STEUBENVILLE- The success of the Big Red program starts right at the top with Reno Saccoccia, who enters his 40th season as head coach, having won 401 games. He says he’ll know when it’s time to go, which hasn’t happened yet.

“I talk to about three or four seniors at the end of every year and I ask them if they want a 73 year old guy coaching them next year or if they want somebody young and they’re always going to say yeah we want you back but you can tell in their voice if they want you back or not.”

Reno Saccoccia / Steubenville Head Coach

Preparation is the key for Big Red, coach Saccoccia says they will play up to 30 players on offense.

Senior Phaeton Hill returns at quarterback, who threw for under two-thousand yards and 17 touchdowns.

Fellow senior Spencer Ostovich returns in the backfield, where he led the team with 11-hundred – 40 yards and 15 touchdowns. Seniors Tylik Simms and Gavin Bozica along with juniors Savier Faulks and Elijah Mullins will also carry the ball.

Seniors Kyjhaun Hopkins and Zach Smith are the fullbacks.

Receivers include senior Ivan Buggs and juniors Lee Anthony Sewell and Isaac Hill.

Along the line, they have Junior Jace Kernahan and senior Dorian Thorn at tight-end, with senior Kellen Marshall at the center, junior Javin Harper at left guard, senior Bryce Huff at right tackle, and senior Camden Daley at left tackle. Juniors Peyton Gorby, Demetrius Leas, Antonio Dawson, and sophomores Chandler Hoffman and Ben Burgey will all see playing time.

“Were trying to prepare those guys and last year was a big example we had four or five tailbacks going into the year and after the third game we were with a freshman and sophomore tailback.”

Reno Saccoccia / Steubenville Head Coach

Defensively you’ll see some of the same names, but look for seniors Cade Montgomery at d-end and Aliquan Harris on the d-line.

Eric Williams at linebacker, Hakim Edwards at outside backer, senior Micah Mitchell at a corner, junior Ayden Manning at strong safety, and sophomore Brody Saccoccia at free safety.

Two-way players include Hopkins, Faulks, Mullins, and Ostovich at linebacker, with Thomas on the line Sims and Buggs in the defensive backfield.

“The thing were trying to focus on is third and long and the unscripted quarterback, that hurt us last year the unscripted quarterback just coming out of the pocket and breaking loose and us not having contain, so weve gone to a more linebacker set this year.”

Reno Saccoccia / Steubenville Head Coach x

Big Red will open their season at home on the 19th against Louisville.