The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

Greater Latrobe Football Preseason

After a legendary 23-24 season, the gridiron gang is back at it–in the locker room, on the field, for each other.
Michael Shaffer

The Latrobe Wildcats ended their 2023 season with a record of 7-3, 8-4 including playoffs. After getting knocked out of the playoffs by Aliquippa, and being bumped into the 5A class, Latrobe is looking to make a statement on the field against fresh teams. With the 2024 football season seven months away, head coach Ron Prady and the Cats are getting at it early by hitting the weight room.


Coach Prady explained the importance of lifting early. He said, “Football has turned into where you have to be as strong and as good shape as you can be when the season comes around so you’re at your peak performance.”


He went on to explain the structure of the preseason. “To do that we kinda ease into it a little bit, two days a week in January and February we get to March then we go to three days and then hit harder as we go throughout the summer, to be ready for August,” said Coach. 


The early commitment to the sport does not seem to conflict with many student-athletes considering the rising number of players. “So we graduated 13 seniors and we had right around 30 freshmen, current 8th graders that are going to be freshman, show interest, and a majority of those have been coming to workouts,” Coach said. “We’re looking at possibly, last year we had about 74 kids, we’re looking at possibly 85,” he added.

Prady has no issue with students who want to play football playing other sports; in fact, he encourages it. “Those guys that’re playing basketball or wrestling or bowling or any winter sports, we of course want them to do that and excel and come to use as soon as their sport is over,” he explains.


News came in November that Greater Latrobe Football would be playing in the 5A class. When a team gets bumped up in class it puts the team against new competition against schools with more players. Teams that are bigger have the ability to show different strategies by using their wide selection of players for different reasons. Prady has confidence that his team will not shy away from the new competition. Some of the teams that they will be playing are Franklin Regional, Gateway, and Plum.


He simply states, “I think we’ll compete.” He then goes on to say, “We have 9 of 11 starters back on defense, some depth at linebacker and upfront. We’ll have to fill those two corner positions, but we have some depth at safety… Offensively we have a couple lineman to replace and a receiver spot, but again we feel like there’s guys there that’re ready to step in and play and do a good job for us.”


Prady shares his thoughts on the team being bumped up by stating, “I don’t think the speed is much different in 5A, I think the physicality is a little bit. We’re gonna see some teams that’re good upfront. Pretty much week in and week out.” 


He goes on to mention the plan for the offseason will be the same. “Other than that we’re gonna keep our same routine as far as our schedule goes throughout the off season, throughout the summer, and just hope that with that preparation… we’ll be ready to go when the season comes,” he informs.


He then speaks for his players by saying, “I think our guys are excited to be in 5A. For one, the travel is less. Instead of going to Trinity and Ringgold and Laurel Highlands, we’re most likely gonna go to Penn Trafford and Franklin Regional and Gateway and Plum, so the travel is significantly less. These are also teams that we typically compete with in other sports, the teams I mentioned. That familiarity with those schools, I think our guys will be excited to play them.”


Coach Prady concludes, “You know, we’re not gonna back down moving up to 5A, we feel like we’re ready to do that, and we’re gonna compete, and we’re gonna win games. How many? That remains to be seen, but we’re gonna win our share of games and hopefully take care of business.”

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About the Contributor
Declan Murphy
Declan Murphy is a junior at Greater Latrobe Senior High School. This is his first year working on the High Post. He has a younger brother and a younger sister. Declan enjoys playing on the school's football team as well as cutting grass for his neighbors on the weekends. He has been playing football since he was in third grade besides his sophomore year. He enjoys the brotherhood that comes with being on the team. In his free time, Declan enjoys relaxing at home, hanging out with friends, and going to the gym. He has been lifting off and on since eighth grade. Although he is unsure about what he wants to do when he graduates, he aims to do something in the chemistry field. He is currently taking AP chemistry. He plans to take AP physics next year as well as calculus BC.  After he graduates from college he wants to save up some money then start visiting places around the country. He'd like to vacation in the Bahamas too. In the summer Declan worked at Westmoreland Mechanical Testing and Research. He did groundskeeping Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and he worked in the analytical lab Mondays and Fridays. Although writing has never been his strong point, he wanted to get out of his comfort zone. Declan looks forward to the contributions he will make to the High Post.

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