SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. (WKBN) – Slippery Rock won a pair of playoff games last year and finished with 7-wins for the second consecutive season. The Rockets hadn’t had back-to-back winning campaigns since their run from 2011 to 2014 where the team had compiled 37-victories within that time frame.

Without the likes of quarterback William Mokel, wideout John Sabo, running back Maddox Allen, linemen Isaac Bell, Brody Galcik and Braiden Reich as well as defensive playmakers Lucas Allison and Brett Galcik; the responsibility will fall on the team’s seven returning letter winners (Sam Schwartz, Sal Mineo, Blaise Mullen, Eli Anderson, Matthew Cratty, Aidan Corace and Tyler Arblaster).

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“We’ll need to become more experienced with our techniques and our assignments,” states coach Larry Wendereusz. “We’ve lost [many] players that played a lot of snaps for us over the last two seasons. We have guys that can play good football, we just need to get them mentally and physically ready to play. It’s going to take a lot of time and work to accomplish that this off-season.”

The offense begins and ends with their front five. The offensive line will be led by Mullen and Cratty.

Wendereusz says, “We’re going to need our line to put in a lot of work to get comfortable with the responsibilities that they have. We always expect a lot from that group of players. The skill guys will need to get their assignments and timing down. With a lot of new faces in new positions, it’s going to take us some time to get everyone acclimated to what’s expected of them.”

There will be plenty of new faces on the defensive side of the ball also.

“We’re [seeking to] work on individual position drills so [they’ll] better as the summer goes along,” points out Wendereusz. “As we continue to go through the summer, a position change here and there may have to happen as we get the right eleven guys on the field. Each one of our seniors has a unique skill set, each and every one of them will lead our team in different ways this off-season and [into the fall].”

The secondary appears to be a strength of the unit as Schwartz, Mineo, Anderson and Arblaster all have experience playing in the back end of the defense.

Slippery Rock begins the 2023 season with a home date against General McLane on August 25.

Slippery Rock Rockets
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Larry Wendereusz, 8th season (35-38)
2022 Record: 7-5 (3-4), 5th place Region 3
Last 5 Years: 27-23 (54.0%)
Home Field: Rocket Stadium
League: District 10, Region 3
Base Offense: Spread
Base Defense: 4-2-5

Returning Starters
Offense: 5
Defense: 6

2022 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 24.7
Scoring Defense: 22.1

2022 Results
Grove City 42 Rockets 23*
Rockets 28 Hickory 0*
Rockets 41 Oil City 28*
Farrell 41 Rockets 0
Rockets 34 Wilmington 6
Sharon 20 Rockets 6
Rockets 23 Hickory 20
Grove City 22 Rockets 21
Sharpsville 28 Rockets 14
Rockets 24 Greenville 7
Rockets 38 Mercyhurst Prep 24
Rockets 37 General McLane 20

2022 District 10, Region 3 Standings
Farrell – 7-0 (10-2)
Sharpsville – 5-2 (9-3)
Grove City – 5-2 (9-4)
Sharon – 4-3 (6-5)
Slippery Rock – 3-4 (7-5)
Hickory – 2-5 (5-6)
Wilmington – 2-5 (3-7)
Greenville – 0-7 (2-8)

2023 Schedule
Aug. 25 – General McLane
Sept. 1 – at Mercyhurst Prep
Sept. 9 – at Greenville
Sept. 15 – at Sharpsville
Sept. 22 – Grove City
Sept. 29 – Hickory
Oct. 6 – at Sharon
Oct. 13 – at Wilmington
Oct. 21 – Farrell