By: Jordyn Morosky and Kailee Smith
Football, as Shenango knows, is making major changes for the upcoming season. Welcoming the new coach James Graham, the players are already preparing themselves mentally for the new challenges ahead of them.
Being a former athlete for Shenango, Coach Graham decided to take this opportunity and give back to the community that supported him during his high school career.
“Watching the team gel and grow can be the biggest reward, sometimes even greater than the wins and loses,” Coach Graham stated. “I am a firm believer in that timing is everything, and the transition of my current role at my organization with the opening at Shenango just seemed like an opportunity that I had pursue. Being able to coach on the same field where I played is extremely surreal.”
Soon-to-be graduate Josh Young’s advice to his former teammates it to “be acceptable to change! Change can be a good thing.”
Sophomore Mark Mangino shares Young’s sentiments. “I am excited to get a fresh start, and I have heard he was a pretty successful athlete so I am hoping he brings the mentality to our football team.”
“James Graham has been a winner and true professional throughout his life, and has the passion to put time and effort into the program and community to keep it competitive and successful,” Frank Augustine, Sr., affirmed.
Coach Graham already has a concrete vision for the season that is quickly approaching. “My goal for the season would be to get better each and every day. My philosophy is that if we are better tomorrow than we are today, we are moving in the right direction,” he noted. “I feel when this is the attitude and the expectations are set, everything else seems to take care of itself. I believe this applies to everything in life, not just football.”
Not only does Coach Graham bring passion to the table, but a wealth of experience as well. “I have been involved with athletics basically my entire life. In regards to football, my involvement is around 16 years from playing in grade school, college, and now coaching. I have also been coaching baseball and basketball at the youth level over the past five years.”