Coach (season, record): Pat Gould (1st season at Conneaut, 8th overall, 45-28)
2011 overall record: Linesville 5-4, Conneaut Valley 1-8
2011 region record (place): Linesville 3-4 (fifth), Conneaut Valley 1-6 (tied for seventh)
2011 playoff results: Neither Linesville nor Conneaut Valley qualified for the District 10 Class A playoffs.
Top players lost: Jimmy Kearns, Jon Weidner, Dylan Merritt, Alex Smith, Nolan Varee
Top returning players: Brandon Sherman, Dan Grudoski, Chris Richardson, Jace Pardee, Elijah Anderton, Jon Onderko, Jarred Hannold, Jordan Krause, Nolan Griffin, Clay Bortner, Nik Griffin, Logan Stearns
Assistant coaches: Bill Stevenson, Wib Waterman, Todd Greenawalt, Doug Blood, Doug Williams
Outlook: The 2011 season was a unique one for coach Pat Gould. He had to blend his Linesville players with several Conneaut Lake players as the Indians’ program was shut down. One year later, Gould has to combine Conneaut Valley players as well. The only advantage to the Conneaut merger this season will be all players under one roof at Linesville High School. Conneaut will be starting from scratch after the two schools combined for five wins in 2011. Nolan Varee graduated from Conneaut Valley after being named to the all-region first team as a wide receiver and defensive back, while Linesville graduated all-region selections Jimmy Kearns and Dylan Merritt. Keans was a first-team defensive back and second-team all-purpose selection and Merritt was a second-team offensive lineman. Jon Weidner and Alex Smith are also gone, leaving some big holes for Conneaut to fill.
Brandon Sherman, Dan Grudoski, Chris Richardson, Jace Pardee, Elijah Anderton, Jon Onderko, Jarred Hannold, Jordan Krause, Nolan Griffin, Clay Bortner, Nik Griffin and Logan Stearns are back this season and could all be impact players for the Eagles. Chemistry is going to be the most important thing for Conneaut this fall as rivals turn into teammates. Gould expects to have good numbers this fall with three communities coming together but it could take time to sort out playing time and developing starters.
The most interesting situation this fall could be the District 10 playoffs. Conneaut is the only Class AAA team in Region 1, which is primarily a Class A region. How many wins will Conneaut need to make a case for the playoffs? 6? 7? 10? The Eagles did the best they could in scheduling solid non-region teams. Conneaut has Class A Eisenhower, Class AA Girard and Class AAA Meadville as well as Conneaut from Ohio. The Ohio Conneaut has an average male enrollment of 375. The PIAA only counts three classes from one school, so taking away the senior class would put the Spartans as a big Class AA team. If Conneaut is borderline for the postseason, its Week 10 game against instant rival Meadville could act as a de facto play-in game.
31 at Girard 7
7 Lakeview* 7
14 at Sharpsville* 7
21 West Middlesex* 7
28 Conneaut (Ohio) 7
5 Mercer* 7
12 Eisenhower 7
19 at Farrell* 7
27 at Kennedy Catholic* 1
2 Meadville 7
*Region 1 games
– Tom Reisenweber