New coach brings best of Beaver County football to New Brighton

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Saturday, August 20, 2022 | 12:01 PM


New Brighton’s Tony Caltury speaks highly of Beaver County football, and there are a few really good reasons for that.

First, he is the county’s newest head coach, taking the reins from Joe Greco, the program’s all-time wins leader who stepped down after last season.

Second, he has previously been an assistant at four other schools in the county: Blackhawk, Central Valley, Aliquippa and Western Beaver.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it’s more or less literally his job.

When he’s not coaching football, Caltury is Director of Recreation and Tourism for Beaver County.

“Each Friday night, the epicenter of Beaver County in the community is at the football stadium,” Caltury said. “It’s not just moms and dads in the stands. It’s a whole community effort. The support from the community is special, unlike any other place. That’s why we love Beaver County football so much.”

Among his previous coaching stops in the county, Caltury spent the most time at Central Valley — eight years — under championship coach Mark Lyons.

“Each coach I coached under brought different things,” Caltury said. “One thing under coach Lyons is his organization level and the standard he expects from everyone in the program. It’s not only the players. It’s the standard he expects from assistant coaches, making sure they bring their A game each practice. That’s something I’m trying to emulate here at New Brighton.”

After the graduation of a crop of talented seniors to go along with the coaching change, it might be difficult for the Lions to carry momentum through the offseason. But they’d like to. They pulled off a pair of massive victories at the end of last season.

In a winner-or-go-home regular season finale, New Brighton beat rival Freedom to claim a playoff spot. Once there, the Lions knocked off undefeated Washington in overtime in the first round.

“Those kids getting some experience and some success in the playoffs, that really carried over into our spring and summer programs,” Caltury said. “We got great numbers. Joining the football team is the thing to do because they can see what we’re capable of when all our best athletes are on the football field.”

Caltury’s offense is designed to take advantage of the abilities of his best players.

Midwestern Athletic Conference football is known to be a grind, and Caltury said one of the reasons he was attracted to the New Brighton job was the hard-nosed attitude the school’s athletes are known for, but the Lions aren’t looking to produce 3 yards and a cloud of dust on every play.

“We’re going to try to run our spread offense and get the ball to our athletes in space,” he said. “That’s the goal. I think we have an athletic team.”

Senior Kyler Rumbold, a returning starter, is one of those athletes.

“He’s going to anchor our defense on the back end and be one of our main targets on the offensive side of the ball,” Caltury said.

Senior running back Kevin Williams has some experience carrying the ball and is likely to lead the team on the ground.

The lines will be revamped due to graduation, but senior Zander Reynolds has starting experience, and Payton Predko is an up-and-coming junior.

Junior Giante Moore looks to be the quarterback on defense from his inside linebacker spot.

As for the quarterback on offense, Caltury said junior Gary Pugh, who saw playing time last season, and junior Brian Taylor will compete for the starting spot.

New Brighton

Coach: Tony Caltury

2021 record: 5-7, 3-4 in Class 2A Midwestern Athletic Conference

All-time record: 563-485-59

SCHEDULE

Date, Opponent, Time

8.26 at Laurel, 7

9.2 at Hopewell, 7

9.9 Rochester, 7

9.16 at Beaver Falls*, 7

9.23 Mohawk*, 7

9.30 at Neshannock*, 7

10.7 Ellwood City*, 7

10.14 Western Beaver*, 7

10.21 at Riverside*, 7

10.28 Freedom*, 7

*Conference game

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing: Gabe Haddox*

43-64, 743 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT

Rushing: Eric Montanez*

17-181, 2 TDs

Receiving: Keandre Williams*

23-647, 8 TDs

*Graduated

FAST FACTS

• New Brighton and Beaver Falls have been playing for the Little Brown Jug rivalry trophy since the 1950s, but last year, for the first time, they met twice. The Tigers swept the meetings, winning 39-18 in the regular season and 40-0 in the playoffs.

• New Brighton has won three WPIAL football titles, claiming back-to-back championships in 1950-51 and beating Jeannette, 35-6, to claim the Class AA title in 1994.

• Junior quarterback Gary Pugh has big-game experience on his resume. He threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns in the regular-season finale, a 20-8 playoff-clinching win over Freedom.

• While the win over Freedom was important, the Lions also had a notable season-opening victory last year, winning 27-20 at Western Beaver. The Golden Beavers went on to win their next six games.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review Assistant Sports Editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at jbombulie@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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