Grove City Eagles
Coach (season, record): Jeff Bell (16th season, 101-59)
2011 overall record: 11-1
2011 region record (place): 6-0 (champion)
2011 playoff results: Defeated East 49-0 in the District 10 Class AAA semifinals and Cathedral Prep 33-0 in the D-10 championship. Grove City then lost to Montour 25-21 in the PIAA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Wes Phipps, Jordan Patterson, Alex Gilmore, Tony Turner, Erik Record, Chauncey Miller, Jacob Wiley, Mason Depeal, Tyler Dagres, Jake Wyllie, Kevin Bable
Top returning players: Harold Price, Foster Reznor, Chad Williams, Kyle Trinch
Outlook: 2011 was a banner year for Grove City. The Eagles routed Cathedral Prep 33-0 in the District 10 Class AAA championship and came inches from upsetting Montour in the PIAA quarterfinals. With everything Grove City accomplished last fall, the Eagles will need to recover quickly to return to the postseason. Grove City was crushed by graduation but the program could be strong enough to recover. The biggest loss for the Eagles is District 10 Player of the Year Wes Phipps. Phipps, an all-district linebacker, first-team all-region selection at running back and linebacker and the Region 5 Player of the Year, ran for 1,430 yards and 28 touchdowns on 141 carries. He also had six catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns and he had 82 tackles with three sacks. The Eagles’ offensive and defensive lines were a big part of their success last year. Jordan Patterson, Alex Gilmore and Tony Turner were all named to the all-district team as linemen as well as the all-region first team as offensive lineman. Gilmore and Turner were first-team defensive linemen and Patterson was voted to the second team. Also gone are Erik Record, Chauncey Miller, Jake Wyllie, Mason Depeal, Tyler Dagres and Kevin Bable. Record was voted to the all-region first team as a linebacker and second team as a running back. Record ran for 284 yards and five touchdowns on 31 carries and he caught five passes for 137 yards and one touchdown. Miller was voted to the second team at tight end and Wyllie is a second-team linebacker. Wyllie had 93 tackles and two sacks last year. Depeal was voted to the second team at defensive back and he ran for 204 yards and five touchdowns at linebacker. A huge loss could be Dagres at quarterback. The four-year starter threw for 783 yards and six touchdowns last year and ran for 252 yards and eight TDs.
With all of the losses Grove City sustained by graduation, there is hope for this season. The Eagles return leaders Harold Price and Foster Reznor. Price was a second-team linebacker last year and Reznor a second-team defensive back. Both will see plenty of carries at running back this fall. Reznor was Grove City’s second-leading rusher with 852 yards and 10 touchdowns last year, while Price was third with 579 yards and eight touchdowns. Reznor led the Eagles with 13 carries for 299 yards and two touchdowns, while Price had four catches for 89 yards and one TD. On defense, Reznor pulled down three interceptions and recorded seven pass deflections. Also back are Chad Williams and Kyle Trinch. Trinch had seven interceptions last year and Williams had five sacks and two interceptions. Jared Graham might be called on to replace Dagres at quarterback. Graham will be a sophomore this season and only threw two passes last year.
A few things are working in Grove City’s favor this year. The Eagles moved down to Class AA in the offseason and they do have some experience back in Price and Reznor. Region 3 is not an easy region to rebuild in and Grove City will find that out right away. After an interesting opener against Carrick, the Eagles host powerhouse Wilmington. Grove City’s first road game will be a tough one at Hickory. The Eagles have some tough non-region games but if they can survive Wilmington and Hickory, they could be in position to not only return to the postseason but contend for the region title.
31 Carrick 7
7 Wilmington* 7
14 Reynolds* 7
21 at Hickory* 7
28 at Greenville* 7
5 at Saegertown* 7
12 Slippery Rock 7
19 Titusville* 7
26 at Sharon* 7
*Region 3 games
Friday: Harbor Creek
– Tom Reisenweber