SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. (WKBN) – The Rockets garnered the top seed in District 10’s Class 3A after finishing the regular season with one blemish through seven contests. However, Grove City avenged their earlier loss by topping Slippery Rock, 28-20, in the District 10 Championship tilt on November 20.

“We need to build on the success that we experienced last year,” said coach Larry Wendereusz. “We can’t live on the memories that were made; we need to make our own. We have the guys that can do that.”

Offensively, the Rockets return plenty of talent including their senior signal caller William Mokel (1140 yards, 55.2%, 15 TDs) and a slew of skilled players such as John Sabo (35 catches, 586 yards, 9 TDs), Brett Galcik (240 rushing yards), Maddox Allen (264 rushing yards) and Sal Mineo. Up front, Slippery Rock welcomes back Isaac bell, Braden Reich and Brody Galcik.

“Having William return as our third-year starter [at quarterback] is a positive for us,” Wendereusz said. “He’s worked hard this off-season to become stronger and faster. He has the arm strength to make any throw. The relationship that William and John [Sabo] have in the passing game is special. We need to work on getting William some more weapons to throw to.”

At the line of scrimmage is where games are won.

“If you don’t have the big guys up front, it won’t matter,” Wendereusz said. “We want guys that want to be aggressive and move people off the ball.”

Eight returning starters on defense are also back. Brody Galcik (38 tackles), Braden Reich and Blaze Mullen all saw time upfront. Brett Glacik (49 tackles) and Lucas Allison (75 tackles, 7 TFL) are both back at linebacker. In the secondary, Sal Mineo (43 tackles, 2 INTs), Sam Schwartz (55 tackles) and Maddox Allen (32 tackles) will all be looked upon for their leadership.

“We want to continue to be physical,” Wendereusz added. “We need to see some guys step up and take ownership of the front four. Good defenses can stop the run, we need a group of defensive linemen that are willing and able to do that. Ryan Montgomery (77 tackles, 2 INTs) was our leader in the secondary, we need someone to fill those shoes.”

Slippery Rock opens the season at General McLane on Friday, August 26. The Rockets have a rough stretch to close out 2022 with road games at Grove City, Hickory and Farrell along with home matchups against Sharon and Wilmington over their last five contests.

Slippery Rock Rockets
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Larry Wendereusz, 7th season (28-33)
2021 Record: 7-2 (3-1), T-1st place in Region 3
Last 5 Years: 24-25 (49.0%)
Home Field: Rocket Stadium
League: District 10, Region 3 (3A)
Base Offense: Spread
Base Defense: 4-2-5

Returning Starters
Offense: 7
Defense: 8

2021 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 34.8
Scoring Defense: 17.3
Total Offense: 301.0
Rushing Offense: 146.6
Passing Offense: 154.4
Total Defense: 292.8

2021 Individual Leaders
Passing: William Mokel – 1140 yards, 55.2%, 15 TDs
Rushing: Shane Thompson – 352 yards, 7.5 avg, 4 TDs
Receiving: John Sabo – 586 yards, 16.7 avg, 9 TDs
Tackles: Ryan Montgomery – 77
Quarterback Sacks: Tony Pilosi – 4
Interceptions: Sal Mineo and Ryan Montgomery – 2

2021 Results
Grove City 28 Rockets 20*
Rockets 23 Hickory 17*
Rockets 56 Girard 13
Rockets 35 Sharon 33
Hickory 27 Rockets 23
Rockets 49 Conneaut 14
Rockets 34 Grove City 7
Rockets 35 Sharpsville 7
Rockets 38 Central Clarion 7
*-Playoffs

District 10 Region 3 Standings
Grove City – 3-1 (10-3)
Slippery Rock – 3-1 (7-2)
Hickory – 3-2 (7-4)
Conneaut – 1-1 (2-3)
Sharon – 1-2 (6-4)
Titusville – 0-3 (3-5)

2022 Schedule
Aug. 26 – at General McLane
Sept. 2 – Mercyhurst Prep
Sept. 9 – Greenville
Sept. 16 – Sharpsville
Sept. 23 – at Grove City
Sept. 30 – at Hickory
Oct. 7 – Sharon
Oct. 14 – Wilmington
Oct. 21 – at Farrell