After recent struggles, Solvay hopes to bring tradition back

Solvay scrimmages South Jefferson on Saturday morning

The last few seasons have not been pretty for the Solvay Bearcats, culminating in last season's 0-8 campaign.

But, in their scrimmage on Saturday, the Bearcats showed signs of life, with both some big runs and passes against Bishop Ludden and South Jefferson. The squad is trying to bring back the pride and tradition that made the program great under the late Al Merola just a few years ago.

"We got back to some of the tradition with Al [Merola], the poise, pride and discipline," head coach Matt Shutts says. "We just pound them and pound them with it and these guys bite into it, and they love it. They just want to keep it going. A lot of them were little guys that heard it from their parents, from their aunts and uncles, and just want to keep it going."

The Bearcats have dedication from former players, as several have come back to coach, including former SU receiver Mike Acchione. The players say their support is inspiring them to walk in their footsteps.

"They've just been telling us stories, how they used to beat Marcellus," Frank Pucello, a senior middle linebacker, says. "That's just motivating us to start playing Solvay football."

Solvay begins their season in the Carrier Dome against Marcellus. Kickoff is on Sunday, scheduled for 11:00 a.m.