The Fairview football team made the playoffs in 2013 but lost its all-time leading rusher, Shannon Jackson, to graduation. Can the team regroup this season. Watch the Tigers’ video preview and read the Fairview Summer Huddle preview.
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 will not return this year because of a concussion. 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
Coach: Jim Brinling (4th season, 14-15)
2012 overall record: 6-4
2012 region record: 4-3 (tied for third)
2012 playoff results: Lost to Wilmington 47-0 in the District 10 Class AA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Taylor Mosier, Shawn Nerthling, Lucas Bender, Ryan Cardman, Brandon Locke, David Biletnikoff, Tanner Tregaskis
Top returning players: Shannon Jackson, Jeff Dann, Ben Kocan, Kyle Bugenhagen, Hunter Jageman, Michael McCloy, Dan Paden, Sean Welch
Assistant coaches: Malcom Beall, Luke Beall, Dave Hudson, Mike Parmeter, Scott Vincent
Outlook: Fairview made its way through a tough region but like all Region 4 teams, the Tigers ran into a powerhouse in the first round of the playoffs. With 15 of the 22 starting positions back this year, Fairview is primed to have another big year. The Tigers will have to replace several solid players. Taylor Mosier, Shawn Nerthling, Lucas Bender, Ryan Cardman, Brandon Locke, David Biletnikoff and Tanner Tregaskis are gone to graduation. Mosier was voted to the all-region first team at linebacker and second team at all-purpose. Nerthling was voted to the second team at offensive line, and Bender to the second team at defensive line. Cardman, Locke and Biletnikoff are big losses on both the offensive and defensive lines, while Tregaskis is a big loss at running back and defensive back. Fairview has seven starters back on offense and eight on defense. Ben Kocan is back at quarterback and defensive back. He threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns last season.
The biggest named back is running back Shannon Jackson. He ran for 2,014 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior and caught four passes for 59 yards. Jackson had 24 total touchdowns and 49 tackles. He was voted to the all-region first team at running back and second team as a defensive back. Jackson is back to start on both sides of the ball as well as TE/DE Hunter Jageman, OL/DE Jeff Dann, OL/DL Sean Welch and WR/DB Michael McCloy. Dann is a first-team all-region offensive lineman. Kyle Bugenhagen is back to start at tight end, while Dan Paden is back at linebacker and Joe Martone at defensive back. Paden lead the Tigers with 61 tackles in 2012. To go along with the returning starters, Harold Coles, Kevin Burkholder, Ryan Plazony, Kraig Rainey and Jason Hunter are new players that could step in and make a difference right away on the varsity level. Coles could see some carries out of the backfield and earn playing time as a defensive back, while Burkholder, Plazony, Rainey and Hunter could be in the mix for playing time on the offensive and defensive lines.
While having a 2,000-yard back this year is important, Kocan’s development at quarterback could be key for the Tigers. He will need to command the offense and facilitate a rushing attack of Jackson, Martone and Coles. While the backfield is set, the lines will be important as well. Bugenhagen and Jageman are two talented tight ends that can open up some holes on the outside, while Welch and Dann will play important roles on the line as well. The Tigers open the season with two road games, including a rivalry showdown at Girard. Fairview’s biggest stretch could come at the end of the season. The Tigers travel to Fort LeBoeuf and host Northwestern to wrap up the year. Both could be must-win games to ensure a return trip to the postseason. Fairview has one of the more experienced teams back in Region 4 and one of the best players in District 10 in Jackson. If the Tigers can develop their line and get another big season out of Jackson, Fairview will be a tough team to beat.
30 at Youngsville 7
6 at Girard* 7
13 Corry* 7
20 at North East* 7
27 at Seneca* 7
4 Harbor Creek* 7
11 Iroquois 7
18 at Fort LeBoeuf* 7
25 Northwestern* 7
*Region 4 games
The Fairview girls soccer team moved down to Class A in the offseason and became an instant contender for the District 10 championship.
Junior midfielder Anna Reynolds is a big reason the Tigers were preseason favorites. Reynolds was part of a strong midfield that supported the offense and defense as a cohesive unit.
