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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.
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Posts tagged "Iroquois football"
Posted: July 14th, 2013

Iroquois Braves
Coach: Gerard Drozdowski (5th season, 14-27)
2012 overall record: 3-8
2012 region record: 3-4 (tied for fourth)
2012 playoff results: Lost to West Middlesex 75-13 in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Alex Williams, Justyn Roda, Joey Robinson, Anthony Visalle, Brandon Oswalt
Top returning players: Colin States, Jason McShane, Brad Steen, Shamus Brady, Dylan Carpin, Antonio Parra, Brandon Roda, Matt McLean, Markel Aviles
Assistant coaches: Jim Vogt, Brian Martin, Mike Whitney, Jeff McShane, Mark Cadden, Craig Tarr, Ken Kalie
Outlook: Iroquois made its way to the District 10 Class A playoffs before running into a buzzsaw in West Middlesex. The Braves lost a few key players to graduation but were overall a young team. Alex Williams, Justyn Roda, Joey Robinson, Brandon Oswalt and Anthony Visalle are gone and will be tough to replace. Oswalt was voted to the all-region second team at linebacker and Williams to the second team as a defensive back. Road led Iroquois with 758 yards and five touchdowns on 108 carries, while Williams ran for 713 yards and five TDs. The Braves return seniors Colin States, Jason McShane and Brad Steen and have a strong junior class in Shamus Brady, Dylan Carpin, Antonio Parra, Brandon Roda, Matt McLean and Markel Aviles. Brandon Roda is a second-team all-region running back, while States is a second-team offensive lineman. Brandon Road ran for 738 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore and caught six passes for 66 yards and one touchdown. McLean led Iroquois with nine catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Carpin threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns and is back at quarterback for the Braves. Linemen Austin Smith and Riley Weismiller are new players to varsity that could make an impact this year along with running backs Nathaniel Kightlinger and Tyler Barone. States and Parra are returning starters on the offensive line, with Carpin at quarterback, McLean at wide receiver and McShane and Roda at running back. States, Parra and Aviles are returning starters on the defensive line, while McShane, McLean and Roda are back in the defensive backfield. Iroquois will need to fill out its linebacking corps to shore up its defense this season. The Braves are in a region that appears to be up for grabs this season. Eisenhower and Mercyhurst Prep are traditional powers that might take a step back while Cochranton is in the mix as well. Iroquois has an explosive back in Brandon Roda and experience on the offensive and defensive lines. Carpin is back as a leader and if the Braves can fill in the gaps with reliable younger players, they could be a dangerous team in Region 2.

30 Harbor Creek 7
6 Youngsville* 7
13 at Eisenhower* 7
20 Cambridge Springs* 7
27 at Maplewood* 7
4 Cochranton* 7
11 at Fairview 7
18 Mercyhurst Prep* 7
25 at Union City* 7
1 at Lakeview 7
*Region 2 games

Sunday: Kennedy Catholic

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: April 16th, 2013

Here is a look at the Iroquois football schedule this fall. We will publish schedules as we receive them from schools.

All times p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Iroquois Braves
Date Scrimmages Time
Aug. 17 Conneaut 10 a.m.
Aug. 23 North East 7
Date Regular season Time
Aug. 30 Harbor Creek 7
Sept. 6 Youngsville* 7
Sept. 13 at Eisenhower* 7
Sept. 20 Cambridge Springs* 7
Sept. 27 at Maplewood* 7
Oct. 4 Cochranton* 7
Oct. 11 at Fairview 7
Oct. 18 Mercyhurst Prep* 7
Oct. 25 at Union City* 7
Nov. 1 at Lakeview 7

*Region 2 games

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Football
Posted: August 30th, 2012

Front of the rivalry T-shirt sold to fans.

With the changing of regions and classifications, Harbor Creek and Iroquois haven’t met on the football field since 2004. The Huskies beat the Braves 38-6 at Paul J. Weitz Stadium. The two rivals will meet Friday at the same place at 7 p.m.


