GREENVILLE, Pennsylvania (WKBN) – Josh Mull begins his 10th season as the head football coach at Reynolds. The Raiders are seeking their fifth-straight winning campaign as they’ve accumulated a winning percentage of 65.9% (29-15) over the past four years.
“Early in my tenure as head coach, we focused on wins and not the ‘process.’ Through the years, I found that the less we focused on winning, the more actual success we created,” Mull said. “As we focused on daily improvement, we began to change the culture at Reynolds. For years, we were content to simply play the game and now expect to win but because of the process.”
This year’s offense could prove to be an explosive bunch with quarterback Brayden McCloskey and its featured ball carrier Jalen Wagner both returning for their senior seasons.
McCloskey threw for 1096 yards on 65 of 126 passes (51.6%) and 12 touchdowns. He also gained 272 yards rushing (3 TDs).
Wagner, a First-Team All-State recipient, became only the second Raider to rush for over 2,000 yards joining Ron Park’s 2157-yard season in 1987. As a junior, Wagner ran for an average of 10.7 yards per carry (193 attempts, 2069 yards) and 23 touchdowns. Number 27 also was tied for the lead in receptions with 18 (2 TDs).
Haydin McLaughlin also will be back for his final season at Reynolds. He ran for 646 yards (8 TDs) and hauling in 18 passes for 360 yards (4 TDs) as a junior.
“[Brayden, Jalen and Haydin] will need to focus on improving physically and learn through preparation each week,” said Coach Mull. “These three young men will need to be able to put the [team] before their own personal goals to ensure our success. There’s no doubt that other teams will know that the key to beating Reynolds will be to stop those three.”
John McCurdy, Andrew McCloskey, Jayden Bartolone and Travis Blackburn will also seek playing time this fall at the skill positions as well.
The Raiders must replace two stalwarts across the offensive front in Mitchell Mason and Gavin Aley.
“We’ve committed to move Nate Miller to tackle full time to strengthen the line,” said Mull. “We’ll look to several youngsters to fill the vacancy left by Mitchell [Mason]. I feel that the leadership and experience of the returning linemen should be enough to support anyone who fills the remaining spot.”
Defensively, the Raiders return quite a bit from last fall. Haydin McLaughlin was recognized as a Second-Team All-State selection for his play in the secondary but also for his punting ability.
“Losing Clayton Rhoades and Ashton Small from the secondary leaves us slightly exposed,” said Mull. “Our biggest task this summer will be rearranging our linebackers and our defensive backs. Naturally, we anticipate moving Jalen [Wagner] to safety to take advantage of his speed. At corner, we have John McCurdy and JJ Herrmann, who will likely compete for playing time. Another huge loss for our defense is losing Gavin Aley at nose tackle. I feel that Kolton Wilkinson might just be the answer. He’s getting bigger and stronger, and his current linebacker spot might no longer be best for him [from a] defensive [standpoint]. Losing Mitchell [Mason] at defensive end is another large loss. Last year, both Brayden [McCloskey] and Nate Miller spent quality time in the playoffs there and should be able to control the edge. If those moves all work out, we’ll seek to find a linebacker to complete the defense. That spot could be filled by several returners.”
Reynolds will play host to Union City in week one on Friday, August 26.
Head Coach: Josh Mull, 10th season (48-47)
2021 Record: 7-5 (3-3), 5th place in Region 1
Last 5 Years: 34-21 (61.8%)
Home Field: Reynolds High School Football Stadium
League: District 10, Region 1 (1A)
Base Offense: Pistol Wing-T/Spread
Base Defense: 4-3
2021 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 30.4 (21st in Area)
Scoring Defense: 25.5 (29th in Area)
Total Offense: 365.8
Rushing Offense: 271.8
Passing Offense: 94.0
2021 Individual Leaders
Passing: Brayden McCloskey – 1096 yards, 51.6% (65-126), 12 TDs
Rushing: Jalen Wagner – 2069 yards, 10.7 avg, 23 TDs
Receiving: Haydin McLaughlin – 360 yards, 20.0 avg, 4 TDs
Quarterback Sacks: Gavin Aley – 4
Interceptions: Jalen Wagner – 2
Northern Bedford 35 Raiders 22*
Raiders 23 Cochranton 0*
Raiders 56 Eisenhower 27*
Raiders 34 Cambridge Springs 20*
Sharpsville 21 Raiders 7
Raiders 47 Lakeview 27
Greenville 35 Raiders 7
Raiders 54 Saegertown 28
Conneaut 42 Raiders 22
Raiders 26 Mercer 7
Raiders 47 Kennedy Catholic 14
Wilmington 50 Raiders 0
2021 District 10 Region 1 Standings
Farrell – 6-0 (11-1)
Wilmington – 6-1 (7-3)
Sharpsville – 4-2 (7-3)
Greenville – 4-3 (6-4)
Reynolds – 3-3 (7-5)
Mercer – 2-5 (3-6)
Kennedy Catholic – 1-6 (1-8)
Lakeview – 0-6 (2-7)
Aug. 26 – Union City
Sept. 2 – at Mercer
Sept. 9 – Sharpsville
Sept. 16 – at Cambridge Springs
Sept. 23 – Maplewood
Sept. 30 – at Kennedy Catholic
Oct. 7 – Cochranton
Oct. 14 – at Saegertown
Oct. 21 – Lakeview
Oct. 28 – at North East