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Written by: Nate Grella on Thursday, July 15th, 2021
PIAA District 7 – Class AAAA
League: Big 8
(SCR) – denotes scrimmage
Ringgold struggled against one of the best conferences in the WPIAL in 2020, only defeating Uniontown before their exit out of the season. Now with the WPIAL dropping the Red Raiders altogether, it looks like Ringgold will be at the basement of the Big Eight. Jacob Walsh and Clayton Rosensteel both graduate and Darwin Manges will be strapped for someone who can score.
Either DEONDRE DOTSON or ALEX COCCAGNA will take over under center after splitting time each of the past two years. DONTE KINDS returns as the only big play threat on an offensive that was abysmal in 2020. The line will miss Julien Altemere but brings back almost everyone else. The question will not be the line for the Rams but if the weapons emerge for the new QB to use.
The Rams bring back almost everyone from a defense that struggled early in the season but did very well down the stretch. The Rams lack the star that nearly every other team in the conference has and if the group gels together it could be used as a strength rather than a weakness. Keep a look out for POLEFKO, OSLOWSKI and WILLIS down the middle of the field, their play could decide whether the Rams compete in games.
It has been a dark couple years at Joe Montana Stadium. The Rams are now solidified as a basement dweller in 4A competition after an unimpressive 1-7 season. The good news is that the defense stays almost intact long with everyone along the trenches. If DOTSON or COCCAGNA can take a big step and have the weapons to do it, Ringgold could be closer to playing with the West Mifflins and the Laurel Highlands than the Uniontowns. It doesn’t help that the Rams get McKeesport, Belle Vernon, and Thomas Jefferson all in a row this year, that’s the type of stretch that can break the spirit of a team. In that stretch in 2020, the Rams did not score a point. The Rams should play well in a game with Yough and compete with West Mifflin, but beside that there shouldn’t be much room for optimism.
Key Starters Lost
Offensive Starters Returning
Defensive Starters Returning
Donte Newton Jr.
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