Varsity
Blogs » Varsity
By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1700

Archives

Posts categorized "Summer Huddle"
Posted: July 10th, 2014

Farrell Steelers
Coach: Jarrett Samuels (7th season, 58-19)
2013 overall record: 4-5
2013 region record: 2-4 (sixth)
2013 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class A playoffs.
Top players lost: Dewayne Burns, Tyrone Archie, Malik Graham, Austin Pickens
Top returning players: Rob Guelledge, Malachi Newell, Brandon Gavins, Romeo Jackson, Alex Myers, John Jackson, Davaughn Green, Derrick Carter, Angelo Jackson
Assistant coaches: Anthony Pegues, Bill Dungee, Vic Phillips, Omar Stewart, Troy Harrison, Dante Newell, Ken Avery

For the team outlook and schedule, click below.

–Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: July 9th, 2014

Joe Martone

Harold Coles

Dan Paden

Fairview Tigers
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.

Schedule
August
29 Meadville 7
September
5 at Mercyhurst Prep* 7
12 at Seneca* 7
19 Harbor Creek* 7
26 at Fort LeBoeuf* 7
October
3 Girard* 7
10 at Franklin 7
17 at Northwestern* 7
24 North East* 7
31 Bye
*Region 4 game

Thursday: Farrell

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: July 8th, 2014

Eisenhower Knights
Coach: Jim Penley (11th season, 49-53)
2013 overall record: 7-4
2013 region record: 7-0 (champion)
2013 playoff results: Lost to Sharpsville 31-7 in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Alex Johnson, Rob Wilston, John Shelton, Carter Farrell, Jared Flaisman, Bryce Garris
Top returning players: Jarrett Johnson, Chris Sanders, Jake Spetz, Logan Bellardo, Louie Head
Assistant coaches: Jeff O’Brien, George Sanders, Brandon Ferman, Mike McIntosh, Jordon Hefferman
Outlook: Eisenhower has taken over as the dominant program in Region 2 over the past few seasons. The Knights are coming off back-to-back 7-0 region seasons and haven’t lost a region game since falling to Union City 21-18 to end the 2011 season. Eisenhower lost only a few starters on both sides of the ball, but the Knights will have some important players to replace. Alex Johnson, Rob Wilston, John Shelton, Jared Flaisman, Bryce Garris and Carter Farrell combined for a lot of Eisenhower’s production last season and all have graduated. Johnson ran for 1,388 yards and 19 touchdowns to go with 130 tackles and he is playing at Geneva. Johnson was voted to the all-region first team at running back and linebacker and he was voted the Region 2 co-player of the year. Wilstone was voted to the first team at quarterback after throwing for 1,174 yards and 14 touchdowns to go with 526 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. Shelton was voted to the all-region first team on the offensive line, while Farrell was a first-team defensive back. Garris was voted to the all-region second team as a linebacker and Flaisman was a second-team defensive lineman. Despite losing several all-region selections to graduation, Eisenhower has an experienced team back, including Jarrett Johnson, Chris Sanders, Jake Spetz, Logan Bellardo and Louie Head. Head was voted to the all-region second team at defensive back and will likely take over at quarterback this season. He completed six of seven passes last fall in his limited time under center. Jarrett Johnson was voted to the all-region first team as a wide receiver and the second team as a punter, and Bellardo was a second-team defensive back. Sanders and Spetz are back on the line as two-way, all-region first-team selections. Grant Venman is another all-region selection that is back after being named to the second team as a kicker. The Knights also have a strong sophomore class that could contribute right away, including Spencer Gray, Adam Pascuzzi, Bryon Braswell and Lucas Rizzardi. The Knights will have to replace three linebackers right away and a defensive back in camp. The defensive line looks set with Spetz, Mike Ott and Hunter McNutt, while Sanders moves to linebacker. On offense, Eisenhower needs a new tight end and right tackle, but if the Knights get contributions from new players, their offense could be as explosive as it has been recently. Eisenhower starts the season with several home games at the “Pasture of Pain” before playing five of its final seven games on the road. The Knights get Iroquois at home but they have to travel for the other big games in Region 2. If Eisenhower can develop new leadership and use its experience to grow as a team, the Knights will be tough to stop in their quest for a third straight region title.

