Coach (season, record): Leonard Ford (4th season, 8-18)
2010 overall record: 2-6
2010 region record (place): 2-4 (fifth)
2010 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Jermaine Thornton, Peter Hamilton, Shaquille Logan, Dearius Mook, Devonte Campbell, James Paul, Valentino Fields, Marcus Johnson, Martell Johnson, Krishawn Day
Top returning players: Levonte Ford, Tywonn Taylor, Mack Bean, Angel Lopez
Assistant coaches: Mike Cutter, Ron Hayes, Eddie Williams, Tony Hollingsworth, Ben Fennel, Tywon Taylor
Outlook: East has some big holes to fill but coach Leonard Ford is hoping the young and inexperienced team will grow together. The Warriors will have plenty of underclassmen stepping into varsity roles, including junior quarterback Juawan Ford. He will replace exciting quarterback Jermaine Thornton. Thornton threw for 660 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 752 yards and six TDs in eight games. He was also named an all-region defensive back and his leadership will be a big loss for the Warriors.
Levonte Ford and Tywonn Taylor look to become the leaders of the team this season. Levonte Ford is a standout linebacker and wide receiver, while Taylor will anchor the offensive and defensive lines. Both are being looked at by colleges and could play at the next level. Angel Lopez could also be an impact player on the line. Lavonte Ford is an all-region linebacker and was East’s third-leading tackler with 49 tackles in 2010. The Warriors’ lost their top tacklers Marcus Johnson (80 tackles) and standout Peter Hamilton (60).
The Warriors’ rushing attack struggled last year as Thornton was the only rusher over 400 yards. Hamilton ran for 356 yards on 64 carries, including four touchdowns, but is gone as well as Martell Johnson (106 yards). East will rely heavily on new players in the backfield and their chemistry with Juawan Ford will be crucial this season.
East starts the season with two tough road games at Grove City and Warren and will not leave Erie County the rest of the season. The Warriors’ biggest stretch comes at the end of September against rivals Central Tech and Strong Vincent at Veterans Stadium. If East can survive the first month of the season, the Warriors’ playoff status will come down to three crucial Region 6 games against Bradford, Fort LeBoeuf and Cathedral Prep to end the season.
2 at Grove City 7
9 at Warren* 7
17 Union City 7
24 at Central Tech* 1
30 Strong Vincent* 7
7 at Fairview 7
14 Perry 7
21 Bradford* 7
27 Fort LeBoeuf* 7
4 at Cathedral Prep* 7
– Tom Reisenweber