YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ursuline is coming off a state finals appearance last season but the Irish graduated a slew of skill position players including the school’s all-time leading passer Brady Shannon.
Now a new group of seniors are ready to lead this program as they have their eyes on Canton.
“It was terrible,” says senior wideout Will Burney. “It stuck with me for a good couple months, not going to lie.”
2021 ended in heartbreak for Ursuline. A last-second loss to Clinton-Massie on a two-point conversion in the Division 4 state championship, leaving the Irish as runners-up.
“That disappointment with how that last game ended lingered and served as a motivating factor for all the kids,” head coach Dan Reardon says. “Just taking that last step, that last and final step has kind of been the mantra of this off-season.”
“Huge motivation to get back to where we were,” senior lineman Brain Frasco says. “We know how it feels to get there now, we have some experience coming back, so we feel like we can get there again.”
Reardon and the Irish not only must replace Shannon, but two of the BEST weapons to come thru Ursuline in running back DeMarcus McElroy and Dean Boyd.
“We are not going to replace those guys,” says Reardon. “They were some of the best to ever do it in the green and gold. We have some good young skill coming up and it is going to be by committee. We are replacing a lot of production on the offensive side there is not one guy that is going to do it, it is going to be a number of guys.”
Two of those guys will be Marc Manning and Will Burney. The two combined for over 1000 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns a year ago.
“We want to break all the records that they broke last year just keep the trend going with everyone else,” says Manning, a senior wideout. “We have to put twice the work in,” Burney says. “We have to put the work in, can’t get complacent. We have to do good things, right things, little things to take that step.”
Ursuline also welcomes former Liberty standout D.C. Ferrell to the offense. He accounted for 21 touchdowns last season and is opening some eyes on the North Side.
“He added some explosiveness. He is just really twitchy, fast,” says Burney.
“He is insane,” Manning says. “Something I have never seen before, it is crazy.”
Even though the expectations are extremely high once again for Ursuline, they say if they make a return to Canton, they have to put the work in.
“You win games Monday thru Thursday. Friday is a fun day, it is payday,” says Burney.