The 2017 football season was one to forget for Waynesburg Raiders fans.
Along with having to suffer through a 1-8 record -- with their only win coming in a 36-14 victory over Southmoreland on Sept. 29 -- the program grabbed headlines when longtime coach Russ Moore was abruptly dismissed with two weeks left in the season.
Moore led the Raiders to the 1999 WPIAL title.
Then the offseason came and Waynesburg was moved up to Class 3A in a conference made up almost entirely of teams from Beaver County, including traditional powerhouses Central Valley, Aliquippa and Beaver Falls. The Raiders also will welcome the reigning WPIAL and PIAA champions from Quaker Valley to town Oct. 5.
The man tasked with turning the Raiders around is Chad Coss, who served under both Moore and another Greene County legend, Mapletown’s George Messich, during his long assistant coaching career, which also includes a stop at West Greene.
One thing Coss has going for him is the fact that a young Raiders team is expected to have most of last year’s contributors back.
Waynesburg graduated just four players, including quarterback Dylan Scritchfield, who completed 42 of 87 passes for 405 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Junior Caleb Shriver is expected to take the snaps this season. He led the team in rushing with 98 carries for 550 yards. He also tallied a team-best four touchdowns and was named All-Interstate Conference as a defensive back.
He should have solid receivers to throw to, including the team’s top two pass catchers from last year. Senior split end Jimmy Straight posted 14 catches for 113 yards, while junior tight end Avery McConville snagged 13 balls for 190. Straight and McConville are two of eight players on this year’s roster to register at least one catch in 2017.
Nate Stephenson finished third on the team in rushing yards (52 for 200).
The offensive line will miss graduate Eli Kiger, who was a multi-year starter.
Coach: Chad Coss
2017 record: 1-8, 1-6
All-time record: 369-533-36
Date, Opponent, Time
8.24, Jefferson-Morgan, 7 p.m.
8.31, Aliquippa*, 7 p.m.
9.7, at Ambridge, 7 p.m.
9.14, Hopewell*, 7 p.m.
9.21, at South Park*, 7 p.m.
9.28, at Central Valley*, 7 p.m.
10.5, Quaker Valley*, 7 p.m.
10.12, Beaver Falls*, 7 p.m.
10.19, at Burrell, 7 p.m.
10.26, Keystone Oaks*, 7 p.m.
*Class 3A Tri-County West Conference game
Passing: Dylan Scritchfield*
42-87, 405 yards, 2 TDs
Rushing: Caleb Shriver
98-550 yards, 4 TDs
Receiving: Jimmy Straight