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Shenango's Bret Hoover turns in his 'best game of the year' in win over Union Player: Bret Hoover
Position: RB/LB
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 200 lb
Academic: Senior
School: Shenango

Shenango's Bret Hoover turns in his 'best game of the year' in win over Union

Written: Nov 02, 2016
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By Clayton Sauertieg

New Castle News

The Shenango High coaching staff wasn’t sure whether senior linebacker Bret Hoover would even play Friday night against Union.

Hoover missed the majority of the Wildcats’ game the week prior against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart with an ankle injury, and was questionable throughout the week for their matchup with the Scotties.

Not only did Hoover play on Friday night, he had a whopper of a game defensively — 15 tackles, two sacks, and had the game-saving tackle on a two-point conversion attempt, leading the ‘Cats to a 19-18 victory and locking up a WPIAL Class 1A playoff berth.

“It meant a lot to get him back,” coach Mike Commesso said. “He’s the middle linebacker and everything’s designed to keep him free and let him clean everything up. So as much running as Union did, it was great to have him back and he turned in his best game of the year.”

Hoover’s contributions were impossible to miss in a game that was pivotal for both teams. Time and again he could be found in the Scotties’ backfield disrupting plays and wreaking havoc. His tackle on Union running back Rissaun McKnight on a two-point conversion attempt with just over a minute remaining sealed the game and sent Shenango to the playoffs.

“I noticed throughout the game that they ran the ball to the tight end side,” Hoover said. “I’d seen that the tight end was on the left and that Number 7 (McKnight) was at fullback. So I knew he was going to run the ball and I saw him get the handoff. He kind of got tripped up a little bit and I met him right at the line of scrimmage.”

Hoover added that it was special to him to lead his team to victory in his senior year given the time that he missed.

“I’ve been playing for awhile now and it really killed me to sit out during my senior year,” he said. “But it feels good to get back out there and turn around the team after an 0-4 start.”

The ‘Cats head into the playoffs on the back of a 4-1 stretch and with a newfound confidence behind Hoover and a strong defense around him. They travel to perennial WPIAL powerhouse Jeannette at 7:30 p.m. this Friday in first-round action.

“He’s a good example of heart and straining,” Commesso said. “We talk about those words all the time and he’s the guy that exemplifies those all the time. I don’t think he’s ever taken a play off in his four years on defense. So he’s a great kid to point to for an example of heart and for desire and for straining.”

Hoover will be a focal point of any team looking to slow down the Shenango defense in the playoffs, and he says he’s looking forward to the challenge.

“It means a lot to get back to the playoffs. The last three years we’ve been in and we’ve been to the second round both times (prior),” he said. “This time we’re hoping to make it further than the second round. We’re going to put in a hard week of practice, condition a lot, and be mentally and physically ready.”

(Email: csauertieg@ncnewsonline.com)



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