Coach (season, record): Terry Verrelli (34th season, 262-110-3)
2011 overall record: 9-2
2011 region record (place): 5-0 (champion)
2011 playoff results: Lost to General McLane 21-18 in the District 10 Class AA semifinals.
Top players lost: Anthony Derrick, Bryn Kaufman, Ryan Crawford, Gunnar Donati, Nick Vasko, Josh Tekac, Kyle Jones, Mark Lehman, Zack Llewellyn, Colton Kendall, Nick Vasko, Cameron Rossi
Top returning players: John Yohman, Donnie Watson, Tyler Donati, Josiah Bloise, Jeremy Miller
Assistant coaches: David Welch, Robert Mitcheltree, Brian Cooper, Rob Shimrack, Brandon Phillian, Mike Neurhor, Mark Shenker, Brian Fulkman, Frank Berardi, Josh Phillian
Outlook: Wilmington has one of the strongest programs in District 10 and will need every bit of that strength this fall to stay competitive. The Greyhounds were brutalized by graduation with 16 starters gone. Anthony Derrick, Bryn Kaufman, Ryan Crawford, Gunnar Donati, Nick Vasko, Josh Tekac, Kyle Jones, Cameron Rossi, Nick Vasko, Colton Kendall, Mark Lehman and Zack Llewellyn are gone this fall. Kaufman was an all-district offensive lineman and a first-team all-region offensive and defensive lineman. Jones was a first-team offensive lineman and Kendall was a second-team offensive lineman. Llewellyn was a first-team linebacker and Lehman a second-defensive lineman. Along with most of the line being gone, the entire backfield has graduated as well. Tekac, a first-team punter and second-team quarterback, is gone along with running backs Crawford and Donati. Crawford was a first-team running back and linebacker, while Donati was a second-team running back and defensive back. The losses keep on coming with first-team defensive backs Derrick and Vasko along with Rossi, a second-team wide receiver.
The Greyhounds’ offense will be completely rebuilt at the skill positions. Wilmington has a few returning starters but the offense will need an overhaul. John Yohman, an all-region first-team selection on the offensive and defensive line is back along with Watson, a first-team tight end. Also back on defense is second-team linebacker Tyler Donati and second-team defensie lineman Jeremy Miller. Linebacker Josiah Bloise also provides depth on defense. Brandon Ryder, a first-team kicker, returns as well. With so many holes to fill, Wilmington will look to new players to fill them in. Seniors Chris Welch, Casey Hilton, Xavier Coulter, Keith Fulkman and Zack McCluskey could help rebuild the line, while running backs Nic Pugh, Steven Muscarella and Brady Lutz will compete for carries. Alex Patton will look to contribyte at wide receiver and Riley Kollar at linebacker. Sophomore Cody Llewellyn could get the nod at quarterback but will have some competition in camp for the starting job.
Wilmington doesn’t have much time to build chemistry with almost a completely new starting lineup. The Greyhounds jump right into its schedule against West Middlesex before their two biggest games of the year against Grove City and Hickory. Wilmington also has tough games with Sharon, Sharpsville and Farrell in the second half of the season but the ‘Hounds should know by then where they stand in Region 3. The ‘Hounds are almost a complete mystery heading into the season with little experience back. Wilmington and coach Terry Verrelli have reloaded for decades and will need another big effort this fall for the ‘Hounds to compete for the region and district titles.
31 West Middlesex 7
7 at Grove City* 7
14 Hickory* 7
21 at Titusville* 7
28 Saegertown* 7
5 at Reynolds* 7
12 at Sharpsville 7
19 Sharon* 7
26 Greenville* 7
2 at Farrell 7
*Region 3 games
– Tom Reisenweber