Smethport searching for new tradition

Twelve letterwinners return for Tim Woodruff at Smethport. They are, front, from left: Chelsea Greene, Alex Ball, Jake Abrams, Clay Schuler,  Karl Lightner and Kyle Kreiner. Back row: Marlin Hairston, Thomas Mack, Tyler Smead, Kevin Lord, Tyler Miketish and Tyler Buchholz.

SMETHPORT, Pa. — Since Carl Defilippi led the Hubbers to a 132-21 record from 1989 to 2001, a run which included seven Allegheny Mountain League crowns and six district championships, they’ve averaged barely two wins per season — a far cry from the glory days. But the Hubbers are hoping that the grit they displayed last season might provide the vital spark which ignites a resurgence.

On the surface, the Smethport High School football team’s 4-6 finish in 2010 may not seem like cause for too much optimism. But to dismiss that performance would mean overlooking some crucial details.

The Hubbers have only two playoff appearances since 2002, and one of them came last season. The came in 2004, a 6-4 finish.

It’s also worth noting that three of last season’s six losses came by eight or fewer points and that the Hubbers hung with eventual District 9 champion Curwensville in a 29-18 quarterfinal loss.

“It was obviously a goal to make the playoffs,” said first-year Smethport head coach Tim Woodruff. “It’s kind of bitter-sweet I guess, because I think we played Curwensville very strong in that playoff game and walked away with a loss. But they fought tooth-and-nail.

“We hope that’s kind of a jump start. These guys got a taste of what it’s like to play in the postseason. Hopefully it’s going to lead to good things to come.”

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