District 10 teams Cathedral Prep, Grove City, Hickory, Linesville and Mercyhurst Prep remain among the top 10 in the state, according to this week’s Pennsylvania Football News rankings. Click below to see the rankings:
Each year, Erie Times-News staff members spend much of the summer gathering information on District 10 football teams for the Summer Huddle series, Kickoff magazine and print previews.
Despite all of the research, it’s inevitable that talented players on some teams will not catch our attention. Then, on opening night – bam! – a few players burst onto the scene with huge performances. It happened Friday. Here are a few players who slipped under our radar that we’ll be watching now:
DeShawn Coleman, Hickory: The 6-foot 1-inch, 175-pound junior ran for more than 150 yards in the first quarter alone against West Middlesex. He finished with 295 yards on 18 carries, including TD runs of 80 and 55 yards.
Corey Henry, Strong Vincent: In the preseason, we talked about Vincent quarterback Denzel Jones and running back Michael Neavins, but Henry’s emergence could make the Colonels a force. The hulking 6-foot 2-inch, 217-pound fullback gives Vincent an inside power game. He rushed 15 times for 115 yards Friday in a 42-28 victory over General McLane. Jones also looked sensational.
Nathan McLaurin, Cathedral Prep: With a top-notch quarterback like Damion Terry, all Prep needs to do is get the line to protect him and find some sure-handed receivers. The Ramblers found at least one premier receiver in McLaurin, a 5-foot 9-inch 153-pound senior. He had nine receptions for 122 yards, including TD catches of 36 and 7 yards, in a 25-20 loss to McDowell. McLaurin gives Prep three deep threats, along with Kimani Smith and Delton Williams.
Khyre Drayer, McDowell: Yes, Greg Garmon is an all-state running back who garnered much of our attention in the preseason. But Drayer is a nice change-of-pace runner who piled up 130 yards on 14 carries against Prep. The junior scored on runs of 6 and 71 yards. At 5 feet 10 inches and 225 pounds, Drayer is a nightmare to tackle if he has a head of steam.
Fred Epps, Meadville: Artrel Foster and Terence Goodrum entered the season as the Bulldogs’ two vaunted speed backs. Epps, however, gives the team an effective change-up inside. He rushed 22 times for 187 yards in the Bulldogs’ 33-14 win over Fairview.
Here are a few others who emerged Friday: Lakeview’s Blake Reddick (13 rushes, 120 yards, 53-yard TD run), Harbor Creek’s Austin Griffith (7-of-7 passing, 78 yards, TD and 6-yard TD run), Linesville’s Elijah Anderson (10 rushes, 157 yards, 59-yard TD run), Oil City’s Sam Owoc (10 rushes, 109 yards, 2 TDs) and Wilmington’s Ryan Crawford (5 rushes, 85 yards, 3 TDs).
We’re sure more players will break out in the weeks ahead.
Two District 10 teams are ranked and seven others are listed among “others to watch” in the Pennsylvania Football News preseason state rankings, which were released Wednesday night.
Cathedral Prep leads all D-10 teams with a No. 4 ranking in Class AAA. The Ramblers are coming off a trip to the PIAA Class AAA semifinals and return record-breaking junior quarterback Damion Terry.
Defending District 10 AA champion Sharon is ranked 10th in AA.
Meanwhile, listed among “others to watch” are the following D-10 teams: Grove City in AAA, General McLane, Hickory and Wilmington in AA, and Farrell, Linesville and West Middlesex in A.
Click below for the complete rankings:
Coach (season, record): Pat Gould (7th season, 40-24)
2010 overall record: 6-4
2010 region record (place): 5-3 (tied for third)
2010 playoff results: Did not qualify for the District 10 playoffs.
