By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
HALIFAX — First year head coach Matt Maniskas is having a tough time and the schedule makers are not making it any easier on him during the stretch run.
Halifax is still winless on the season, at 0-7, and welcomes one-loss Tri-Valley to town on Friday night.
“We are starting to move the ball and we scored twice last week and had a scored taken away from us on a penalty, but the good thing is that we are a young team and we are making progress every single week, which is great,” Maniskas said.
Maniskas noted that, in the long run, what he and the coaching staff are seeing is going to pay off.
“We don’t want to send our seniors out with a winless season as, on any given night, anything can happen,” Maniskas added. “I give our guys credit, they are fighting and plugging away every game.”
Maniskas said the Bulldogs are a very good running team and that’s something they have been seeing the past few weeks.
“We had (Pine Grove’s Ryan Heim on Monday and twin-attack from Williams Valley and now a very good quarterback and running back duo from Tri-Valley,” he said. “The running game is key for Tri-Valley and what they do well is make the strong side look like one way and then they pull the guards and make it a 5-on-3. It’s a game where our defense has to keep its eyes on the ball and play smart football.”
Tri-Valley (6-1, 5-1) is coming off its first loss of the year last week to Williams Valley.
“It was a game of momentum last week and I can’t fault the kids, it was one of the biggest games of the year for us,” Bulldogs coach Mike Ulicny said. “The game was tied going into the fourth quarter and we know we have some big games coming up but we have to be ready for Halifax.”
Ulicny said that he can see the improvement in the young Wildcats on film.
“They are a young and inexperienced team but you can see them getting better every week,” he said. “They are going to give us a game.”
Ulicny said there were some mistakes made in the Williams Valley game that they have to correct.
“We just have to keep on working on not making those mistakes,” he said. “We don’t get much contact during the week, but, we are ready for the game on Friday as we know we have some big games ahead of us.”