Schedule
August
29 Mercer 7
September
5 Yougsville* 7
12 Iroquois* 7
19 at Cambridge Springs* 7
26 at Saegertown* 7
October
3 at Union City* 7
10 at Sharpsville 7
17 Maplewood* 7
24 at Cochranton* 7
31 Sheffield 7
*Region 2 game

Wednesday: Fairview

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: July 8th, 2014

Leonard Ford

East Warriors
Coach: Leonard Ford (7th season, 16-43)
2013 overall record: 0-10
2013 region record: 0-5 (sixth)
2013 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Jarel Nelson, Tavaray Carr, Anthony Gates, Tishar Moss, Eddie Williams, Deiontre Plott, Jaden Ocasio, Jonathan Sanchez
Top returning players: Chris Adams, D.J. Crosby, Dijauhn Hemphill, Freddie Gregory, Deavin Gregory, Demetrius Figueroa, Justin Cruz, Justus Davis, Quannie Roberts, Jameel Gibbs, Ian McNeil
Assistant coaches: Tony Hollingsworth, Eddie Williams, Mike Cutter, Ron Hayes
Outlook: Like its basketball team each season, East will have plenty of new faces in difference places. The Warriors were hit hard by graduation by losing Jarel Nelson, Tavaray Carr, Anthony Gates, Tishar Moss, Eddie Williams, Deiontre Plott, Jaden Ocasio and Jonathan Sanchez. The list of players lost includes all of East’s ballcarriers, quarterbacks and wide receivers from last year’s varsity team. In fact, the only Warrior to record a varsity offensive stat that is back is junior Freddie Rowry, who caught one pass for four yards. Nelson was the main East quarterback with 750 yards and three touchdowns through the air last fall, while Sanchez and Williams also completed passes. The Warriors top seven rushers are all gone as well. Gates led the way with 335 yards and one touchdown, and Williams ran for 310 yards and two touchdowns. Williams is also a big loss in the passing game as he caught 29 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns, while Gates had 17 catches for 200 yards. East was also gutted on the line losing almost every starter. The Warriors will lean on sophomore Darrell “D.J.” Crosby, who started eight games on the line as a freshman. He will be counted on as a leader on the offensive and defensive lines for the next three seasons. East also returns several promising players, including Chris Adams, Dijauhn Hemphill, Freddie Gregory, Deavin Gregory, Demetrius Figueroa, Justin Cruz, Justus Davis, Quannie Roberts, Jameel Gibbs and Ian McNeil. Adams and Cruz will be in competition for the starting quarterback job as both juniors have playmaking ability. Deavin Gregory could be a breakout tight end and defensive lineman, while Hemphill, Freddie Gregory, Davis, Gibbs, McNeil and Roberts could all see time at wide receiver and on defense at defensive back and linebacker. Figueroa could step in and be a feature running back for the Warriors. Rowry could battle Figueroa for carries, and basketball player Vantione Lindsey’s athleticism could force him on to the field in some capacity. East has an interesting Week 1 game at Farrell as the Steel Bowl has been discontinued. The Warriors will stay in Erie County the final nine weeks of the season after heading to Mercer County. East has games at Veterans Stadium against Sharpsville, McDowell, Villa Angela-St. Joe’s (Ohio), St. Mary’s (N.Y.), Central Tech, Strong Vincent, Meadville and Cathedral Prep. The Warriors also travel to General McLane in region play. East’s biggest problem will be lack of experience, but the Warriors always have plenty of athletes to go around. If East can adjust to a new backfield and line, the Warriors could surprise a few teams in search of their first win since 2012.

Schedule
August
29 at Farrell 7
September
5 Sharpsville 7
12 at General McLane* 7
19 McDowell* 7
27 Villa Angela-St. Joe’s (Ohio) 7
October
4 at Strong Vincent* 1
11 St. Mary’s (N.Y.) 1
18 at Central Tech* 1
24 at Meadville 7
31 Cathedral Prep* 7
*Region 6 game

