Moses saved Edison’s year

RICHMOND — The Edison football team’s preparations for the 2017 season hit a speed bump in July when head coach Derrick Stickles resigned.

Nate Moses, who is the head coach of the boys’ basketball team, was quickly named the new head coach of the football team.

After the tumultous summer, the Wildcats battled all season to a 2-8 season, which ended with a 33-0 loss at home to Indian Creek.

“It was an enjoyable season,” Moses said. “We have great kids and a great community. I am grateful for their support. Looking back on this year, we had a great group of kids. Edison always has great kids. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be around coach (Spencer) Bendle and coach (Jim) Marcus. Those guys have been around for a while. It was a good learning experience for me. It was a good time.”

Edison began the season with five straight losses, but the Wildcats won two games in the second half of the season.

“We were resilient the whole year,” Moses said. “I got the job in late July. I remember meeting with them for the first time on that Saturday morning. The kids were willing to do whatever we asked. We wanted them to try and improve every day.”

Edison had seven seniors on the roster in Dustin Calhoun, Seth Cade, Kenny Cranston, Tim McCoy, Hunter West, Dylan Haldamin and Zak Kestner.

“Seth Cade was the leader of the team,” Moses said. “He is a special young man. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to have coached him. I was looking forward to the opportunity. I knew about him. I had never coached him before. He was a quiet leader. He is not the rah-rah type. He led by example.”

Edison started the season with losses to East Liverpool (21-0), Wellsville (26-14), Toronto (34-13), Beaver Local (33-6) and Union Local (54-0).

“Football season is a long season,” Moses said. “Looking back to our opening game against East Liverpool to our Week 9 game against Buckeye Local, the Oak Glen game will always be special to me personally. It was my first win as head coach.

“We improved week by week and day by day. The final score of the Indian Creek game does not indicate that, but we did. Looking at the Catholic Central game, we played really hard against Central. The breaks just did not go our way. The Buckeye Local game was our most complete game of the season. Against Indian Creek, we had third-and-inches. We were down 13-0. If we were able to punch it in, that would have made the score 13-7, and it could have been a different game. The kids improved. The team improved. People look at success in different ways. To me, this was a successful season.”

After starting the season 0-5, Edison picked up its first win by defeating Oak Glen, 26-14, in Week 6 on the road. Cade rushed for more than 300 yards in the win.

That victory was followed by losses to Harrison Central (41-0) and Catholic Central (49-13) before the Wildcats defeated the Panthers, 42-19, for their second win.

The Wildcats will return some talented players next season. The junior class was led by River Pappas. As a linebacker, Pappas produced 133.5 tackles, six forced fumbles and six sacks in eight-and-a-half games played this season.

“The future looks bright at Edison,” Moses said. “We played a lot of sophomores and juniors. I am looking forward to next year. One thing I told them was that they can’t just go into next season expecting to win. They have to put the time in in the offseason. The offseason is huge. You have to improve. You have to get bigger. You have to get stronger. You have to get faster.”

Moses said there are some similiarites between his first season as head football coach and his first season as head coach of the boys’ basketball team.

“I look back on this season like I do my first season coaching boys’ basketball,” he said. “In my first year coaching basketball, we played a lot of younger kids. You don’t see the benefit right away, but you see the benefit the next year and two years down the road. I think the same thing will happen with football.

“We played a lot of young kids. They played in a lot of key moments on Friday nights. We took our lumps, but we continued to improve.”