Top players lost: Jack Sindlinger, Denny Diodati, A.J. Thompson, Dustin Buchanan
Top returning players: Jimmy Kearns, Jace Pardee, Dylan Merritt, Jon Weidner
Assistant coaches: Bill Stevenson, Nate Liberty, Doug Tucker
Outlook: Linesville coach Pat Gould has an interesting situation this fall. With Conneaut Lake consolidating with the Lions’ program, Gould has more players to choose from but at the same time is responsible for giving the former Indians a shot at earning a starting spot. The competition in camp should be intense and could create an even better Region 1 power. Linesville has some holes to fill with all-region members A.J. Thomspon, Jack Sindlinger and Denny Diodati gone to graduation as well as Dustin Buchanan. The Lions return Jimmy Kearns, Jace Pardee, Dylan Merritt and Jon Weidner and should be bolstered by the addition of the returning Indians from Lake. The biggest issue will be getting everyone to play as one team regardless of school but Gould is confident that the team is already coming together. The consolidation could be a plus with more players adding depth to the Lions’ team. Linesville will have two homecomings this season, one for Linesville and one for Conneaut Lake. The Lions will play varsity games on their home field with some of the lower levels still using Conneaut Lake’s field. Linesville didn’t get any favors from the schedule-makers with games against Lakeview, Mercer and Farrell in three straight weeks, but the Lions will have nearly a month to prepare for that brutal stretch.
2 Cambridge Springs 7
17 at Kennedy Catholic* 12
23 Lakeview* 7
30 at Mercer* 7
7 Farrell* 7
14 Conneaut Valley* 7
21 at Reynolds 7
28 West Middlesex* 7
4 at Sharpsville* 7
– Tom Reisenweber
Farrell remains the only District 10 team ranked No. 1 in the state polls as the second weekend of the postseason approaches.
The Steelers (11-0) are ranked No. 1 by the Pennsylvania Football News and No. 3 by the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
McDowell (No. 7, Class AAAA), Cathedral Prep (No. 8, AAA), Wilmington (No. 6, AA) and General McLane (No. 8, AA) also are ranked by the Patriot-News.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Football News ranks the following D-10 teams (in addition to Farrell): Cathedral Prep (No. 9, AAA), General McLane (No. 4, AA) and Wilmington (No. 5, AA).
For complete state rankings, click below:
There were some amazing performances in District 10 Friday, including two in one game — the North East-Fairview showdown.
Remember, the winner of the poll in the upper right will be featured Friday on the new “spadea wrap” on the front of the sports section.
Here are some nominees. As always, let us know if we forgot someone, and we’ll add them to the poll. Players from Saturday’s games also are eligible.
Peter Jackson, Fairview: 36 rushes, 238 yards, TD runs of 60, 18 and 2 yards
Jimmy Bailey, North East: 22 rushes 115 yards, 3 TDs, including game-winner in overtime. Also had 68-yard punt return for TD.
Aaron Horton, Mercyhurst Prep: 17 rushes 241 yards, TD runs of 16, 56, 84 and 9 yards
Zach Greenawalt, McDowell: 4 rushes 89 yards, including 83-yard TD run; also went 2-for-2 passing for 54 yards, including 39-yard TD pass
Cory Lee, General McLane: 15 rushes, 125 yards, TD runs of 14 and 19 yards
Trevor Litwiler, Linesville: 12 rushes, 128 yards; 7-of-8 passing, 111 yards, TD
Jared Burger, Union City: 36 rushes, 182 yards, 2 TDs
Dallas Williams, Oil City: Game-winning 94-yard fumble return for TD on final play; also had 6 receptions for 75 yards, including a touchdown
Kevin Green, Strong Vincent: 9 rushes, 100 yards, TD; also had 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown
Here are some candidates for the top honors this weekend:
Brandon Akins-Jones, Strong Vincent: 7 rushes, 129 yards, TD runs of 1, 61, 9 and 38 yards.
Gary Brown, East: 7-of-10 passing, 107 yards, 2 TDs; 6 rushes, 61 yards, TD
Jordan Elchynski, North East: 22 carries, 131 yards, 2 TDs
Zach Greenawalt, McDowell: 11 rushes, 178 yards, 2TDs; 57-yard TD pass
Aaron Horton, Mercyhurst Prep: 12 rushes, 165 yards; TD runs of 12, 35 and 60 yards
Dakota Schultz, Saegertown: 9 rushes, 102 yards, 3 TDs
Corey McWilliams, Fort LeBoeuf: 5 catches, 109 yards, 2 TDs (now has six TD receptions in three games)
Trevor Litwiler, Linesville: 21 rushes, 174 yards, 3 TD; 5-of-9 passing, 106 yards, TD
Jordan Kerner, Fairview: 7 rushes, 100 yards; TD runs of 11 and 63 yards
Jared Burger, Union City: 23 rushes, 164 yards, 2 TDs
Shyquawn Pullium, Cathedral Prep, 7 rushes, 225 yards, TD runs of 54, 69 and 72 yards, 4-of-8 passing, 73 yards, 2 TDs
There were many other worthy performances this weekend — more than we can list here. Who would you vote for? Who did we miss? Let us know.
