YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ursuline football team hasn’t played in a playoff game in five years, but that will come to an end this weekend.
The Irish are back in the postseason for the first time since 2015, and they say they are ready to make a lot of noise this postseason.
“Not just being satisfied with making it but making a run in the playoffs,” said head coach Dan Reardon.
Since that last trip to the postseason, the luck of the Irish hasn’t been with Ursuline. They’ve posted a combined 8-32 record the last four seasons with zero winning records.
“There weren’t a bunch of wins the last few wins prior to that,” says Reardon, who is in his second season with the Irish. “Kind of changing the culture a little bit and getting back into a winning mentality, and that is everything. It is not just on the field. It is how you lift, how you prepare, the mentality you come to practice with every day, and I think our kids have done a good job of all those things.”
The Irish are the six-seed in the Division 4, Region 13 playoffs which earned them a first round bye and a home game. Now, they are aiming to gain the respect back to the program.
“Absolutely, our kids have talked about that,” says Reardon. “That has been a big theme of our senior class all off-season and throughout the season.”
“It is definitely a statement year,” says senior quarterback Brady Shannon. “A lot of people sleep on us, so this definitely our year to show this city and Northeast Ohio we are back.”
Villa Angela St. Joseph awaits Ursuline this weekend. The Vikings came into the postseason 0-5 but upset Fairless in the first round — something the Irish will look to avoid this weekend.
“We know that record doesn’t mean anything,” Shannon said. “Look at us last year, beating Mooney, and we were 2-8, and Mooney this year, one win, and we played a good game against them so don’t look at the record because anything can happen in these playoff games.”
“We showed them some film, and they saw their guys make a bunch of plays, so I think they are going to respect the opponent, like they should,” Reardon says. “St. Joe’s is 1-0 in the playoffs. We haven’t played a playoff game yet, so we have to step up and play. We are worried about one game this week, and I think our kids are excited to play and show everyone what we are capable of doing.”
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