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New Jefferson Morgan coach focused on creating competitive culture


Tuesday, August 23, 2022 | 12:01 PM

Shane Ziatu is tasked with rebuilding the Jefferson-Morgan football program after failing to make the playoffs for 10 years, winning three or fewer games in the last six seasons.

He begins the process by changing the culture for 2022.

“I want to instill a competitive mentality,” said Ziatu. “We are just looking for children who want to compete. We want to instill that spirit in everything we do.”

Ziatu’s coaching resume includes two college suspensions at Charleston, West Virginia and Mansfield, a high school suspension at his alma mater, Beth Center College, West Virginia, and most recently, the Waynesburg offense. Includes suspension as coordinator.

He’s been in sessions with his players four days a week over the summer, and we’ve already seen their competitive spirit.

“Children responded well,” said Ziat. “We have created several scenarios in which children compete against each other or together, and we will develop them further.”

About 15 players did most of their summer training, Ziats said, and expected others who were scheduled to play baseball or wrestling in the summer to be there to acclimate to the heat. rice field. He was desired to have 22 players on the roster for the first game.

The Rockets will return to starting quarterback Cole Jones and rusher Johnny Gilbert.

As a senior, Jones passed for over 1,200 yards and scored 10 touchdowns last year. His top receiver Colt his Fowler has graduated, but his senior Ewing his Jamison plays his role as top his receiver threat.

“Ewing looks good,” said Ziatu. “He’s going to be one of our top players. Cole is looking good too. He’s picking up offense well and learning what the plan is and what we’re going to do. These are the two people we’re looking at to lead our offense.”

Ziats is installing a spread offense with zone lead tendencies.

“That’s what we were running out there when I was in college,” said Ziats. I’ll try to put in some numbers.”

The Rockets are in the traditional conference Tri-County South alongside rivals Bentworth, Beth Center, Carmichaels, California, Mapletown, Monetsen and West Green.

Jefferson Morgan

coach: Shane Ziatz

Records for 2021: 1-9, 1-6 in Class A Tri-County South Conference

All-time record: 352-464-36


date, opponent, time

8.26 Chartier-Houston, 7

9.2 in Waynesburg, 7

9.9 Janet, 7

9.16 California*, 7

9.23 Beth Center*, 7

9.30 Bentworth*, 7

10.7 Mapletown*, 7

10.14 at Monessen*, 7

10.21 West Green*, 7

10.28 Carmichaels*, 7

*Conference game

statistical leader

Pass: cole jones

80-162, 1,212 yards, 10 TDs

Quickly: Johnny Gilbert

104-360, TD

Receiving: Colt Fowler*

32-639, 8TD


quick facts

• Jefferson-Morgan’s last appearance in the playoffs was in 2012, when they lost 42-14 to Neshanok. His last win in the playoffs came in 2006 when he beat Duquesne 42-27 in the quarter-finals before losing 14-6 to Rochester a week later in the semi-finals.

• The Rockets won the WPIAL Championship in 1973-74. They beat the Western Beavers 35-6 in his ’73 and the Midlands 20-0 in ’74. They were 19-0-1 in two seasons.

• Jefferson-Morgan is tied with Rochester for the seventh-lowest number of WPIAL male registrants with 76.

Note: Previews of the Tri-County South teams’ Bentworth, Calif. and West Green will be on Trib HSSN later this week, due to conflicting publishing schedules.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer