 7
7 Kennedy Catholic* 7
14 at West Middlesex* 7
21 at Redbank Valley 7
28 Sharpsville* 7
5 at Lakeview* 7
12 at Hickory 7
19 Conneaut* 7
26 at Mercer* 7
2 Wilmington 7
*Region 1 games
Saturday: Fort LeBoeuf
– Tom Reisenweber