Tuesday: Eisenhower

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: July 7th, 2014

DuBois Beavers
Coach: Frank Varischetti (8th season, 52-26)
2013 overall record: 6-5
2013 region record: 4-2 (tied for second)
2013 playoff results: Lost to Mifflin County 41-21 in a PIAA subregional.
Top players lost: Tyler Fleeger, Matt Lingle, Robbie Barnes, Josh Hnat, Trevor Schwiderske, Derek Allen, T.J. Troup
Top returning players: Gabe French, Bryson Paulinellie, Devin Clark, Kevin Foley, Adam Bankovich, Brad Peterson, Joe Peterson
Assistant coaches: T.J. Wingard, Chuck Pasternak, Benny Benasutti, Jordan Hoover, Clicker Clark, John DeSantis, Jeff Vizza, Mike Yamrick, Anthony Varischetti
Outlook: DuBois has continued to build its program up under coach Frank Varischetti and the Beavers are looking to take things a step further this season. DuBois lost to Mifflin County in a PIAA Class AAAA subregional last fall and returns most of its strong team. The Beavers will have to replace graduates Tyler Fleeger, Matt Lingle, Robbie Barnes, Trevor Schwiderske, Derek Allen. T.J. Troup and Josh Hnat. The biggest hole is left on the offensive line with Fleeger, Lingle and Barnes gone. Fleeger was voted to the all-region first team on the offensive and defensive lines, while Lingle and Barnes were big-time starters as well. Hnat is also a big loss after being voted to the all-region first team as a kicker, and Fleeger was a second-team punter. Lingle was also an all-region lineman as a second-team offensive lineman, while Allen was voted to the second team as a defensive lineman. DuBois has plenty of experience back at the skill positions. Quarterback Gabe French was voted to the all-region second team as a junior after throwing for 2,720 yards and 27 touchdowns. Bryson Paulinellie is also back as one of the top wide receivers that plays in District 10. He caught 73 passes for 1,250 yards and 15 touchdowns and was voted to the all-region first team and the Region 5 player of the year. The Beavers have most of their receiving corps back with the exception of Schwiderske and Austin Gahr. Schwiderske hauled in 16 passes for 121 yards, and Gahr caught seven passes for 80 yards. Schwiderske was voted to the all-region first team at defensive back and Troup was a second-team defensive back as both leave a big hole in the secondary. Aside from Paulinellie, DuBois returns Devin Clark, Cole Kriner, Dante Dawson and Kevin Foley. Kriner caught 35 passes for 417 yards and five touchdowns, while Dawson had 24 catches for 363 yards and five touchdowns. Clark had 262 yards on 23 catches and Foley grabbed 12 passes for 280 yards and one touchdown. Clark’s biggest presence is felt in the backfield as he ran for 1,256 yards and 22 touchdowns on 179 carries as a junior to be voted to the second team as a running back. DuBois will need to fill in holes on the line and secondary, but the Beavers return a strong set of linebackers. Adam Bankovich had 70 tackles, one sack and one interception to be voted to the all-region first team. Brad Peterson and Joe Peterson are back to anchor the defensive line after hitting the weights hard in the offseason, while Ryan Pasternak and Nick LaBrasca could contribute as well. The Beavers have a talented, fast team and will need to patch some holes in several areas. DuBois will enter a PIAA Class AAAA subregional after the regular season, but with a tough schedule that includes powerhouse Cathedral Prep, the Beavers could be battle-tested heading into the state playoffs.

Schedule
August
29 at Mifflin County 7
September
5 at Meadville* 7
12 Conneaut* 7
19 at Cathedral Prep 7
26 at Punxustawney 7
October
3 Oil City* 7
10 at Bradford* 7
17 Franklin* 7
24 General McLane 7
31 Karns City 7
*Region 5 game

Up next: East

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: July 6th, 2014

Collyn Frontera

Liam Cragg

Corry Beavers
Coach: Adam Walstrom (1st season)
2013 overall record: 3-7
2013 region record: 2-5 (tied for sixth)
2013 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AA playoffs.
Top players lost: Ryan Morris, Nate Smith, Brody Wood
Top returning players: Collyn Frontera, Taylor Bloom, Walker Gray, Tag Fuller, Liam Cragg, Justin Shirey, Caleb Zimmerman, Tagen Drayer
Assistant coaches: Jeff Goodwill, Travis Carey, Greg Luther, Nick Krasa, Paul Carney, Brandon Miller
Outlook: Corry will move in a different direction this season as assistant coach Adam Walstrom takes over for Travis Carey, who will remain on the staff. Walstrom is looking for Corry to do a better job controlling the line of scrimmage this season. The Beavers have three returning starters on the offensive line in Justin Shirey, Walker Gray and Caleb Zimmerman. Gray was voted to the all-region second team on the offensive line and all three are standout players. The Beavers will also look for sophomore Mark Brady to contribute on the line as Walstrom will use training camp to build depth. Corry will have to find a new quarterback after the graduation of Nate Smith, who threw for 1,199 yards and 10 touchdowns last fall. Liam Cragg might be in line to take over for Smith after gaining experience at wide receiver as a sophomore. He ran for 271 yards and five touchdowns and he caught 26 passes for 418 yards and five touchdowns. Cragg was under center during games out of reach, and attempted only seven passes last year, but he could step up as a leader. He could also be counted on at defensive back. Collyn Frontera is also back at wide receiver after hauling in 25 passes for 408 yards and two touchdowns. The big loss on both offense and defense is Ryan Morris. He was voted to the all-region first team at linebacker and was one of the toughest run stoppers in District 10. Morris also ran for 464 yards and three touchdowns and caught 10 passes for 134 yards and one touchdown. Amir Amos, Colton Bailey, Bailey Volk, Reece James and Jared Fisher could all move up to the varsity level and contribute at wide receiver. Taylor Bloom and Tagen Drayer are back at running back and could help out in several roles. Corry returns seven starters on defense, including Gray, Zimmerman and Fuller on the defensive line and Cragg and John Hammond at defensive back. Cragg was voted the all-region second team at defensive back as a sophomore. Drayer and Bloom return to lead the linebackers. Corry will have a new head coach but one the Beavers know well. Corry has changed regions several times since regions were formed a decade ago. The Beavers have moved again to Region 3 and will several tough road trips. If Corry can replace Morris and fill out its offensive line early in the season, the Beavers could be a Class AA playoff team.

