New Castle News

December 4, 2012

Tradition Ends: Shenango to play home games on Friday nights

Kayleen Cubbal
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — One of the most time-honored traditions in Lawrence County football is about to come to an end.

The Shenango Area School Board is expected to announce at tonight’s meeting that Shenango High’s home varsity football games now will be played on Friday nights, instead of Saturdays.

The Saturday night tradition began in 1966, when Frank Bongivengo Sr., in his first year as head coach, approached the board about playing on Saturday nights instead of Fridays. The board agreed to try it for the opener and it seemed to be a big hit with fans, so starting in 1967, the Wildcats permanently adopted a Saturday night home schedule.

Superintendent Mike Schreck said yesterday that board president Albert Burick Jr. is expected to announce the change at today’s 8 p.m. reorganizational meeting.

Schreck said no board vote will be taken.

“We went back years in the (board) minutes to when Saturday night football first started, and there wasn’t a board motion then, so therefore the board would not have to vote on it this time,” Schreck said. “Our president took a straw poll and the majority of the board said they were for the change to Fridays, so we’re going to go with it.”

Schreck said “several factors” were involved in the decision.

“One reason is that there will be a longer recovery time for the athletes,” he said. “As it is now, if they play Saturday and have to get back to practice Monday, there is only one day to recover. This will put them on the same schedule as the other teams that play on Friday nights.”

This will not be the only upcoming decision for the Shenango board. A replacement for head coach Ryan Mayo, who resigned following the 2012 season, is expected to be named at the Jan. 14 meeting.

(Email: kcubbal@ncnewsonline.com).