Washington regroups after difficult season

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Sunday, August 22, 2021 | 6:01 AM


Pretty much everyone is glad 2020 is over.

Nowhere is that truer than inside the Washington football program.

Trying to replace one of the most successful senior classes in school history, the Prexies came into last season needing a little bit of time to reload.

Instead, offseason workouts and preseason practices were disrupted by pandemic restrictions, nonconference games that could have been used as a tune-up were eliminated, and instead of dipping a toe into the new season, Washington was thrown right into a rivalry game with McGuffey. A 7-6 loss in Week 1 essentially decided the Century Conference championship.

The season was far from a disaster. The Prexies went 5-3 overall, 5-1 in conference, and earned a playoff spot. Most WPIAL teams would have called such a year a rousing success. Some would have thrown a parade.

But failing to win a conference title for the first time since 2013 and losing 42-6 to Apollo-Ridge in a first-round playoff game? That’s not going to sit well with a program as accomplished and perennially powerful as Washington.

So how did coach Mike Bosnic handle such a season?

First, he took a lesson from it.

“Every year, every game, you’re always going to have adversity,” he said. “Things aren’t going to go the way you want them to or the way you plan. It comes down to how you handle that adversity. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that the way we needed to last year.”

Then, he flushed it.

“Last year was just such a mess. I think we’re just thankful to move on and look to the future,” Bosnic said. “You see that sometimes in high school athletics. Sometimes it’s better to move on than to dwell on what happened.”

Helping Bosnic move on from last season is this important fact: By all indications, the Prexies look poised to bounce back and once again stand among the contenders in WPIAL Class 2A.

“This year has been a complete 180-degree turn,” Bosnic said. “We have a great attitude. We have some kids who are stepping up and being leaders. We feel really good about the group we have.”

That starts at quarterback, where 6-foot-3½, 190-pound junior Davoun Fuse, a three-sport athlete who also plays wide receiver and safety and returns punts, is back. Carlos Harper, a 6-2, 200-pound junior who plays fullback, tight end and linebacker, also looks like a difference maker. Both are receiving some Division I attention, Bosnic said.

Tayshawn Levy, a big-play threat with experience, returns in the backfield.

Cameron Carter-Greene, a 5-10, 285-pound senior who Bosnic calls one of the strongest players in the recent history of the program, will anchor the line along with 6-3, 280-pound Trevor Kern.

The list of players who have impressed Bosnic in offseason workouts is a long one.

“I think we really have a good core of kids that are working really hard,” Bosnic said. “They’re doing things the right way. I feel like we always have talent. It’s just whether we have guys step up and we do all the little things and all the little details that it takes to be winners.”

Whether it’s in response to a subpar season or a reaction to being cooped up for much of 2020, Bosnic has noticed a great deal of enthusiasm among his players.

That’s probably bad news for Washington’s opponents.

“We’ve done more this year and we’re further ahead than we’ve been in the past,” he said. “The kids have been eager to get out and work.”

Washington

Coach: Mike Bosnic

2020 record: 5-3, 5-1 in Class 2A Century Conference

All-time record: 715-372-56

SCHEDULE

Date, Opponent, Time

8.27 Monessen, 7

9.3 at Jefferson-Morgan, 7

9.10 Clairton, 7

9.17 at Waynesburg*, 7

9.24 Chartiers-Houston*, 7

10.1 at Beth-Center*, 7

10.8 Uniontown, 7

10.15 Charleroi*, 7

10.22 at Frazier*, 7

10.29 McGuffey*, 7

*Conference game

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing: Davoun Fuse

23-64, 427 yards, 3 TDs

Receiving: Tayshawn Levy

6-121

Rushing: Michael Allen*

69-604, 8 TDs

*Graduated

FAST FACTS

• Washington played only three home games last season and was dominant in each, going 3-0 and outscoring opponents 139-12.

• While Washington gave up 41 points in a nonconference loss to Trinity and 42 in a playoff loss to Apollo-Ridge, Century Conference opponents found it just as hard to score on the Prexies as ever last season. In six conference games, Washington allowed a total of 33 points and recorded two shutouts.

• A Sept. 10 meeting between Washington and Clairton will be one of the marquee nonconference games of the season. The Prexies (715) and Bears (702) are two of only six WPIAL programs to crack the 700-win mark all-time.

• Before last season, the last time the Prexies didn’t win a conference title was when they finished second to Mt. Pleasant in the Class AA Interstate Conference in 2013.

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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