Schedule
August
29 at Oil City 7
September
5 Grove City* 7
12 at Hickory* 7
19 Sharon* 7
26 Greenville* 7
October
3 at Titusville* 7
10 Fort LeBoeuf 7
17 Warren* 7
24 at Slippery Rock* 7
31 at Union City 7
*Region 3 game

Sunday: DuBois

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: July 6th, 2014

Elijah Anderton

Hunter Merritt

Conneaut Eagles
Coach: Pat Gould (10th season, 65-40)
2013 overall record: 7-4
2013 region record: 3-3 (tied for fourth)
2013 playoff results: Lost to Oil City 24-21 in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Jarred Hannold, Jace Pardee, Shane Goodman, Brian Lipps, Clay Bortnor
Top returning players: Hunter Merritt, Elijah Anderton, Brennon Miller, Justin Ledford, Chris Richardson, Jake Gutierrez, Joey Litwin
Assistant coaches: William Stevenson, Todd Greenawalt, Doug Williams, John Waterman, Jason Schell, Chuck McConville
Outlook: After two years stuck in Region 1, Conneaut will finally get a schedule against teams its size. The Eagles are moving over to Region 5 and will take on mostly Class AAA teams this season. Conneaut has some holds to fill after the graduation of Jarred Hannold, Jace Pardee, Shane Goodman, Brian Lipps and Clay Bortnor. Pardee was voted to the all-region first team on the offensive line and second team as a linebacker. Bortnor was a second-team offensive lineman and is part of a big loss on the offensive line. In fact, the Eagles will have to replace their entire offensive line except for Jake Gutierrez. Chris Richardson is back as a first-team defensive lineman and will be counted on to contribute on the offensive line as well. Conneaut also has to replace two linebackers lost to graduation who were good about stopping big plays. The Eagles return a strong group of key players in Hunter Merritt, Elijah Anderton, Brennon Miller, Justin Ledford, Joey Litwin along with Richardson and Gutierrez. Merritt started at quarterback and safety last season and was one of the more explosive players in Region 1. He ran for 1,937 yards and 24 touchdowns on 251 carries and threw for 475 yards and six touchdowns Merritt was voted to the all-region second team as a quarterback and is a player to keep an eye on in Region 5. Anderton developed with Merritt as a terrific combination last season. Anderton, a second-team all-region running back, carried the ball 167 times for 834 yards and 13 touchdowns to go along with four catches for 37 yards. Taylor Williams led Conneaut with 24 catches for 288 yards and four touchdowns but will not be suiting up for the Eagles this season. Instead, Merritt will turned to Brennon Miller, a second-team defensive back. He was Conneaut’s second-leading receiver with eight catches for 58 yards, while Justin Ledford had six catches for 51 yards. Ledford is also a starting safety, and Litwin is a starting linebacker and wide receiver. Bailey Sanderson is a returning defensive lineman, and Grant Stevenson, Sam Lenhardt and Aaron Brown could all step up at linebacker. Isaiah Gillette and Connor Mattera could contribute in the secondary and sophomore Kane Keil on the line. Conneaut went through transition two years ago when three schools consolidated into one. The Eagles will go through more change this season as they move into a Class AAA region. Conneaut has a strong group of young players coming back and could be a surprise team in Region 5. The Eagles made their first-ever playoff appearance in 2013 and barely lost to Oil City in the first round. With the experience Conneaut gained, they are back for more this fall.

Schedule
August
29 at Northwestern 7
September
5 Franklin* 7
12 at DuBois* 7
19 Strong Vincent 7
26 at General McLane 7
October
3 Meadville* 7
10 Mercer 7
17 at Bradford* 7
24 Central Tech 7
31 at Oil City* 7
*Region 5 game

