Coach (season): Mike Feleppa (1st season)
2011 overall record: 7-5
2011 region record (place): 3-3 (fourth)
2011 playoff results: Defeated Slippery Rock 43-7 in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals before losing to Cathedral Prep 49-7 in the semifinals.
Top players lost: Terence Goodrum, Fred Epps, Zach Towers, Corey Lynn, Alex Minnis
Top returning players: Artrel Foster, Tyler Minnis, Taylor Dart
Assistant coaches: John Amato, Ray Collins, Brian Ford, Joe Marsteller, Jason Stearns
Outlook: Meadville boasted an impressive rushing attack in 2011 with three 1,000-yard rushers. The issue facing the Bulldogs is two of those rushers have graduated. Terence Goodrum, an all-district running back, ran for 1,392 yards and 14 touchdowns on 196 carries. He was voted to the all-region first team as a running back and defensive back and finished with five interceptions. Also gone is Fred Epps, a first team-running back and second-team defensive lineman. He ran for 1,722 yards and 22 touchdowns on 227 carries as a senior. Meadville will also be without Zach Towers, Corey Lynn and Alex Minnis. Towers was voted to the first team at punter and linebacker, while Lynn and Minnis were second-team offensive and defensive linemen. Towers led the Bulldogs with 153 tackles, while Minnis and Lynn had 98 and 82, respectively. Lynn and Towers had six sacks each and Epps had three. In addition to graduation losses, Meadville coach Ken Achenbach resigned in the offseason and Mike Feleppa takes over.
Meadville is almost starting over this season with a new coach and a new system. The Bulldogs have some experience back to lean on with Artrel Foster, Tyler Minnis and Taylor Dart. Foster was a first-team defensive back and a second-team running back, while Minnis returns at quarterback and Dart is a standout lineman. Foster ran for 1,205 yards and 10 touchdowns last year and lead Meadville in receiving with 174 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches. Minnis threw for 249 yards and four touchdowns and ran for two as a junior. The Bulldogs will need big-time contributions from their returning underclassmen this season to stay competitive in Region 5.
Meadville’s speed and athleticism was hard to slow down in 2011. The Bulldogs lost most of that speed to graduation but have a steady player in Artrel Foster to build around. Meadville will need to figure out its identity quickly in camp with plenty of new faces. The Bulldogs open the season with two games at home but the second will be an important game against Slippery Rock. Region 5 is in transition this year with new teams Bradford and Warren while Corry and Grove City departed. There doesn’t seem to be a true favorite in the region, making each region game important this fall. Aside from an interesting region schedule, the Bulldogs locked up three Class AAA games that could be important wins on their playoff resume. Meadville takes on East and Central Tech before a Week 10 showdown with newly-formed Conneaut. Conneaut seems to be a natural rival with Meadville right away and their game in Week 10 might be an elimination game for an at-large playoff spot.
31 Northwestern 7
7 Slippery Rock* 7
15 at East 7
21 at Warren* 7
28 Central Tech 7
5 at Oil City* 7
12 Franklin* 7
19 Bradford* 7
26 at DuBois* 7
2 at Conneaut 7
*Region 5 games
– Tom Reisenweber