CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Notre Dame earned the No. 10 seed in last year’s Class A playoffs, advancing to the postseason for the first time since 2007. The Irish lost in that opening round game to eventual state runner-up Greenbrier West, but exceptions for the Irish are higher now heading into 2014 as they lost just two starters.
“We were hoping (a playoff appearance) was going to happen last year,” said head coach Sam Alvaro. “This year’s group of seniors were juniors. They’ve worked hard and took their bumps and bruises as freshmen and sophomores.
“I told them after their sophomore year that the only way we would get to the playoffs is if we put time into the weight-room and a lot of the kids did – it showed last year,” Alvaro continued. “Hopefully we can copy that and go even deeper this year. We have to stay healthy and our line has to do its job.”
A big piece of that senior class this year is running back Santino Cava who rushed for over 1,500 yards last year and scored 15 touchdowns. He needs just 29 yards to become Notre Dame’s all-time leading rusher, entering the season with 3,747 career rushing yards.
Cava is also within reach of the Harrison County career rushing record of 4,252 yards which is currently held by Lincoln’s Danny Pratt.
6-foot, 220 pound Alex Florio anchors the offensive line for Notre Dame as the Irish return all five starters up front.
“(Our expectations are to get to) Wheeling,” Alvaro said. “Our line is all back from last year. We have a couple kids working at the quarterback spot and a couple of kids who transferred in and will hopefully take up the slack from the guys we did lose (from last year).”
The Irish will find out right away where they stand on that Class A pedestal as Notre Dame opens up the year on the road at perennial power Wheeling Central. All of Notre Dame’s first five games will be on the road.
“That’s a big one and we have to get that first win,” Alvaro said. “After that we have Parkersburg Catholic, Bishop Donahue, Class AA River View and Class AA Grafton. We have to go one game at a time and right now Wheeling Central is the number one team that we have to beat.”
2014 Football Schedule
|1||08/30/14 07:00PM||A||WHEELING CENTRAL CATHOLIC||–|
|2||09/06/14 07:30PM||A||PARKERSBURG CATHOLIC||–|
|3||09/20/14 07:00PM||A||BISHOP DONAHUE||–|
|4||09/26/14 07:30PM||A||RIVER VIEW||–|
|6||10/10/14 07:30PM||H||LIBERTY (HARRISON)||–|
|8||10/24/14 07:30PM||H||GILMER COUNTY||–|
|10||11/07/14 07:30PM||H||TUCKER COUNTY||–|
|wins: 0 lost: 0 ties: 0|
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