Next up: Corry

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: July 3rd, 2014

Nathan Liberty

Cochranton Cardinals
Coach: Nathan Liberty (3rd season, 12-8)
2013 overall record: 6-4
2013 region record: 5-2 (third)
2013 playoff results: Lost to West Middlesex 46-32 in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Chad Eisenhooth, Garrett Adams, Jesse Staudt, Lane Hall, Alex Custead, Brad Carlini, Jamar Moody
Top returning players: Evan Miller, Cody Nageotte, Jacob Yarnell, James Groover, Logan Shreve
Assistant coaches: Doug Blood, Joe Hurska, Bill Hoy, Mike Pendolino, Chad Edwards
Outlook: Cochranton third-year coach Nathan Liberty will face a tough rebuilding challenge as the Cardinals were gutted by graduation. The Cardinals made their way to the playoffs last year before running into powerhouse West Middlesex in the first round. Among the graduates, Cochranton lost standouts Chad Eisenhooth, Garrett Adams, Jesse Staudt, Lane Hall, Alex Custead, Brad Carlini and Jamar Moody. Eisenhooth ran the Cardinals’ offense at quarterback and threw for 1,126 yards and 14 touchdowns while also rushing for 398 yards and six touchdowns on 61 carries. Adams and Moody were big parts of the offense as well. Adams ran for 579 yards and six touchdowns on six carries, and Moody had 62 carries for 434 yards and five touchdowns. Adams also caught 21 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns, while Moody hauled in 11 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown. Adams was voted to the all-region first team at all-purpose and to the second team at linebacker. He led the Cardinals with 81 tackles to go wit one sack and two interceptions. Staudt is another big loss for Cochranton after rushing for 321 yards and one touchdown last fall as well as catch 18 passes for 402 yards and six touchdowns. He was voted to the all-region first team at wide receiver and defensive back. Carlini led the Cardinals with 81 tackles, while Custead was voted to the all-region first team at defensive line and the second team on the offensive line. He had 49 tackles and three sacks as a senior. Cochranton also has to replace Buchan, who caught 13 passes for 214 yards and four touchdowns.

Cochranton will have some experience back on the line as two-way all-region lineman Cody Nageotte returns for his senior season. Nageotte was voted to the second team on both the offensive and defensive lines. He finished with 47 tackles, and sophomore Logan Shreve is back after finishing third with 58 tackles in a breakout freshman season. Evan Miller is another returning lineman that will likely start both ways. One of the biggest priorities in camp will be finding a new quarterback for the fall. Eisenhooth, Adams and Staudt all threw passes last year but are gone. Sophomore Nate Slawson could be in the mix after playing three games under center as a freshman. He completed 4-of-7 passes for 51 yards and one touchdown. The Cardinals also need a new stable of running backs. James Groover and Jacob Yarnell could both earn touches. Groover had 16 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns last fall, while Yarnell had 17 carries for 77 yards and one touchdown. Both could be counted on to help the receiving corps as well. Groover had four catches for 61 yards and Yarnell had two catches for four yards. The Cardinals will have the first few weeks of the season to gain experience before several crucial region games. Cochranton travels to Saegertown in Week 4 as the Panthers come back down from Class AA. Week 5, the Cardinals host Iroquois in what could be a classic game before a huge road trip to Cambridge Springs on Oct. 3. Liberty proved he could bring success to the program immediately after he arrived three years ago and the Cardinals will need another quick rebuilding effort to keep the high level of play that he established.

Schedule
August
29 Reynolds 7
September
5 at Union City* 7
12 Maplewood* 7
19 at Saegertown* 7
26 Iroquois* 7
October
3 at Cambridge Springs* 7
10 Bye
17 at Youngsville* 7
24 Eisenhower* 7
31 A.C. Valley 7
*Region 2 games

Friday: Conneaut

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: July 3rd, 2014

Eric Mitchell is one of Central Tech's premier returning players.

Central Tech Falcons
Coach: Rob Matz (6th season, 9-40)
2013 overall record: 3-7
2013 region record: 1-4 (fifth)
2013 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.
Top players lost: Calvin Franklin, Josh Wells, Albert Jones, Eddie Tate, Anthony Duck, Devion Coleman, Tyrice Williams-Troop
Top returning players: Eric Mitchell, Samson Kafando, Gerwhan Wells, Kevin Askins, Rather Freeman, Demond Mitchell, Dmitri Allison
Assistant coaches: Jason Williams, Vince Senita, Chuck Carson, Maurice Goodwine, Merle Bouchat, Eric Jones, Michael Darnell
Outlook: Central Tech seems to be making progress each season even if it doesn’t show up in more wins. The Falcons are competitive in each game and have started to become a tough out each week. Coach Rob Matz is hoping Central Tech can keep taking steps toward making a District 10 Class AAA playoff appearance. The Falcons’ first job will be to replace several key players from last season. Calvin Franklin, Josh Wells, Albert Jones, Eddie Tate, Anthony Duck, Devion Coleman and Tyrice Williams-Troop are all gone to graduation and leave big holes to fill. Duck was voted to the all-region first team as an offensive lineman, while Tate was a second-team wide receiver and Wells was a second-team quarterback. Coleman was voted to the all-region second team on the offensive line, while Jones was a second-team defensive lineman and Tate and Franklin were second-team linebackers.

