After rare down season, Jeannette ready to rebuild under new coach Tom Paulone
Monday, August 22, 2022 | 12:01 PM
It’s a mid-July evening and Jeannette is returning home from a 7-on-7 workout as the sky begins to dim toward nightfall.
About 10 hours later, the team reassembles for a rise-and-shine workout.
“We get done with a 7-on-7 at 8:30 at night and we’re back at 7:15 the next morning,” new head coach Tom Paulone said. “You look at what some of these guys went through last year. Yet, they keep coming back every week ready to work. They have something you can’t coach. They want to get back to its traditional ways.”
After a down year in the program, Paulone is looking to make sure the damage didn’t leave a scar.
“Our guys are moving on,” he said. “You can’t expect uncommon results without doing uncommon things in the offseason.”
Jeannette, following the departure of several transfers, finished 1-9 and was shut out five times — a year after winning its 10th WPIAL title and finishing second in the state.
Paulone, a former Jeannette quarterback and class president who spent four years as an assistant coach at Chartiers Valley, had 30 players set to take on training camp.
While that number is somewhat low, even for a Class A program like Jeannette, it rivals those that former coach Roy Hall dealt with last season.
Still, Paulone thinks he can work with this group.
“We’re making some changes to the offense that will be very unique,” he said. “I can’t say enough about the kids’ effort. We talk about progress in the process. Nothing is going to happen overnight. It’s a day-to-day process, and the only way we’ll see any results is if we play as a team.”
Hall led the Jayhawks for 13 seasons and won 116 games, two WPIAL championships and a PIAA title.
Paulone, Hall’s first captain when he played, will build around a small but experienced upperclass group while blending in some youth.
The team’s spectrum shows two seniors at one end and 10 freshmen at the other.
“Our seniors who were juniors last year,” Paulone said, “they’re the hungriest.
“We have been at it since Jan. 31, three days a week until the summer. Now its four days a week.”
Senior Mitchell Steele III returns as arguably the most versatile athlete on the roster.
“He kicks for us,” Paulone said. “But we’re still arguing as a staff about where else to put him. Tackle or tight end? D-line or linebacker?”
Steele and Andrew Ross are the seniors.
At quarterback, junior Payton Molter and freshman Kymone Brown were sharing reps as Paulone looks to settle on a starter. Molter was ahead in the race.
Three offensive linemen should help in juniors Jesse McCurdy and Gavin Holemeyer, and sophomore Nick Stuchell, who started every game as a freshman.
“The coaches have us working,” Stuchell said. “We want to make sure 1-9 doesn’t happen again. We want to get back to winning.”
Sophomore Lonnie Green (6-2, 215) shows promise as a tight end and defensive end, while juniors Michael Mason (RB) and Jeremiah Williamson (WR) could be offensive playmakers.
“Mason has been a leader for us during the summer,” Paulone said.
Freshmen Noah Sunder (TE/DE) and Wyatt Scaeffer (OL/DL) also have impressed the staff.
Another freshman, Nick Mendoza, also could fit into the mix.
“Everybody’s goal is to win the championship,” Paulone said. “But the goal should be doing what it takes to get there. What can we become?
“Winning doesn’t segregate; it’s tough. Everybody is good at golf until it’s time to keep score.”
Coach: Tom Paulone
2021 record: 1-9, 1-6 in Class A Eastern Conference
All-time record: 767-329-48
Date, Opponent, Time
8.26 Burrell, 7
9.2 East Allegheny, 7
9.9 at Jefferson-Morgan, 7
9.16 Frazier*, 7
9.23 at Charleroi, 7
10.1 at Riverview*, noon
10.7 Leechburg*, 7
10.14 at Greensburg Central Catholic*, 7
10.21 Springdale*, 7
10.28 at Clairton*, 7
• New coach Tom Paulone is a former Jeannette quarterback. He played football and golf at Waynesburg.
• A key assistant is Darius Brown, another Jayhawks’ standout who played at Saint Vincent. Shavonta Craft, yet another alum, also is on staff. Brown is the defensive coordinator, while Paulone will call the offense.
• Jeannette has 767 all-time wins, the most in WPIAL history.
• The Jayhawks have 10 WPIAL titles and two PIAA championships.
Name, Ht./Wt., Cl.
Brayden Anderson, 5-3/157, Jr.
Hunter Blazowich, 6-0/158, Jr.
Kymone Brown, 5-5/120, Fr.
Austin Cataldo, 4-9/101, Fr.
Shawn Daniels, 5-7/175, Fr.
Carmine Deanuntis, 5-7/227, Fr.
Wykil Fortune, 5-5/159, Fr.
Lonnie Greene, 6-1/200, So.
Gavin Holemyer, 5-7/214, Jr.
Qjwonez Jackson, 5-6/150, Jr.
Michael Mason, 5-8/159, Jr.
Max Mason, 5-6/189, Fr.
Jesse McCurdy, 5-6/199, Jr.
Jace McNally, 5-6/143, So.
Nick Mendoza, 5-7/147, Fr.
Payton Molter, 5-9/174, Jr.
Ashtyn Molter, 5-7/142, So.
Cody Rigney, 5-5/215, Fr.
Andrew Ross, 5-5/137, Sr.
Noah Sanders, 5-3/137, Sr.
Wyatt Scaeffer, 5-7/226, Fr.
Alex Scarlett, 5-6/262, Jr.
Mitchell Steele, 6-0/197, Sr.
Nick Stuchell, 5-8/274, So.
Noah Sunder, 6-0/169, Fr.
Jorel Taylor, 5-5/144, So.
Daman Thompson, 6-4/277, Fr.
Keith Trent, 6-0/209, Fr.
Jeremiah Williamson, 6-0/195, So.
Note: Due to a production scheduling conflict, the preview for Eastern Conference member Frazier will appear on Trib HSSN later this week.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
More High School Football• North Catholic’s Brady O’Hara commits to Penn State; 2nd WPIAL recruit in 2 days for Nittany Lions
• Trib HSSN football player of the week for 2023 Week 4
• Aliquippa junior Tiqwai Hayes commits to Penn State
• This week on Trib HSSN for week of Sept. 25, 2023
• Trib HSSN football team of the week for 2023 Week 4