She made her presence know in the postseason with two assists in a 4-1 win over defending D-10 champion Wilmington in the semifinals.
Reynolds followed that up with one goal and one assist in a 2-0 win over Mercer for the D-10 title.
Strong Vincent’s starters looked strong against Fairview on Saturday during the first day for scrimmages for PIAA teams.
The Colonels dropped to Class AAA from AAAA in the offseason. Fairview, playing on its new turf at Keck Field at Jack Bestwick Stadium, is Class AA.
“We did well,” Vincent coach Scott White said of the scrimmage. “Going against ourselves the first week of practice we don’t get a good look. For the first time, we went against an opponent, and we looked good. We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress.”
The Colonels looked particularly solid on the line, where they have all but one starter returning. Center Kyle Bogle (5 feet 11, 230 pounds) and tackle Tashan Jordan-Mitchell (6-1, 290) lead the big group of returnees.
“That seems to be where our strong point is,” White said. “We only graduated one lineman last year, so we’re going to lean on the line more. That’s where our experience is.”
However, the Colonels also have key players back in fullback Corey Henry (741 yards in 2011) and halfback Chris Kirkland (745). Kirkland showed his big-play ability by breaking a 60-yard touchdown run Saturday on a sweep with Henry leading the way. Henry, meanwhile, displayed his bruising, physical running style on several runs up the middle.
Vincent position battles: Two places where Vincent’s White is looking for starters to emerge are the right halfback and quarterback positions.
Seniors Craig Heidelberg and Kyle Mathis are competing to replace 1,200-yard back Mike Neavins. Both players had their moments Saturday. Heidelberg, a former Cathedral Prep player, had several tough runs up the middle.
Meanwhile, there’s a three-way battle for the starting quarterback spot. Chris Starocci, a junior who transferred from Prep, has been getting the most repetitions in practice, but seniors Anthony Twillie and Tyreek Green also are competing for the starting job. The winner of that competition will replace standout Denzel Jones, who ran for 1,085 yards and passed for 890 yards.
Fairview runner shows promise: One Fairview player who might have caught fans’ attention at Saturday’s scrimmage against Strong Vincent is senior Tanner Tregaskis.
Tregaskis is a former wide receiver who led the Tigers with 16 catches for 135 yards in 2011. However, he was running out the tailback spot Saturday with junior Shannon Jackson.
Tregaskis exhibited some solid moves and good vision, and he ran tough inside.
Jackson is Fairview’s leading returning rusher with 474 yards on just 88 carries in 2011. Tregaskis’ emergence could give the Tigers a solid one-two punch at tailback.
Bad news for McDowell, Koper: McDowell is dealing with a tough blow after starting quarterback Jarrett Koper suffered a broken leg in practice. Koper’s father confirmed that he has a broken tibia. It’s not certain if Koper will be able to return in 2012.
Koper is McDowell’s leading returning rusher after running for 681 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011.
There’s no word yet on who is in line to start at quarterback in Koper’s absence.
It’s always rough when a high school athlete suffers an injury. But it’s particularly devastating when that player is a key contributor who had big plans for a senior season. The Varsity blog wishes Koper a speedy recovery.
Kickoff magazine is expected to be available at all Country Fair locations in Erie County and Crawford County today and then in Country Fair locations throughout northwestern Pennsylvania by Friday.
What is Kickoff? It’s District 10′s most comprehensive high school football season preview. All week, we’re giving fans a sneak peek of the magazine on the Varsity blog. Today, we’ll look at What’s New for football season in 2012.
Page 6 of Kickoff is dedicated to telling fans about the new developments in District 10. We discuss McDowell’s move away from the WPIAL, Conneaut’s first season, six coaches at new schools, new turf at Fairview’s stadium, rules changes and more. The page also guides fans throughout the magazine to find more in-depth information about those topics and others. Read it all by picking up a Kickoff at a Country Fair.
This is the third edition of the award-winning Kickoff produced by the Erie Times-News, and we believe it’s our best. Fans can get 116 pages packed with information, feature stories and color photos, and it will be available for $5 by Friday at all area Country Fair stores.