With everything Central lost to graduation, the Falcons will need to rebuild quickly in training camp. Eric Mitchell, Samson Kafando, Gerwhan Wells, Kevin Askins, Rather Freeman, Demond Mitchell and Dmitri Allison are back to lead one of the fastest teams that Matz has coached at Central. Dmitri and Malik Allison along with Kevin Leggett were part of a sprint relay team that qualified for the PIAA meet in the spring, while Mitchell qualified for states in the high jump. Central’s backfield will likely be Mitchell, Leggett and Dmitri Allison with Kafando playing as well. Allison started at free safety last season and will take over as running back and quarterback. Josh Wells is a big loss at quarterback after throwing for 696 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 541 yards and eight touchdowns. Franklin ran for 689 yards and eight touchdowns, while Mitchell is a returning second-team running back after rushing for 564 yards and three touchdowns on 67 carries. The Falcons also have some work to do at wide receiver with Allison moving to quarterback. Allison had 11 catches for 148 yards, while Tate caught 15 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns. Jones is another big loss after hauling in eight passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns, and Brian Kelly is gone after catching six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Kafando had six catches for 61 yards is the lone receiving threat back from last season. Gerwhan Wells is a returning fullback and the offensive line has a strong group back including Askins. Freeman and Demond Mitchell are leaders in the secondary and Allison will be back at free safety. Leggett is a junior that make a big impact right away along with classmates Jon Carder (linebacker), Terrell Ruffley (offensive line), Alex Dawson (offensive line), senior Malcolm Goodwine (offensive line) and sophmores Ben DeJesus (defensive line), Darryl Crosby (defensive line) and Keyshawn Husband (running back/linebacker). Central has improved each season and with a group of young, hungry players, the Falcons could surprise a few teams this season. Region 5 could be down this year, meaning an extra playoff spot could be on the line in Region 6.

Schedule
August
30 Warren 7
September
6 General McLane* 7
13 Strong Vincent* 1
19 Meadville 7
26 at Bradford 7
October
3 at Cathedral Prep* 7
10 at Karns City 7
18 East* 1
24 at Conneaut 7
31 at McDowell* 7
*Region 6 game

Thursday: Cochranton

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: July 1st, 2014

Charlie Fessler

James Trucilla

Cathedral Prep Ramblers
Coach: Mike Mischler (16th season, 136-52)
2013 overall record: 13-1
2013 region record: 5-0 (champion)
2013 playoff results: Defeated Oil City 70-26 and General McLane 63-21 to win the District 10 Class AAA championship. Cathedral Prep then defeated West Allegheny 28-0 in the PIAA quarterfinals before losing to Bishop McDevitt 47-42 in the semifinals.
Top players lost: Billy Fessler, Felix Manus-Schell, Jake DeHart, Alex Greenawalt, Michael Parker, Marlon Tyree, Devonne Barnes, J.T. Joint, William Monono, Brian May, Jake Murawski
Top returning players: Charlie Fessler, James Trucilla, Tim Zieziula, Jacob Galla, DeAngelo Malone, Bryce Boyd, Stevie Crockett, Zach Bednarowicz, Mike Spizarny
Assistant coaches: Pat Czytuck, Manuel Johnson, Dan Vitale, Mike Krahe, Mark Brooks, Steve Bahny, John Campbell
Outlook: Cathedral Prep had a historic run end in the PIAA Class AAA semifinals last season as Bishop McDevitt snapped the Ramblers’ 28-game winning streak with a 47-42 comeback win. Prep rolled to its 19th District 10 championship and second straight in Class AAA. The Ramblers outscored opponents 501-101 in the regular season to easily win the Region 6 championship before outscoring opponents by an average of 43 points in the District 10 playoffs. Prep the shut out WPIAL power West Allegheny 28-0 in the quarterfinals before running into Bishop McDevitt. Coach Mike Mischler also cotninued his chase to have the most wins in Prep history. Mischler is 119-36 in his 11 years with the Ramblers and if they make a run this year, he could catch all-time winningest coach in program history, Mina George, who had 131 wins. The Ramblers have some work to do after suffering massive graduation losses. Among the losses are Billy Fessler (Walking on at Penn State), Felix Manus-Schell (Old Dominion), Jake DeHart (Yale), Alex Greenawalt (Colgate), Michael Parker (not playing in college), Marlon Tyree (Slippery Rock), Devonne Barnes (IUP), J.T. Joint (Slippery Rock), William Monono (Slippery Rock), Brian May (Mount Union) and Jake Murawski (Allegheny). Greenawalt, Fessler, DeHart, Barnes, Parker, Joint, Manus-Schell and Tyree were all named to the all-district team after impressive seasons. Fessler threw for 3,279 yards and 43 touchdowns and ran for six touchdowns to be voted to the all-region first team. Greenawalt was a first-team wide receiver after catching 43 passes for 711 yards and 10 touchdowns, and DeHart was a first-team all-purpose player as he rushed for 1,134 yards and 18 touchdowns and caught 25 passes for 418 yards and six touchdowns. Manus-Schell was voted the Region 6 player of the year and to the first team as a defensive back and second team at wide receiver. He pulled down 40 passes for 749 yards and 13 touchdowns and he hauled in five interceptions. Barnes was voted to the all-region first team on the offensive and defensive lines, while May was voted to the first team on the offensive line. Parker and Joint are big losses at the linebacker position and both were voted first team, while Tyree is a first-team defensive back. Parker was also voted to the second team at running back after rushing for 182 yards and five touchdowns. Ryan Dill was voted to the all-region second team on the offensive line, and Joint was second team as a punter. Murawski was voted to the second team as a defensive lineman, while Shyquawn Carson and Monono are gone after being voted to the second team as defensive backs.

