W&J at Waynesburg

Holly Tonini/Observer-Reporter

W&J's Jordan West returns for his senior season after rushing for 1,200 yards last year.

LATROBE – It’s a good time to be Jordan West.

The senior from Washington & Jefferson College is about to start the football season as the feature running back in the offense after a great junior season.

His football team was voted the preseason pick to repeat as champions in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference at Tuesday’s media day at Saint Vincent College. He was the player representative for the Presidents at this event, which meant jacket and tie.

During the season, West has about a 100-member cheering section made up of family and friends of the Washington High School graduate.

Maybe best of all, West got engaged in the spring and expects the wedding to take place in a year or two.

“It’s crazy that this is going to be my last year of football,” said the 5-11, 190-pounder. “I want to make the most of it, have my best season yet. I want to just go out with no regrets.”

West rushed for 1,200 yards last season but he doesn’t judge the success of the season by his personal accomplishments.

“If we run five times a game or 50 times a game, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “The most important thing to me is just winning. As long as we come out with a victory and carry ourselves well on the field, that’s what’s important to me.”

W&J, which won the PAC title last year despite losing more than 40 seniors from the previous season, received 23 of a possible 31 first-place votes. Case Western Reserve was second with six first-place votes, and Westminster was third with two first-place votes.

Waynesburg was picked to finish seventh in the 10-team league.

“It is our expectation to compete for the conference title. The preseason rankings are based on expectations and past results,” said W&J 17th-year head coach Mike Sirianni. “We will have to earn it on the field each week. We expect to be improved this season. With that being said, teams across the conference will be improved as well.”

West and E.J. Thompson combined to rush for nearly 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns last season in Sirianni’s high-powered offense. Thompson, who ran for 757 yards, returns for his junior season.

The duo is so effective that Sirianni is moving Joey Koroly, a Trinity High School graduate, to double duty. He will start in W&J’s secondary and also serve as the team’s third running back. Koroly’s role as a return man won’t change.

“Jordan is a great young man,” said Sirianni. “He’s a Washington kid and any time you get a Washington kid on the team, it helps morale. On the field, with EJ and Jordan, I feel we have the best running back.”

The 2019 football season opens on Thursday, Sept. 5, when Capital University travels to Westminster College.

Assistant Sports Editor

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling.

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