PVC Showdown as Fort Frye pays visit to Monroe

WOODSFIELD – Jay Circosta didn’t become the Ohio Valley’s winningest coach for nothing.

Coaches that have been teaching as long as Circosta have to be able to adapt, and that’s what the longtime Monroe Central leader has done this year.

With unbeaten Fort Frye coming into town Friday night for a key PVC and OVAC tilt, the Seminoles will be looking for their third straight victory after starting the season with two tough defeats.

“It’s only two wins, but I feel our kids are getting better,” Circosta said.

Things started to turn around for Monroe Central when Circosta made the decision to move Curtis Nixon to quarterback and place Zach Jorris at receiver. So far, the decision has paid huge dividends.

“It’s really paid dividends for both of them,” Circosta said.

“Curtis has made some bad throws, but he’s really getting comfortable back there and it’s really worked out for him.”

Nixon was 8 of 15 for 141 yards and two touchdowns last week as the Seminoles routed Caldwell to improved to 2-2.

Not bad for a kid who had never played the position.

“Some kids go up through the ranks,” Circosta explained. “They play in junior high, then play the position as a freshman and junior varsity. He’s a running back, so he never had an opportunity to do that.”

He can still run the ball, too, making him a dual threat. He carried the ball 17 times last week for 107 yards and two more scores.

As for Jorris, well, he’s quickly turning into a go-to guy at receiver.

“He’s made some great catches for us,” Circosta said. “He caught a pass with about 10 seconds left in the half that put us up two scores and that was a big lift for us.

“The move has worked out well in two respects and I hope both of them will continue to improve.”

Nixon, Jorris, and the rest of the Seminoles will have to be at the top of their games this week to stay with the talented Cadets, according to Circosta.

“It all starts with Chandler Lang,” Circosta said of Fort Frye’s quarterback and playmaker. “He’s the main key. He just had an outstanding game against Conotton Valley (a 51-13 victory). He can do it with his feet and his arm. He’s just an outstanding athlete. We can’t let him make big plays.”

Circosta pointed out that Lang basically single handily beat River in Week 1.

“They have some other kids, but Lang’s the key,” he said. “And, defensively, he lines up at linebacker and he’s in on 90 percent of their tackles.”

The game will be another in what’s been a strong early schedule for the Seminoles.

“The biggest key is we have to stay healthy,” Circosta said. “We started the season dressing 27 players, the fewest we’ve ever dressed. And we dressed 30 last week. We just have to keep the players we have healthy.”

Thorp can be reached at rthorp@timesleaderonline.com