Thursday, August 21, 2008

No. 7 Gateway doesn't plan to settle for second

Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway was a little bit of a wildcard team when putting together this year's preseason rankings.

On paper, the Gators have everything that a pollster looks for: a lot of Division I talent on its roster, double-digit returning starters, and strong coaching with a good run of recent success.

On the flip side, Gateway is battling its past a little bit. This team got better as the season went on last year, but was beaten badly in the opener, 27-6, by then-nationally ranked Youngstown (Ohio) Mooney.

Eighteen former Gators have signed with Division I or IAA colleges and the team has won 75 percent of its games since 2002, but winning a WPIAL championship has eluded Gateway ever since the mid-80s.

Coach Terry Smith was playing at Gateway when it won or tied for back-to-back WPIAL crowns in 1985 and 1986. He told Jim Rodenbush of Tri-State Sports & News Service (in a story published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) that this could be the year for the Gators to get the monkey of their backs.


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