Ross set to guide Valley’s young roster

Monday, August 19, 2019 | 10:50 AM

Graduation can hit high school athletic programs. Valley knows that feeling.

After losing 13 seniors from last year’s team, Valley will have a young roster this season that only returns one starter on offense and four on defense.

Some coaches might be deterred by fielding a young group, but longtime coach Muzzy Colosimo has accepted it and said he’s seen improvement from last year’s team in terms of attitude. Senior Vaun Ross has been a big part of that improvement.

“We show up and work. We come together as a team,” Ross said. “Last year, there was time we’d just be arguing with each other in the middle of a game. But this year, we show up every day. We work hard every day. We’re disciplined, and we have a close bond. That’s the most important.”

Having returning starters on both sides of the ball also is much more important, given the team’s inexperience, and Ross is a player Colosimo will be expecting a lot from this season.

He’ll be doing a little bit of everything for the Vikings. On defense, he will line up in the secondary, but on offense, don’t expect to see him in the same spot play after play.

“He will be everywhere,” Colosimo said. “He’ll be the tailback, fullback, slot. We might even line him up at quarterback every once in a while, too.”

Wherever Ross lines up, unless it’s under center for the occasional play or two, he’ll have a new quarterback slinging him the ball.

Junior Cayden Quinn will take over this season. He hasn’t played a down of football yet, but Quinn has shown an ability to throw a baseball.

As a sophomore this past spring, he pitched a team-high 31 innings for the Vikings and finished with a 4.97 ERA. After seeing what the 5-foot-9, 160-pound quarterback could do in seven-on-seven camps this summer, Colosimo thinks he could be a good addition.

“He really throws the ball nice,” Colosimo said. “But he hasn’t been hit yet, and he’s never controlled a football game. But if he’s as good as what I think he is, we’ll be OK.”

Joining Ross and Quinn on offense will be Cameron George, Jonathan Hughes and Justin Hooper. Colosimo, who is entering his sixth year as coach at Valley, said George and Hughes will be playing either tight end or fullback, but he wasn’t sure who will end up where.

Hooper will be another weapon for Quinn. Colosimo said he’s been a proven commodity catching the ball this summer.

“I played a lot of defense last year and not really much offense,” Hooper said. “So I’m excited to play offense this year.”

In years past, Colosimo has been known for his I-formation offense, but with a small roster and a lack of linemen, that might change. And despite their youth, Ross and his teammates are confident they will have a solid season.

“We are a really young team this year, so there’s a lot of work that we have to do,” Ross said. “But I am confident in my team, in my brothers. I feel like it will be a good season regardless because of our hard work.”

Valley will kick off its season Friday with a Week Zero matchup against Burrell in the Battle of the Bypass. The Vikings have won the rivalry game the past six seasons.


Coach: Muzzy Colosimo

2018 record: 3-7, 2-4

All-time record: 261-239-9

Date, Opponent, Time

8.23, Burrell, 7

8.30, at Avonworth*, 7

9.6, at Shady Side Academy*, 7

9.13, Imani Christian, 7

9.20, at Steel Valley*, 7

9.27, Freedom, 7

10.4, Apollo-Ridge*, 7

10.12, at Summit Academy*, 12:30

10.18, at Riverside, 7

10.25, East Allegheny*, 7

*Class 2A Allegheny Conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing: Tyler Green*

16-37, 224 yards, 2 TDs

Rushing: Deonte Ross*

171-1,334 yards, 12 TDs


Valley roster


Elijah Gary

Ernest Gary

Cameron George

Brian Gouza

Michael Henderson

Justin Hooper

AJ Houser

Jonathan Hughes

Micah Hughes

Mark Jackson

Davon Johnson

Jermiah Johnson

Cody Macheo

Richard Miller

Elijah Murray

Lawrence Phillips

Dallas Price

Cayden Quinn

Jayden Richter

Vaun Ross

Edward Shirey

Mason Shirey

Dominic Simmons

Ricardo Simmons

Edward Sparrow

Tyreece Swindler

Zaire Warren

Keishon Williams

Xavier Wilson

Dana Wolfe

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at or via Twitter .


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