WEIRTON, W.Va. — Only one double-digit seeded team advanced to the state semifinals a year ago and that team expects another deep postseason run again this fall. The 13th-seeded Weir Red Riders defeated 9-win Poca and 11-win Nicholas County before falling to eventual champion Fairmont Senior.
“We talk the first day and everyday about practicing on Thanksgiving Day,” said veteran Weir head coach Tony Filberto. “It is a special, special time. And our kids hope to be there again.”
“It was definitely a really good season,” said Weir senior quarterback/receiver/defensive back Sebastian Spencer. “Obviously we didn’t make it as far as we wanted to. We wanted to be on (Wheeling) Island but to make it to the semifinal game after being kind of a low seed in the playoffs was a special moment for us.”
The Red Riders must replace quarterback Tyler Komorowski and running back Donovan Kirby. Kirby rushed for 1,668 yards and 26 touchdowns.
“I don’t think you replace guys like that,” Filberto said. “I think you put somebody else in and hope they can give us something different possibly.”
Weir does welcome back an elite talent in senior Sebastian Spencer. He put on a electrifying performance at the state track and field championships in May, winning two individual and two sprint relay titles. Spencer will share snaps at quarterback with junior Anthony DiMatteis. Last year, Spencer’s passing, rushing, receiving and returning totals added up to 2,336 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also had 40 tackles and four interceptions on defense.
“I gives me the ability to play anywhere I can feel comfortable at and anywhere the defense doesn’t think I’m at,” Spencer said. “We can really look at matchups. Even me being somewhere can open up space for other players to make opportunities to make big plays.”
“There will be some things that he’ll do better than (DiMatteis) and there’s things that Anthony will do better than Sebastian,” Filberto said. “So they’ll each have their own identity out there.”
On the other side of the ball, the Red Rider defense will be led by Drew Curtis. The senior averaged eleven tackles per game a year ago.
“He’s a monster,” said Weir senior lineman Michael Zias. “When it gets down to crunch time, he’s a good linebacker. He gets in there and he fills the holes. He gets the tackles. He is a solid player.”