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Hard work pays off

August 29, 2011
Weirton Daily Times

Working hard never guarantees success.

Working hard just makes success a lot easier to attain.

I have said many times before in this space, if you are not working hard, your teammates are, your opponents are. If you are not working hard, you're not standing on level ground, you're getting worse because everyone is getting better.

I am sure there were a ton of people in this area who raised their eyebrows when they heard Weirton Madonna graduate Connor Arlia was headed to West Virginia to be a preferred walk-on.

"Yeah, he'll never play."

I have had the pleasure of many conversations with the young man.

What a great young man.

And, as I found out at his graduation party, he's really a good dresser.

Anyway, the word on the street is that Arlia, from a West Virginia Class A school, has made the travel squad for Sunday afternoon's game at Marshall.

The Mountaineers are taking 10 receivers and he is one of them.

There are more than0 100 players in the football program and 60 make the travel squad.

He is one of 60.

That is not to say he sees the field Sunday, but you can't see the field from Morgantown when the game is out of town.

Dear folks, that is all about working hard, being a good kid, doing your job, knowing your role and going at it 100 percent of the time.

At the same time, on the other side of the ball, Steubenville Big Red graduate Shaq Petteway has a chance to start at one of the safety positions - the bandit.

No one should be surprised at that, either.

The 6-foot, 205-pounder just works hard.

"I can run and that was one of the things they liked about me," Petteway said in a recent article at "I was big enough to take the run on and fast enough to cover the side receivers in open space."

I happened to see Shaq over the summer and asked him about the possibility of moving from linebacker to safety.

He just smiled and said, "I'll play wherever they want me to."

"I've got great players around me who are teachers. Keith Tandy is the father of the defense, so anybody who is young he is willing to help and show them around," Petteway said in the article.

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