Prep has some quick rebuilding to do at several positions. The Ramblers return wide receivers Charlie Fessler and DeAngelo Malone along with lineman Tim Zieziula at tackle and James Trucilla at guard. Malone will move to running back this season to fill in for DeHart after rushing for 201 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 395 yards and five touchdowns in 2013. Jose Casiano and Trucilla are back at defensive tackle and Jacob Galla at linebacker. Galla led the Ramblers in tackled as a junior. Trucilla committed to Virginia after racking up offers and was voted to the all-region second team at offensive and defensive line as a junior. Fessler verbally committed to Northwestern and had 20 Division I offers after hauling in 41 passes for 626 yards and six touchdowns as a junior. He was voted to the all-region first team at wide receiver. Prep will need reserves from last year to step up in big way. Billy Norfolk gets the nod at quarterback as a senior and spent the past few years learning from Damion Terry and Billy Fessler. Corey Fisher and Mitchell Gresh could step in as starting linemen as Prep lost three OL to graduation. With the entire backfield, linebacker corps and most of the secondary gone, Mischler could receive contributions from Bryce Boyd, Dan Maloney, Stevie Crockett, Mike Cizmek, Sean Harris, Alex Kissell, Troy Woodard, Sullivan Johnson, Ta’Nauz Gregory and Koran Williams. Zach Bednarowicz and Mike Spizarny are both back at kicker and Bednarowicz was voted to the all-region second team at his position. Boyd, Maloney, Kissell and Johnson could all start at linebacker, while Crockett, Cizmek, Gregory, Williams and Norfolk could see time at defensive back.

The biggest change Prep goes through is players adapting to new coordinators. Brad Orlando, Prep’s offensive coordinator, left to become the head coach at McDowell, while defensive coordinator Matt Melle is now the defensive coordinator at McDowell. Mischler will take over as offensive coordinator and will call plays, and Mike Krahe steps in to run the defense. Norfolk developed as a quarterback over the past few years and will need to step up to be a leader on offense this season to help take the pressure off Charlie Fessler. The Ramblers are almost starting over from scratch with their massive graduation losses, but the program is strong enough to reload instead of rebuild. Prep will start the season with a brutal game at Cleveland powerhouse Glenville before two important region games against Strong Vincent and rival McDowell. The Ramblers end the season with four road games (three outside of Erie) to test themselves for the D-10 playoffs. If new players can adapt to the varsity level and new coordinators this fall, Prep should be the favorite in D-10 Class AAA, once again.

Schedule
August
29 at Glenville (Ohio) 7
September
5 Strong Vincent* 7
12 McDowell* 7
19 DuBois 7
26 Aquinas Institute (N.Y.) 7
October
3 Central Tech* 7
10 at St. Francis (N.Y.) 7
17 at General McLane* 7
25 at St. Joe’s (N.Y.) 2
31 at East* 7
*Region 6 games

Wednesday: Central Tech

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: June 30th, 2014

Blaine Wolfrom

Zach Stafford

Cambridge Springs Blue Devils
Coach: Clint Rauscher (4th season, 16-16)
2013 overall record: 8-3
2013 region record: 6-1 (second)
2013 playoff results: Lost to Mercer 35-14 in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Colton Noble, Devin Walker, Gavin Hohn, Luke LeSuer
Top returning players: Zach Stafford, Kris Silbaugh, Blaine Wolfrom, Juston Tapper, Braden Baideme, Steve Reisenauer
Assistant coaches: Jason Turner, Justin Grubbs, Jim Beach, Brian Costa, Dave Haregsin, Brian Babb
Outlook: Cambridge Springs put together an impressive 2013 season, finishing second in Region 2 and making the District 10 Class A playoffs. The Blue Devils’ only regular season losses were to Eisenhower, 21-14, and Class AA Fort LeBoeuf, 47-27. Cambridge Springs ended its season with a 35-14 loss to Mercer in the D-10 Class A quarterfinals. The Blue Devils will have some work to do to win eight more games this season. Cambridge Springs graduated Colton Noble, Devin Walker, Gavin Hohn and Luke LeSuer with all four playing big roles on last year’s team. Noble was voted the Region 2 co-player of the year after rushing for 1,599 yards and 23 touchdowns on 193 carries. He also had 109 tackles and voted to the all-region first team as a running back, punter and linebakcer. Walker is a big hole to fill at quarterback after throwing for 778 yards and eight touchdowns and rushing for 560 yards and 10 touchdowns on 63 carries. He was voted to the all-region first team at quarterback and his leadership is a big loss. Hohn ran for 159 yards and three touchdowns and caught eight passes for 160 yard and two touchdowns. He also had 53 tackles, one interception and knocked down nine passes. Hohn was voted to the first team as a kicker. LeSuer was a big blocker on the offensive line and second-team tight end.

