New Castle News

August 13, 2012

High School Football: Camps begin for local teams

Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The offseason workouts are over.

It’s time for county football players to report for the first practice today. Included in that group are two first-year football coaches — Joe Cowart at New Castle High and Fred Mozzocio at Neshannock.

Cowart, 31, is a 1999 New Castle graduate. He played quarterback and safety for the Red Hurricane.

“This is the best time of the year. I’m pumped; I can’t wait,” Cowart said. “I don’t have to strap up the shoulder pads and chinstrap (today). I just have to put a whistle on and yell at them.”

Mozzocio, 45, is a 1985 New Castle graduate. He played offensive and defensive tackle for the ’Canes.

“We’re ready to go,” Mozzocio said. “The kids are very excited. The coaches are excited. We’re waiting to get after it.”

Neither coach has any jitters with the opening of camp.

“I’m not nervous at all. I’m excited,” Cowart said. “I’m ready to go. We’ll see what the 2012 Red Hurricanes are all about when we start (today), and that’s exciting to me.”

Said Mozzocio, “We’re a little ahead of the game. We spent a lot of time together with the guys and everything is in order. We’re set and ready to go. We’ll be focused on football from here on out.”

Mozzocio was hired Jan. 6 and Cowart was hired April 26.

“We’ve been really busy as coaches,” Cowart said. “We were in the middle of a spring lifting program when I got hired. We finished that in the spring and then we did spring practice.

“We had summer workouts and now we’re ready. I think we’ve done a good job of hitting the ground running.”

“We definitely got everything done that we needed to in the offseason,” Mozzocio said. “I’m pretty familiar with all of my assistants and I have an excellent staff.

“We’ll work together as a team and we’re prepared, to say the least. I think we’re all pretty anxious.”

New Castle and the Lancers are both coming off 5-4 marks a season ago. Neither team made the WPIAL playoffs.