Don Currie Jr. remains optimistic.
Even though his Lawrence County Mustangs saw their season end prematurely after two games, the owner and head coach of the local semi-pro team is focusing his efforts toward rebuilding for next year.
“Injuries really hurt us,” Currie explained. “We had some problems and we got down to 13 players and couldn’t compete.”
Currie, 49, is a 1976 graduate of New Castle High and gathered 27 players from the area, as well as surrounding counties in Beaver and Butler to participate in the Eastern Football Conference of the United States Football Alliance, a semi-pro football league established in Sharon in 2005.
The Mustangs competed in a scrimmage against the Western Pa. Warhawks of Harmony before dropping a 45-6 contest to the Penn Ohio Raiders of Sharon in the first week of regular season play. Lawrence County lost its second and final game 34-0 to the Tri-State Spartans of Steubenville, Ohio.
“We represented quite well,” said Currie, who played for the Red Hurricane in high school and went on to play one collegiate season at Slippery Rock. “They gave 150 percent, but when numbers are against you and you’re playing ironman football, you get worn down. We need to get more players and more stable. We would like to get around 45 players before next season.”
Ellwood City Lincoln High graduate Brian Mann played quarterback, while New Castle graduate Marcus Cook, who is the coach’s nephew, played running back and outside linebacker. Mohawk’s Josh Lutz (middle linebacker) and Wilmington’s Todd Porterfield (free safety) were also among a few who played for the Mustangs.
“Events happened that no one had control over,” Currie said. “This year was a learning experience for us. I feel that next year we’ll be a lot stronger and capable of fulfilling the needs of the organization.”
Don Currie Jr. remains optimistic.
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