Union City Bears
Coach (season): Joe Sanford (1st season)
2010 overall record: 5-5
2010 region record (place): 5-3 (tied for third)
2010 playoff results: Lost 33-0 to Farrell in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Greg Reinke, Ryan Myers, Luke Hetrick, Shane Rankin
Top returning players: Justin Bengel, Austin Shettler, Cole Lewis, Curtis Brown, William Manross, Shane Russell, Tim Vargo, Kyle Hetrick, Coltin Warner, Tyler Lindsley, Jarad Brooks, Jeff Burger, Josh Reinke
Assistant coaches: Randy Gunther, Paul Yoculan, Dan Clark, Brian Patten, Josh Kerns and Ray Salmon
Outlook: Union City looked for a new direction in the offseason and hired long-time coach Joe Sanford. Sanford has been a head coach at Corry and Seneca as well as an assistant and defensive coordinator at McDowell. His first priority is to get to know the team and start developing a gameplan that will work. Sanford hasn’t coached on the Class A level and will have to get used to a different style of football.
The Bears lost a few key players from last year’s playoff team, including Greg Reinke, Ryan Myers, Kurt Hetrick and Shane Rankin. Union City has plenty of experience, however. Justin Bengel, Austin Shettler, Cole Lewis, Curtis Brown, William Manross and Jeff Burger are back to anchor the offensive and defensive lines, while Tim Vargo, Coltin Warner and Shane Russell could compete for the starting quarterback job. Kyle Hetrick and Tyler Lindsley are back to compete for carries in the backfield along with Jarred Brooks and Josh Reinke.
Union City will be in for some changes in the offseason and could sneak up on some teams under Sanford. The Bears have a huge test to start the season at Lakeview before an interesting home opener against Youngsville. Union City’s chances for the region title and a playoff spot should be determined in October with games against Cambridge Springs, Maplewood, Iroquois and Mercyhurst Prep.
2 at Lakeview 7
9 Youngsville* 7
17 at East 7
23 Cochranton* 7
30 at Saegertown* 7
7 Cambridge Springs* 7
14 Maplewood* 7
21 at Iroquois* 7
28 Mercyhurst Prep* 7
4 at Eisenhower* 7
Look for the Kickoff magazine at a Country Fair near you beginning Aug. 15. The 112-page magazine previews the upcoming District 10 football season, including top returning players, schedules, stats and more.
– Tom Reisenweber