The game has been dubbed the “Battle for the Bridge” and more than 800 black shirts were sold to fans on both sides of the rivalry. The front of the shirt is shown to the right.

Updates from the game can be viewed on the blog beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday. Fans can get updates from all 25 games involving District 10 teams and are encouraged to make comments and ask questions. Fans can also tweet score updates and photos from games using the hashtag #goerievarsity.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Football
Posted: July 15th, 2012

Iroquois Braves
Coach (season, record): Gerard Drozdowski (4th season, 11-19)
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: Parrish Brown, Matt Desin, John Drozdowski, Elliot Davison
Top returning players: Alex Williams, Justyn Roda, Michael Hasberry, Jaydon Cagnoli, Joey Robinson, Anthony Visalle, Brandon Oswalt
Assistant coaches: Jim Vogt, Mike Whitney, Jeff McShane, John Campbell, Brian Martin, Mark Cadden
Outlook: Iroquois struggled in 2011 and it won’t get any easier this fall. The Braves were hit hard by graduation at the skill positions and will be young at key positions. Parrish Brown, Matt Desin, John Drozdowski and Elliot Davison are gone, leaving huge holes at quarterback, running back and on the line. Desin threw for 213 yard and four touchdowns and he ran for 178 yards and three TDs. Brown was an all-region first-team selection at both running back and defensive back. He ran for 854 yards and nine touchdowns while collecting four catches for 93 yards and one touchdown. He also led the Braves with 101 tackles. Drozdowski, a second-team defensive lineman, had two sacks as a senior. Elliot Davison helped Drozdowski hold down the d-line but he has graduated after finishing 2011 with 96 tackles.

With everything Iroquois lost to graduation, the Braves will have some experience back. Justyn Roda and Alex Williams saw plenty of playing time in the backfield last fall. Roda, a second-team kicker, ran for 192 yards and three touchdowns on 37 carries, while Williams carried the ball 45 times for 158 yards. Williams also led the Braves in receiving with five catches for 47 yards and Roda had four catches for 65 yards and two touchdowns. Zach Cassidy could take over at quarterback. As a junior, he completed 4-of-19 passes for 38 yards in a backup role to Desin. Cassidy will have another target in Michael Hasberry as the senior is back at wide receiver and defensive back. Jaydon Cagnoli, Anthony Visalle, Joey Robinson and Brandon Oswalt are back on the offensive line and each will have an important role on defense.

Iroquois has a solid line back but will be inexperienced at the skill positions. With a relatively new backfield, including a new quarterback, the Braves will need to come together quickly. Iroquois opens the season at rival Harbor Creek before heading to defending Region 2 champion Youngsville. The ensuing four games could determine where the Braves finish to end the season. Iroquois gets Eisenhower, Cambridge Springs, Maplewood and Cochranton before a brutal non-region game against Fairview. The Braves have a tough schedule and will need to build chemistry in training camp to survive it.

31 at Harbor Creek 7
7 at Youngsville* 7
14 Eisenhower* 7
21 at Cambridge Springs* 7
28 Maplewood* 7
5 at Cochranton* 7
12 Fairview 7
18 at Mercyhurst Prep* 7
26 Union City* 7
2 Lakeview 7
*Region 2 games

Monday: Kennedy Catholic

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 29th, 2011

The Erie Times-News and 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.

Check out the links to the Times-News team previews:
Sunday: McDowell preview
Sunday: Region 6
Monday: Region 4
Tuesday: Region 5
Wednesday: Region 2
Thursday: Region 3
Thursday: Region 1

