SHIPPENSBURG – Shippensburg University pays a lot of attention to the talent in their backyard and some of those local high school football stars are making an impact for the Red Raiders.
“It’s exciting to be back here, long summer, on our own, working on our own, but then getting back here, having a relatively short camp compared to past years, but it’s still getting out sweating, sweating with your boys,” said Red Raiders Senior LinebackerTig Spinelli.
Spinelli is used to football season in this region. He played his high school ball at Cumberland Valley, where he won, a lot. After the Friday Night lights, he signed with the Red Raiders.
"You know, whether it's the Harrisburg area, Shippensburg area, or anywhere around this area, we've had quality young men in this family," explained Head Coach Mark Maciejewski.
Some other local standouts might have originally signed elsewhere, but have worked their way back around to Ship.
"I ended up transferring here after after spending two semesters at a Division I-AA school and it's been the best decision I've ever made," admitted Raleigh Sirb. Sirb is a junior running back and played for Central Dauphin in high school. "I love it here. It feels like home and it's nice to be at a place where you also feel comfortable at home."
All-in-all, there are 26 raiders who played their high school ball in Central PA. The success of the team and the student athletes, both on the field and in the classroom, is one element to Shippensburg's success in recent years.
"A lot of it goes to them and it goes to a lot of our players over the last eight years who have just worked their tails off to be good," said Maciejewski. "They want to be great and they're working hard at it."