 

While the Blue Devils will need some younger players to fill in at the skill positions, Cambridge Springs has plenty of experienced linemen back. Blaine Wolfrom and Juston Tapper are two standout linemen back to lead the way. Both were voted to the all-region first team on the offensive and defensive lines after dominant seasons. Connor Melvin, Nick Pearson and Josh Ebright are back as well. Zach Stafford is back after rushing for 675 yards and 11 touchdowns, while wide receiver Kris Silbaugh had 11 catches for 284 yards and four touchdowns. Stafford is also an important returnee on defense as a first-team all-region defensive back, while Silbaugh was voted to the second team at wide receiver. Braden Baideme is back at middle linebacker after recording 80 tackles and seven sacks in 2013 and defensive backs Steve Reisenauer and Jackson Miller are also back. Reisenauer, a junior, is expected to take over at quarterback and has the skills to run the triple option offense. Cody Lanning had 27 carries for 195 yards and one touchdown as a freshman and is expected to take on a heavy workload to replace Noble. Cambridge Springs has an experienced line back with several promising skill position players to fill in graduation losses. The Blue Devils could be near the top of the Region 2 standings, once again, this season.

Schedule
August
29 West Middlesex 7
September
5 at Saegertown* 7
12 at Youngsville* 7
19 Eisenhower* 7
26 at Maplewood* 7
October
3 Cochranton* 7
10 at Girard 7
17 at Union City* 7
24 Iroquois* 7
31 Northwestern 7
*Region 2 games

Tuesday: Cathedral Prep

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: June 29th, 2014

Bradford Owls
Coach: Jeff Puglio (6th season, 23-27)
2013 overall record: 2-8
2013 region record: 1-5 (tied for sixth)
2013 playoff results: Lost to Clearfield 51-7 in the District 9 Class AAA championship.
Top players lost: Sean Siffrinn, Ryan McCammon
Top returning players: Justin Fishkin, Rob Rice, Kyle Langdon, Alex Colosimo
Assistant coaches: Steve Ackerman, Jerry Pattison, Tom Reid, Davis Redington, Pete Kervin
Outlook: Bradford is looking to improve in a big way after struggling in 2013 after plenty of injuries. The Owls started the season with two wins, a 21-6 win against Kennedy Catholic, which no longer exists, and a forfeit win over Oil City after losing 49-0. Bradford lost its final eight games, including a 51-7 loss to Clearfield in the District 9 championship. The Owls open the season with two tough home games against St. Marys and Oil City. Bradford gets DuBois and Conneaut at home as well with road trips to Meadville, Olean (N.Y.), Franklin and Brookville. Bradford will need a boost in its offense after scoring 80 points in 10 games, while allowing 436 points.

Bradford has several areas to address, including guard and linebacker. Coach Jeff Puglio is looking for more cohesiveness on the offensive line and more consistency by the offense as a whole. On defense, he is looking for more pressure on the quarterback and the defense could use valuable experience gained by the secondary to take a step up this season. The Owls will have to replace Sean Siffrinn and Ryan McCammon after both graduated in the spring. McCammon led Bradford with 93 tackles, while Siffrin filled in several roles on offense and defense. Bradford returns most of its offense, including quarterback Zach Bartlebaugh, who threw for 275 yards and two toucdowns as a junior. Alex Colosimo returns after a breakout sophmomore season in which he ran for 626 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Kyle Langdon was the Owls’ second-leading rusher with 492 yards and three touchdowns, and sophomore Tim Shuster had a big freshman season running the ball with 255 yards and two touchdowns on 79 carries. Langdon also had 12 catches for 19 yards to lead the Owls, while Siffrinn was second with five catches for 119 yards. His lost production could be filled in by tight end John Pantuso, who had four catches for 85 yards and one touchdown. A big boost could also be the return of senior Justin Fishkin, who missed most of 2013 with injury. Rob Rice, Kyle Whitmer and Steve McNinch are all back on the offesive and defensive lines as well. Whitmer was second with 49 tackles for the Owls, and Colosimo had 48. Bartlebaugh was a big part of Bradford’s secondary and returns to lead the way after pulling down five interceptions in 2013. The Owls were young last fall and with only six seniors and the experience they gained in rough situations could turn out to be a blessing this season.

Schedule
August
29 St. Marys 7
September
5 Oil City* 7
12 at Meadville* 7
20 at Olean (N.Y.) 7:30
26 Central Tech 7
October
3 at Franklin* 7
10 DuBois* 7
17 Conneaut* 7
24 at Brookville 7
31 Bye

Monday: Cambridge Springs

–Tom Reisenweber

Switch to our mobile site