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: July 17th, 2011

Iroquois Braves
Coach (season, record): Gerry Drozdowski (3rd season, 9-11)
2010 overall record: 4-6
2010 region record (place): 3-5 (sixth)
2010 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Kevin Eyerly, Justin Brown, Jesse Ayala-Oquendo, Jeremy Ayala-Oquendo, Markel Richmond
Top returning players: Matt Desin, Parrish Brown, Nick Boozer, Ellio Davison, John Drozdowski, Alex Williams, Justyn Roda
Assistant coaches: Jim Vogt, Roman Boykin, Mike Whitney, Pat Callaghan, Jeff McShane, Brian Martin, Mark Cadden
Outlook: Iroquois is looking to turn things around after missing the playoffs the past two years. The Braves have plenty of experience back at the skill positions this fall. Parrish Brown, one of the fastest athletes in District 10, returns in the backfield, while quarterback Matt Desin is back under center. Nick Boozer and John Drozdowski will anchor the offensive and defensive lines, while Justyn Roda could be used on offense, defense and special teams this fall. The Braves’ strength is their athletic talent and depth at the skill positions. Iroquois prepares well for each game but it will need to develop some depth on the line.

Kevin Eyerly, Justin Brown, Markel Richmond, Jesse Ayala-Oquendo and Jeremy Ayala-Oquendo leave huge holes to fill for third-year coach Gerry Drozdowski. The Braves have a tough schedule, once again, and will need to survive the first two weeks in order to make a run at the region title. Iroquois starts the season on the road against Class AAA Oil City before defending champion Mercyhurst Prep for its home-opener. The Braves then have a trap game in Russell and another tough home game against Youngsville. The Braves’ most important stretch will come in the second half of the season. Iroquois will likely need to go at least 3-2 over its final five games to return to the postseason.

2 at Oil City 7
9 Mercyhurst Prep* 7
16 at Eisenhower* 7
23 Youngsville*
30 at Southington Chalker 7
7 Cochranton* 7
14 at Saegertown* 7
21 Union City* 7
28 at Maplewood* 7
4 Cambridge Springs* 7

Monday: Kennedy Catholic

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 23rd, 2010

Iroquois had a solid 5-5 season in 2009 but lost four of its final five games and missed the District 10 Class A playoffs. Second-year coach Gerry Drozdowski will rely on running back Parrish Brown and new quarterback Matt Desin in 2010. Here’s how the season shapes up:

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: October 10th, 2009

Photo galleries from Week 6 of the high school football season are now available on

View or purchase photos from Friday’s North East-Fairview and Mercyhurst Prep-Iroquois games and Thursday’s Corry-Strong Vincent game.

Also, look for a photo gallery after tonight’s Bradford-East game.

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: September 25th, 2009

There were several football standouts this weekend. You pick the best. Or, let us know who we missed.

Casey Pace, RB, Fort LeBoeuf, 15 rushes, 179 yards, 2 TDs

Scottie Frisina, QB, Corry, 15-of-20 passing 250 yards, 2 TDs; 9 rushes
104 yards, 3 TDs

Justin Wiley, RB, Cathedral Prep, 18 rushes, 82 yards, TD; 3 catches
90 yards, 2 TDs

Shyquawn Pullium, QB, Cathedral Prep, 10 rushes, 120 yards, 2 TDs; 92 passing yards, 2 TDs

Zach Greenawalt, QB, McDowell, 16 rushes, 120 yards, 2 TDs

Pat Pascarella, RB, Bradford, 16 rushes, 242 yards, 4 TDs

Matt Sleppy, DB, Iroquois, 42-yard fumble return for winning TD

Cory Lee, RB, General McLane, 12 rushes, 108 yards, 2 TDs

Cody Crosby, QB, Eisenhower, 21-of-30 passing, 315 yards, 2 TDs

Gary Brown, QB, East, 10-of-13 passing, 195 yards, 3 TDs; 5 rrushes, 29 yards, TD

Josh Williams, RB, Girard, 7 rushes, 108 yards, TD runs of 65 and 23 yards

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: September 4th, 2009

Alondre Hamilton, East, 226 yards, 10 carries, 3TDs
Cory Lee, McLane, 29 carries, 139 yards
Parrish Brown, Iroquois, 95 yards rushing, TD, 84-yard kick return for TD
Tim Schwenk, Mercyhurst Prep, 106 yards rushing, 61-yard TD, key interception
Trevor Litwiler, Linesville, 4 rushing TDs, 1 passing TD

Or does someone else deserve the honor?

