By Ethan Spozarski
A new fall semester is upon us, which means it is time for Waynesburg and PAC football.
After a tough season last year (2-8, 2-7 PAC), the Waynesburg University Yellow Jackets look to rebound this year and make an impact in the conference.
Senior QB Tyler Raines, who was hurt the majority of last season, is back for his senior year. He started in five games, once being named PAC Player of the Week. In those five games, he went 61-of-108 for 910 yards, seven touchdowns, and four interceptions.
Last Saturday, Raines went 13-of-16 for 165 yards and three touchdowns. With Raines back on the field, the offense regains a valuable leader moving into 2022.
The Yellow Jackets two leading rushers returned this season as well.
Last season, senior Justin Flack ran for 648 yards and four touchdowns in eight games. He averaged 72 rushing yards a game and earned Honorable mention All-PAC.
Fifth-year senior Nick Hall appeared in all 10 games last season. He rushed for 478 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Last season, Hall was a member of the PAC Fall Honor Roll.
One game into the new season, the Yellow Jackets running game looks pretty good, as they ran for 249 total yards, with both players averaging nine-plus yards a carry.
Finally, a younger yet very talented player returning to the lineup is sophomore Dakota Romantino. He started in nine of the 10 games he played in. He finished with 821 receiving yards and set a school record with a 98-yard touchdown catch against Thiel.
The Yellow Jackets will face multiple tough opponents in head coach Dr. Cornelius Coleman’s first season replacing Chris Smithley.
After winning the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) title last year, Westminster College is the favorite heading into the 2022 season. However, the Titans lost their week one matchup against Delaware Valley 22-8 in a non-conference game.
Last season, senior QB Cole Konieczka threw for 2,280 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. One detriment to the team is that they lack experience following a large graduating class.
A team that is proving to be a dominant threat is the W&J Presidents. Their starting quarterback Colton Jones is only a junior and showing much promise to have a great season. In their game against John Carroll Jones threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns, completing 71 percent of his passes.
Another team that is looking really good out the gate is Grove City, winning their first game 63-6 over Juniata. Sophomore QB Logan Pfeuffer threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Grove City also has a dominant running game as they ran 311 yards. While they’re able to gain yards and score they don’t allow points on the other side of the ball either.
As we continue to proceed into this very new season with a lot of unknowns still ahead these are the teams to pay extra attention to in 2022.