Casilio ready to help lead Elkers

By Bob Parana - Staff Writer

One of the key reasons the Ridgway Elkers are so successful is the ability of incoming seniors to take over the leadership role for the team that has won four-straight District 9 championships. Cole Casilio is one of several players who will be offering their guidance this season.
“I’m excited about being a leader for this team. I’ve been around some great ones and I’m hoping I can be a good one for these guys. The program needs us to be. It’s what makes us good,” said Casilio who attends Johnsonburg Area High School.
Casilio who has 95 career wrestling wins for the Rams took last season off from football. On the mats, he won the District 9 title at 160-pounds and earned a trip to states with a second-place finish at regionals. He’s glad to be back on the field and thrilled the season is going forward. “I’m definitely 100-percent happy we’re going to play. We didn’t know if we were going to have football. It’s good to know we’re going to get a season and we’re going to have fun,” he said. As a sophomore, he excelled in the defensive backfield and is looking forward to bringing the magic back. “It was a great season and now that I’m coming back I’m looking to be even better and going to do everything I can to help us win,” he added.
It’s special to watch the Elkers gel each season. Casilio feels the bond isn’t just on the field. “These guys are all good friends of mine. It’s exciting to be back here. I think we have good chemistry and I think we’re going to have a good year,” he said.
Casilio wants to join the last two graduating classes with three district medals something he knows is not an easy task. “It’s good to know we have four straight but we’re going to work as hard as we can to make [a fifth] happen. It takes work and this group is ready to go after it,” he said.
The Johnsonburg senior feels blessed to have great coaches and knows what they expect. “They push us every practice. They’ve had success and they don’t take things lightly. You have to work hard and they make sure we do,” said Casilio.
2020 Ridgway Elkers football schedule: Sept. 18 – Kane, Sept. 25 – at Bradford, Oct. 2 – at St. Marys, Oct. 9 – Bradford, Oct. 16 – St. Marys, Oct. 23 – at Kane, Oct. 30 – at Otto-Eldred, Nov. 6 – Smethport.
Note – the final two games could be affected by District 9 playoff games.