Coach (season, record): Jim Brinling (3rd season, 8-11)
2011 overall record: 1-8
2011 region record (place): 1-5 (tied for sixth)
2011 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class AA playoffs.
Top players lost: Joe Kocan, Mickey Ferrare, Carl Nerthling
Top returning players: Brandon Locke, David Bile, David Biletnikoff, Shawn Nerthling, Jeff Dann, Kyle Bugenhagen, Hunter Jageman, Tanner Tregaskis, Michael McCloy, Ben Kocan, Shannon Jackson, Taylor Mosier, Dan Paden, Carl Fonticella
Assistant coaches: Malcolm Beall, Luke Beall, Dave Hudson, Mike Parmeter, Scott Vincent
Outlook: Fairview will look to rebound this fall after a tough one-win season in 2011. The Tigers were young and gained valuable experience while going through some growing pains. Fairview graduated Joe Kocan, Mickey Ferrare and Carl Nerthling, all of which leave big holes. Kocan was voted to the all-region second team as a defensive back and ran for 336 yards and three touchdowns on 52 carries. Kocan also caught six passes for 42 yards. The Tigers also lost top rusher Dan Rosendahl, who carried the ball 175 times for 890 yards and six touchdowns. Fairview went through some offensive struggles with an inexperienced team. The Tigers averaged 13.6 points per game and only went over 20 points twice. The first was a 34-21 win against Northwestern and the second a 32-21 loss to Seneca.
The good news for Fairview fans is the abundance of experienced players back this season. Brandon Locke, David Biletnikoff, Shawn Nerthling, Ryan Cardman, Lucas Bender and Ryan Brink are back on the offensive and defensive lines as well as tight ends Kyle Bugenhagen and Hunter Jageman. Juniors Jeff Dann, Ryan Plazony, Kevin Burkholder and Craig Rainey add to the depth up front as well as sophomores Sean Welch and Jason Hunter. Sophomore quarterback Ben Kocan is looking to shore up a backfield that did not throw a touchdown pass last year. Ben Kocan completed 18-of-32 passes for 161 yards as a freshman. Shannon Jackson, Taylor Mosier, Dan Paden, Joe Martone and Lucas Hess will battle for carries at running back. Jackson had 474 yards and three touchdowns on 88 carries in 2011, while Mosier had four carries for 11 yards. Tanner Tregaskis, Michael McCloy, Anthony Minneci, Hugh Hartsell and Ben Burton will see time at wide receiver. Tregaskis led Fairview with 16 catches for 135 yards last fall, while Bugenhagen had 56 yards on three catches.
The growing pains from last fall could pay off for Fairview this year. The Tigers have experience and ability this year in a region that is somewhat wide open. General McLane is gone but Corry and Fort LeBoeuf have arrived. With plenty of question marks surrounding traditional Region 4 powers like North East, Fairview could step in and get back into the postseason. The Tigers won’t have to wait long to see where they stand in the region. Fairview will take on Girard, Corry and North East in the early part of September. If the Tigers can make it to October with three or for wins, they will be in great shape not only for the playoffs but the region title as well.
31 Youngsville 7
7 Girard* 7
14 at Corry* 7
21 North East* 7
28 Seneca* 7
5 at Harbor Creek* 7
12 at Iroquois 7
19 Fort LeBoeuf* 7
26 at Northwestern* 7
*Region 4 games
– Tom Reisenweber
Coach (season, record): Jim Penley (9th season, 34-47)
2011 overall record: 3-7
2011 region record (place): 3-5 (fifth)
2011 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class A playoffs.
Top players lost: Jordon Hefferman, Logan Head, Clay Caffaro, Ken Peters
Top returning players: Jared Flaisman, Nathan O’Brien, Jeb Fedorchuk, Aaron Lundmark, John Pascuzzi, Trevor Spicer, Rob Wilston, Alex Johnson, Jarrett Johnson
Assistant coaches: George Sanders, Jeff O’Brien, Brandon Ferman, Dave Sabat, Steve Brendlinger, Dustin Huntoon
Outlook: Eisenhower is on its way back up after a tough 0-10 season in 2010. The Knights went 3-7 last fall and let a few games slip away in the final minutes. Eisenhower didn’t get hit too hard by graduation and the growing pains of the last two seasons could pay off this year. Jordon Hefferman, Logan Head, Clay Caffaro and Ken Peters graduated leaving a few holes for coach Jim Penley, who was on the Pennsylvania staff for the Big 33 game this summer. Hefferman could be the biggest loss after being voted to the all-region second team as an offensive and defensive lineman. Hefferman had 82 tackles as a senior and recorded 38.5 pancake blocks on the offensive line. Head led Eisenhower with 91 tackles and caught nine passes for 111 yards, while Peters had 26.5 pancake blocks on the offensive line and Coffaro recorded 40 tackles.
