Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Washington Foe 'Old-Fashioned' in Style of Play

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Washington Foe 'Old-Fashioned' in Style of Play

Article excerpt

The Wilmington High School football team certainly has an old-school style. It is evident from their offense (winged-T), right down to their venerable coach. Heck, Terry Verrelli is called grandpa by one of his starting running backs.

But for Wilmington, winning never gets old.

Wilmington, a District 10 school near New Castle, has enjoyed plenty of success since Verrelli became coach in 1977. And this fall has been absolutely perfect for the Greyhounds. They take a 12-0 record into a PIAA Class 2A semifinal Friday night against WPIAL champ Washington. They will release the 'Hounds for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Slippery Rock University.

This will be Wilmington's sixth semifinal appearance in 12 seasons and the Greyhounds won a PIAA title in 2008. This year's team averages 41.6 points a game and has two 1,000-yard rushers in that old winged-T offense. Wilmington certainly presents an interesting challenge to Washington (13-0).

"As a coach, you don't know what you are going to be able to put together every year and will they play together as a team?" said Verrelli, whose team lost to Steel Valley, 49-7, in last year's semifinals. "You never know if people are going to step up who are in new positions. But to be honest, I thought we would have a pretty decent team."

The winged-T has worked much better than decently. Bryson Verrelli, the coach's grandson who moved from receiver at the start of the season, and fullback Jack Patton have both rushed for more than 1,000 yards. Cameron Marrett has run for close to 1,000.

"The thing is, they all have speed," said Verrelli. "Marrett might not be quite as fast as the other two, but having three close to 1,000 yards is pretty good."

Wilmington always seems to have good running backs - and always seems to have a good team. Wilmington was in the WPIAL (District 7) before leaving for District 10 after the 1993-94 school year. …

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