Union City Bears
Coach (season): Randy Gunther (1st season)
2011 overall record: 2-8
2011 region record (place): 2-6 (tied for sixth)
2011 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 Class A playoffs.
Top players lost: Justin Bengel, Kyle Hetrick, Cole Lewis, Curtis Brown
Top returning players: Josh Reinke, Gage Michael, Storm McDonald, Brody Mangel
Outlook: Union City’s future could be in jeopardy after a low turnout over the summer. The Bears have 20 returning players from last year and only three confirmed freshman so far. Randy Gunther takes the program over after a quick one-year stint by Joe Sanford. Union City graduated Justin Bengel, Kyle Hetrick, Cole Lewis and Curtis Brown in the spring and lost Jarred Brooks, who moved. Lewis was a second-team all-region offensive lineman, while Bengel was a second-team linebacker. Hetrick led the Bears in rushing last season with 644 yards and six touchdowns on 148 carries, while Brooks was second at 265 yards on 59 carries. He also had four catches for 34 yards and one touchdown.
Union City has a decent group back this season but depth will be a major issue. Josh Reinke, a second-team wide receiver and defensive back, led the Bears with 19 catches for 346 yards and six touchdowns. Quarterback Brody Mangel is also back after throwing for 377 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman. Gage Michael and Storm McDonald are back on the line and their leadership could be crucial this fall. Running back Jason Klus and wide receiver Austin Kinney could step in right away and be impact players for the Bears. Union City opens with two brutal games at Lakeview and a home opener against Mercyhurst Prep. A three-game stretch could decide the Bears’ season at the end of September. Union City travels to Cochranton, Cambridge Springs and Youngsville in three straight weeks. The Bears may still be a year away from contending but building the program and generating interest are the two most important things for Union City this year.
31 at Lakeview 7
7 Mercyhurst Prep* 7
14 Maplewood* 7
21 at Cochranton* 7
28 at Cambridge Springs* 7
5 at Youngsville* 7
12 Girard 7
19 Eisenhower* 7
26 at Iroquois* 7
2 Corry 7
*Region 2 games
– Tom Reisenweber