The Knights have plenty of experienced starters back this fall, including Nathan O’Brien. O’Brien was voted to the all-region first team as a defensive back and the second team as a punter. He paced the Knights with 17 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns and developed a strong bond with quarterback Aaron Lundmark, who is also back. Lundmark threw for 589 yards and seven touchdowns. On the line, Jared Flaisman returns after being voted to the all-region second team. Jeb Fedorchuk, John Pascuzzi, Trevor Spicer, Rob Wilston, Alex Johnson and Jarrett Johnson are back as well to lead the Knights. Pascuzzi carried the ball 115 times for 730 yards and four touchdowns, while Spicer had 361 yards and one touchdown on 80 carries. Wilston was third with 326 yards and one touchdown on 90 carries, while Alex Johnson ran for 184 yards and one touchdown. Alex Johnson also had 62 tackles and Spicer had 52.
Eisenhower has the experience and the drive to put together a winning season and make the 2012 postseason. The Knights face a big test right away against Mercer but September could be the most important month. Eisenhower will travel to Maplewood and Iroquois, two tough teams at home, before hosting Mercyhurst Prep, Cochranton and Cambridge Springs (first week of October). Eisenhower’s biggest game of the year is always a rivalry showdown with Youngsville but by Week 9, the Knights should know if they are heading to the playoffs or not.
31 Mercer 7
7 at Maplewood* 7
14 at Iroquois* 7
21 Mercyhurst Prep* 7
28 Cochranton* 7
5 Cambridge Springs* 7
12 at Conneaut 7
19 at Union City* 7
26 Youngsville* 7
2 at Cameron County 7
*Region 2 games
– Tom Reisenweber
The Erie Times-News and GoErie.com are continuing District 10 football preview coverage this week, leading up to Friday’s season openers. Starting Sunday, the preview coverage included Region 6, McDowell and Region 4. The coverage will continue through Thursday. Included in each preview are complete rosters for each team.
Earlier, the Times-News published the 112-page Kickoff preseason guide and posted the online Summer Huddle series on the Varsity blog.
Jim Brinling takes over as the head coach at Fairview, one of District 10′s most consistent football programs. Brinling, who replaces Jerry Lightner, welcomes the return of Penn State recruit Jordan Kerner, a 6-foot 5-inch 225-pound fullback-linebacker. He’s an all-stater defensively. Meanwhile, Tommy Weidle steps in at quarterback. Here’s a look at the Tigers:
Fairview running back Jared Lane keeps battling back from hamstring injuries and keeps turning in impressive performances.
The senior speedster ran 17 times for 114 yards and a touchdown in the Tigers’ key 30-8 victory over Girard on Friday.
His performance helped set up Fairview’s Region 4 title showdown with General McLane on Friday in the regular-season finale. The Tigers can clinch a share of the region title by beating the Lancers.
Lane will be featured as the Breakout Player in Friday’s Times-News sports section. Here’s how the online voting went:
Who's the Week 9 District 10 Breakout Player of the Week?
- Jared Lane, Fairview (38%, 40 Votes)
- Justin Wiley, Cathedral Prep (22%, 23 Votes)
- Richie Kolesar, Fort LeBoeuf (11%, 11 Votes)
- Gary Brown, East (8%, 8 Votes)
- Jared Burger, Union City (7%, 7 Votes)
- Corey Dunton, Cambridge Springs (5%, 5 Votes)
- Kevin Green, Strong Vincent (5%, 5 Votes)
- Cory Lee, General McLane (4%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 104