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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Summer Huddle – Fairview

Fairview's Shannon Jackson rushed for more than 2,000 yards as a junior.

Jim Brinling

Kyle Bugenhagen

Ben Kocan

Fairview Tigers
Coach: Jim Brinling (4th season, 14-15)
2012 overall record: 6-4
2012 region record: 4-3 (tied for third)
2012 playoff results: Lost to Wilmington 47-0 in the District 10 Class AA quarterfinals.

Top players lost: Taylor Mosier, Shawn Nerthling, Lucas Bender, Ryan Cardman, Brandon Locke, David Biletnikoff, Tanner Tregaskis

Top returning players: Shannon Jackson, Jeff Dann, Ben Kocan, Kyle Bugenhagen, Hunter Jageman, Michael McCloy, Dan Paden, Sean Welch

Assistant coaches: Malcom Beall, Luke Beall, Dave Hudson, Mike Parmeter, Scott Vincent

Outlook: Fairview made its way through a tough region but like all Region 4 teams, the Tigers ran into a powerhouse in the first round of the playoffs. With 15 of the 22 starting positions back this year, Fairview is primed to have another big year. The Tigers will have to replace several solid players. Taylor Mosier, Shawn Nerthling, Lucas Bender, Ryan Cardman, Brandon Locke, David Biletnikoff and Tanner Tregaskis are gone to graduation. Mosier was voted to the all-region first team at linebacker and second team at all-purpose. Nerthling was voted to the second team at offensive line, and Bender to the second team at defensive line. Cardman, Locke and Biletnikoff are big losses on both the offensive and defensive lines, while Tregaskis is a big loss at running back and defensive back. Fairview has seven starters back on offense and eight on defense. Ben Kocan is back at quarterback and defensive back. He threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns last season.

The biggest named back is running back Shannon Jackson. He ran for 2,014 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior and caught four passes for 59 yards. Jackson had 24 total touchdowns and 49 tackles. He was voted to the all-region first team at running back and second team as a defensive back. Jackson is back to start on both sides of the ball as well as TE/DE Hunter Jageman, OL/DE Jeff Dann, OL/DL Sean Welch and WR/DB Michael McCloy. Dann is a first-team all-region offensive lineman. Kyle Bugenhagen is back to start at tight end, while Dan Paden is back at linebacker and Joe Martone at defensive back. Paden lead the Tigers with 61 tackles in 2012. To go along with the returning starters, Harold Coles, Kevin Burkholder, Ryan Plazony, Kraig Rainey and Jason Hunter are new players that could step in and make a difference right away on the varsity level. Coles could see some carries out of the backfield and earn playing time as a defensive back, while Burkholder, Plazony, Rainey and Hunter could be in the mix for playing time on the offensive and defensive lines.

While having a 2,000-yard back this year is important, Kocan’s development at quarterback could be key for the Tigers. He will need to command the offense and facilitate a rushing attack of Jackson, Martone and Coles. While the backfield is set, the lines will be important as well. Bugenhagen and Jageman are two talented tight ends that can open up some holes on the outside, while Welch and Dann will play important roles on the line as well. The Tigers open the season with two road games, including a rivalry showdown at Girard. Fairview’s biggest stretch could come at the end of the season. The Tigers travel to Fort LeBoeuf and host Northwestern to wrap up the year. Both could be must-win games to ensure a return trip to the postseason. Fairview has one of the more experienced teams back in Region 4 and one of the best players in District 10 in Jackson. If the Tigers can develop their line and get another big season out of Jackson, Fairview will be a tough team to beat.

Schedule
August
30 at Youngsville 7
September
6 at Girard* 7
13 Corry* 7
20 at North East* 7
27 at Seneca* 7
October
4 Harbor Creek* 7
11 Iroquois 7
18 at Fort LeBoeuf* 7
25 Northwestern* 7
November
1 Bye
*Region 4 games

Thursday: Farrell
–Tom Reisenweber
Posted in: Football, Summer Huddle

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