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: July 15th, 2009

Iroquois Braves

Coach: Gerry Drozdowski
2008 overall record: 6-5
2008 region record (place): 5-3 (Tied for 3rd, Region 2)
Playoff results: Lost to Mercer 28-14 in the District 10 Class AA first round

Jake Szoszorek, ranks 2nd in school history with 325 tackles

Jake Szoszorek, ranks 2nd in school history with 325 tackles

Top players lost: RB/LB Zach Poulson, RB/LB Joey Finotti, OL/DL Brian Foley, WR/DB Jeff Harvey, K/WR Adam Krahe, OL/DL Jeremy Ropelewski
Top returning players: QB/LB Jake Szoszorek, OL/DL Trent Doxey, RB/DB Parrish Brown, WR/DB Justin Brown, TE/LB Tyler Fortin, OL/DL Erik Brown, OL/DL Josh Dornhoefer, OL Randy Boozer, RB/DB Ron Demchak
Key games: Sept. 25 vs. Union City, Oct. 9 vs. Mercyhurst Prep, Oct. 30 at Cambridge Springs, Nov. 6 at Eisenhower

Outlook: Few new head coaches are as familiar with their first team as Iroquois’ Gerry Drozdowski is. Drozdowski, who has been a football coach at some level at Iroquois for 20 years, a track and field coach for 21 years and a history teacher for 23, is taking over a program left behind by Mike Mischler who departed for Cathedral Prep. Adding to the familiarity, most of Drozdowski’s assistant coaches already have been in place at Iroquois for at least one season. It’s safe to say that Drozdowski has a winning tradition to keep up at Iroquois as the Braves have made the District 10 playoffs the past four years. Last season, Iroquois went 6-5 and finished in a tie for third in Region 2 before losing 28-14 to Mercer in the first round. The Braves were involved in four games decided by 14 points or fewer in 2008, posting a 3-4 record in them. By far the most important was their regular-season finale, a 13-10 win over Eisenhower that knocked the Knights out of the playoffs and catapulted the Braves into the field after tiebreakers were implemented. Coach Drozdowski feels a comfort level with his players, sharing time with them on the field and in the classroom for much of their careers. The team will look to again advance to the D-10 Class A playoffs but this time, try to advance past the first round which has been a sticking point for the Braves the last few years. The staff plans to continue to play “Iroquois football” which includes a balanced offense out of the I-back formation with some drop-back passes, mixed with play action and a healthy dose of the running game. That running game will be led by talented sophomore Parrish Brown, who looks to replace all-region runner and linebacker Zach Poulson (1,068 yards, 14 touchdowns). The Braves also lose their top pass catcher, all-region Jeff Harvey (382 yards, 5 touchdowns). Adam Krahe will be missed on special teams where he was all-region first team as a kicker and punter. However, the Braves do return their share of talented players, including linemen Trent Doxey, Erik Brown, Josh Dornhoefer and Randy Boozer and their quarterback Jake Szoszorek who was an all-state linebacker. Joining that group will be wide receiver/defensive back Justin Brown and tight end/linebacker Tyler Fortin. Along with a new head coach, Iroqouis will be playing on a new home field, recently installed A-turf. It’s safe to say that Iroquois will go through an easy coaching transition compared to what most programs go through, but it is yet to be seen if they will have enough to return to the Class A playoffs and advance deeper than they have in years.

4 at Conneaut Valley 7
11 Harborcreek Youth* 7
18 Warren 7
25 Union City* 7

1 at Saegertown* 7
9 Mercyhurst Prep* 7
16 at Youngsville* 7
24 Cochranton* 7
30 at Cambridge Springs* 7

6 at Eisenhower* 7

*Region 2 game

Thursday: Region 2: Mercyhurst Prep

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