Coach: Jim Brinling (5th season, 20-19)
2013 overall record: 6-4
2013 region record: 4-3 (fourth)
2013 playoff results: Lost to Greenville 33-30 in the District 10 Class AA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Shannon Jackson, Jeff Dann, Kevin Burkholder, Mike McCloy, Ben Kocan, Scott Klemm
Top returning players: Sean Welch, Dan Paden, Joe Martone, Harold Coles, Frank Lasky, Lucas Hess, Michael Smallshaw
Assistant coaches: Luke Beall, Dave Hudson, Malcolm Beall, Mike Parmeter, Scott Vincent, Dan Skelton, Mark Richardson
Outlook: Fairview will go through a range of emotions this season as the Tigers will be without Jason Hunter. The senior-to-be passed away in a car accident over the summer and will be on the minds of each player this season. Fairview is working on ways to honor him this fall. The Tigers lost several players to graduation in Shannon Jackson, Jeff Dann, Kevin Burkholder and Mike McCloy, while Ben Kocan, Scott Klemm and Andre Prince aren’t coming out for the team. Coach Jim Brinling said it best when saying that “you don’t replace a running back like Shannon Jackson.” Jackson finished as the all-time rusher in Fairview history with more than 4,000 yards. He was named to the all-district team as a running back and voted to the all-region first team twice. Jackson ran for 1,708 yards and 16 touchdowns, including 255 yards in a playoff loss to Greenville. Dann and Burkholder were voted to the all-region first team on the offensive line, while McCloy was a second-team wide receiver after hauling in seven passes for 133 yards and four touchdowns.
Kocan is also a big loss after he was voted to the all-region second team at quarterback and first team as a defensive back. Kocan threw for 503 yards and nine touchdowns and ran for 380 yards and eight touchdowns. Klemm was Kocan’s main target with nine catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
Fairview does have some experience back in Sean Welch, Dan Paden, Joe Martone, Harold Coles, Frank Lasky, Lucas Hess and Michael Smallshaw. Welch was voted to the all-region second team on the defensive line and will anchor the lines with Lasky and Smallshaw. Paden is a second-team linebacker that led the Tigers in tackles over the past two years and is joined by fellow linebacker Hess. Martone and Coles are returning starters in the secondary and the two will be counted on heavily to run the ball this fall. Coles ran for 400 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore, while Martone had 21 carries for 107 yards. The two will be especially important with a new quarterback running the offense. Fairview has several younger players that could compete for the starting quarterback job, including Michael Duckett, Chris Hudson and Andrew Morosky. Paden is back as a returning fullback, and the Tigers also need to develop some receivers, as Coles and Martone are the only returning players with a catch last fall. Ben Lipinski could step in as tight end and linebacker, while Walter Chevalier and Zach Haile are possible lineman to earn a starting spot. Jose Lopez is an up and coming wide receiver/safety along with running back/safety Jared Hanas.
Fairview will start the season at home against Meadville before two interesting road games at Mercyhurst Prep and Seneca. If the Tigers get through their first three region games undefeated, they have a huge five-game stretch against Girard and North East and at Fort LeBoeuf and Northwestern to determine if they have a shot at the playoffs. Fairview will be dealing with a lot this fall and they need a new quarterback, but the Tigers have the experience and leadership to return to the postseason.
29 Meadville 7
5 at Mercyhurst Prep* 7
12 at Seneca* 7
19 Harbor Creek* 7
26 at Fort LeBoeuf* 7
3 Girard* 7
10 at Franklin 7
17 at Northwestern* 7
24 North East* 7
*Region 4 game