Uniontown football team on quest to rebound from winless season

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Sunday, August 18, 2019 | 11:41 AM


After a nightmarish winless season, Uniontown’s Cedric Lloyd is determined to get the Red Raiders program back on track.

Uniontown was 0-10 last season, 0-8 in the Class 3A Big East Conference. The Red Raiders yielded an average of 56.5 points.

“We were very young last year, and we’re young again this year,” said Lloyd, a third-year coach. “It’s all a growth process. Any time you’re a year older, it helps in the process.”

It’s been a tough decade for the program with a proud history. Uniontown hasn’t made the WPIAL playoffs since 2009, when it defeated Belle Vernon, 21-20, in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs before losing to Hampton.

The program has won 485 games and celebrated WPIAL titles in 1962 and ’65. Uniontown was the Fayette County football pioneer with its 1903 squad.

Lloyd would like nothing more than to get the program back to an era such as the one from 1949-69 that saw an overall record of 153-43-4 with four undefeated seasons.

The school produced the likes of Sandy Stephens, the first black All-American quarterback who led Minnesota to Rose Bowl appearances in 1961 and ’62, and Chuck Muncie, a stellar NFL running back during the 1970s.

Lloyd expects about 35 to 40 players out for the team. That will not include Ky’ron Craggette, the promising running back from last season with 1,086 rushing yards. He transferred to Connellsville.

Leading the way for Uniontown will be senior lineman Josh Braxton, senior outside linebacker/tight end Jake Shiley and senior two-way lineman Nolan Ranker.

The Red Raiders will have freshman Craig Coltis at quarterback.

“He’s been in our program since the seventh grade,” Lloyd said.

Among others who will contribute is Javon Davis, who will see action at running back and in the secondary. Torry Robinson will be a wide receiver and cornerback.

Participating in a far-flung conference that has schools as distant as 67 miles away, the Red Raiders get a bit of a break from the schedule-maker this season.

“We have six home games, as opposed to all the travel we put in last year,” Lloyd said. “We’re excited. It’s all about finding a rhythm.”

The slate begins with a Week Zero game at Bill Power Stadium against ancient rival Connellsville. The schools began their rivalry in 1904.

Big East Conference play begins the following week at Yough.

“We have to figure out a way to get in four solid quarters of football,” Lloyd said. “Giving up isn’t an option when the going gets tough. These players showed us a lot over the summer. We’ve got to get creative and get these kids on the same page.”

Senior night ceremonies ought to be a bit longer this year with 12 members. Last year, the Red Raiders has just three.

Lloyd’s staff was bolstered with the arrival of defensive coordinator Chris Chunko, who was on the Ringgold staff previously.

Schedule

Coach: Cedric Lloyd

2018 record: 0-10, 0-8

All-time record: 485-525-45

Date, Opponent, Time

8.23, Connellsville, 7

8.30, at Yough*, 7

9.6, Deer Lakes*, 7

9.13, Burrell*, 7

9.20, at Freeport*, 7

9.27, at Beaver Falls, 7

10.4, Derry*, 7

10.11, North Catholic*, 7

10.18, at Elizabeth Forward*, 7

10.25, Mt. Pleasant*, 7

*Class 3A Big East Conference game

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