Coach (season, record): Jim Brinling (3rd season, 8-11)
2011 overall record: 1-8
2011 region record (place): 1-5 (tied for sixth)
2011 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AA playoffs.
Top players lost: Joe Kocan, Mickey Ferrare, Carl Nerthling
Top returning players: Brandon Locke, David Bile, David Biletnikoff, Shawn Nerthling, Jeff Dann, Kyle Bugenhagen, Hunter Jageman, Tanner Tregaskis, Michael McCloy, Ben Kocan, Shannon Jackson, Taylor Mosier, Dan Paden, Carl Fonticella
Assistant coaches: Malcolm Beall, Luke Beall, Dave Hudson, Mike Parmeter, Scott Vincent
Outlook: Fairview will look to rebound this fall after a tough one-win season in 2011. The Tigers were young and gained valuable experience while going through some growing pains. Fairview graduated Joe Kocan, Mickey Ferrare and Carl Nerthling, all of which leave big holes. Kocan was voted to the all-region second team as a defensive back and ran for 336 yards and three touchdowns on 52 carries. Kocan also caught six passes for 42 yards. The Tigers also lost top rusher Dan Rosendahl, who carried the ball 175 times for 890 yards and six touchdowns. Fairview went through some offensive struggles with an inexperienced team. The Tigers averaged 13.6 points per game and only went over 20 points twice. The first was a 34-21 win against Northwestern and the second a 32-21 loss to Seneca.
The good news for Fairview fans is the abundance of experienced players back this season. Brandon Locke, David Biletnikoff, Shawn Nerthling, Ryan Cardman, Lucas Bender and Ryan Brink are back on the offensive and defensive lines as well as tight ends Kyle Bugenhagen and Hunter Jageman. Juniors Jeff Dann, Ryan Plazony, Kevin Burkholder and Craig Rainey add to the depth up front as well as sophomores Sean Welch and Jason Hunter. Sophomore quarterback Ben Kocan is looking to shore up a backfield that did not throw a touchdown pass last year. Ben Kocan completed 18-of-32 passes for 161 yards as a freshman. Shannon Jackson, Taylor Mosier, Dan Paden, Joe Martone and Lucas Hess will battle for carries at running back. Jackson had 474 yards and three touchdowns on 88 carries in 2011, while Mosier had four carries for 11 yards. Tanner Tregaskis, Michael McCloy, Anthony Minneci, Hugh Hartsell and Ben Burton will see time at wide receiver. Tregaskis led Fairview with 16 catches for 135 yards last fall, while Bugenhagen had 56 yards on three catches.
The growing pains from last fall could pay off for Fairview this year. The Tigers have experience and ability this year in a region that is somewhat wide open. General McLane is gone but Corry and Fort LeBoeuf have arrived. With plenty of question marks surrounding traditional Region 4 powers like North East, Fairview could step in and get back into the postseason. The Tigers won’t have to wait long to see where they stand in the region. Fairview will take on Girard, Corry and North East in the early part of September. If the Tigers can make it to October with three or for wins, they will be in great shape not only for the playoffs but the region title as well.
31 Youngsville 7
7 Girard* 7
14 at Corry* 7
21 North East* 7
28 Seneca* 7
5 at Harbor Creek* 7
12 at Iroquois 7
19 Fort LeBoeuf* 7
26 at Northwestern* 7
*Region 4 games
– Tom Reisenweber