Oil City Oilers
Coach (season, record): Matt LaVerde (4th season, 20-13)
2010 overall record: 9-3
2010 region record (place): 4-2 (tied for second)
2010 playoff results: Lost 56-6 to Cathedral Prep in the District 10 Class AAA semifinals.
Top players lost: Mark Kulinski, Mark Hutchinson, Ben Koyack, Logan Lantz, Brennan McMahon, Blaise Rex, Dallas Williams
Top returning players: Mike Moon, John Klena, Blake Hadley
Assistant coaches: Dewy Miller, Tim Reed, Chris Delmonaco, Eric Cole, Bundy Fulmer, Nick Woods, Billy Keely, Scott Roberts, Pete McIntyre, and Blaine Gold
Outlook: Oil City was hit the hardest out of any District 10 team by graduation. The Oilers will have to replace 19 of their 22 starters from last year, including the entire backfield. Mark Hutchinson is gone after a solid senior year at running back as well as D-10′s all-time passer Mark Kulinski. Ben Koyack, Dallas Williams and Logan Lantz finished their senior seasons with terrifice offensive numbers, but are gone, as well as linemen Brennan McMahon and Blaise Rex. In fact, the only Oilers coach Matt LaVerde can count on bringing some experience back this fall are Mike Moon and John Klena. Klena started on defense last year and will look to be a factor on offense, while Moon is a returning two-way lineman.
Blake Hadley will likely be called upon to start at quarterback this season, while sophomore Jesse Rice is looking to break out on the varsity level. The Oilers will be young and inexperienced this season, a drastic change from last year’s playoff team. Region 5 can be tough on teams that make mistakes, and with the growing pains Oil City could go through, it might be a down year for the Oilers. Oil City doesn’t have a brutal September schedule but still tough. The Oilers have to deal with a developing passing attack from DuBois and Corry along with a trap road game at rival Franklin. October will decide the Oilers’ season with back-to-back games against Grove City and Meadville.
2 Iroquois 7
9 DuBois* 7
16 at Girard 7
23 Corry* 7
30 at Franklin* 7
7 Strong Vincent 7
14 Grove City* 7
21 at Meadville* 7
28 at Slippery Rock* 7
4 at Sharon 7
Look for the Kickoff magazine at a Country Fair near you beginning Aug. 15. The 112-page magazine previews the upcoming District 10 football season, including top returning players, schedules, stats and more.
– Tom Reisenweber