Farrell and Wilmington remain atop the polls in their respective classes of this week’s Pennsylvania Football News rankings.
The Steelers are first in Class A and the Greyhounds, PIAA champions in 2008, in Class AA. They are the only District 10 schools ranked in PFN’s four polls.
District schools which received honorable mentions were McDowell in Class AAAA, Bradford, Cathedral Prep and Strong Vincent in Class AAA, General McLane in AA, and Linesville and Mercyhurst Prep in A.
– Mike Copper
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?
Wilmington, the defending PIAA Class AA champion, highlights five teams ranked in the Pennsylvania Football News Preseason Rankings released this week.
The Greyhounds finished 2008 at 15-1, including a thrilling double overtime win in the state championship over West Catholic, 35-34. Greenville is the other D-10 team in the Class AA rankings as a team to watch.
Rivals Strong Vincent and Cathedral Prep are ranked in the top 10 in Class AAA. The Colonels won the District 10 Class AAA championship over the Ramblers in ’08. 28-0. Vincent lost several starters but has a solid offensive and defensive line coming back. The Colonels are ranked No. 6 in the state, while their playoff-rival Thomas Jefferson is No. 1.
Prep is ranked No. 9 despite having an average year in ’08. The Ramblers created a buzz around the state by hiring Mike Mischler to return as head coach coupled with the heavy recruiting by Division I schools of Shyquawn Pullium has Prep at a top 10 spot.
In Class A, Farrell and Linesville are ranked No. 6 and No. 9, respectively. The Steelers made a deep run into the PIAA playoffs in ’08 before losing to Clairton and Pitt recruit Kevin Weatherspoon. The Lions had an outstanding season last year but lose to Farrell in the District 10 championship.
Mercer and Sharpsville, two teams that could surprise some teams in Class A, are both listed as others to watch.
For the complete rankings, click below
– Tom Reisenweber
Coach: Pat Gould
2008 overall record: 10-3
2008 league record (place): 7-1 (Region 1 co-champion
Playoff results: Lost to Farrell, 28-7, in the Class A District 10 championship game
Top players lost: RB/DB Doug Farley, TE Matt Laird, WR/DB Evan Smith, OL/LB Eric Daniels, OL/DL Kris Tursky, LB Matt Laird
Top returning players: QB/DB/K Trevor Litwiler, RB/WR Jimmy Kearns, RB/WR Walter Litwin, RB/WR Jack Sindlinger, OL Tanner Urbanick, OL Dennis Diodati
Key games: Oct. 2 vs. Farrell, Oct. 16 at Saegertown
Outlook: Linesville lost to two teams all of last season. The Lions lost twice in the regular season: once to Region 2 champion Saegertown and once to Farrell. Linesville’s season ended when it faced Farrell again in the Class A District 10 championship game. In its two games against Farrell, the Lions were outscored 55-7. But Linesville still had a very successful season and was co-champions of Region 1, along with Farrell and Mercer. The Lions had four members of the first team all-Region 1 offense and three members selected to the first team all-region defense. Doug Farley and Trevor Litwiler made both first team offense and defense. Litwiler, a quarterback, is the only one of those players returning, but he’s a an elite player. Litwiler’s main targets, in Matt Laird and Evan Smith, graduated too. The Lions also had five total players split between the second team all-region offense and defense (two offense, three defense) — including two graduating offensive lineman. Litwiler made the second team all-region team as the kicker. The offense next year is in good hands for Linesville. Litwiler threw for 909 yards on a 58.4 percent completion rate. He had 13 passing touchdowns and only five interceptions. He wasn’t a slouch in the ground game either. He ran for 763 yards and led the team with 12 rushing touchdowns. Farley led the rushing attack last year with over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns of his own. But he’s gone next season, and that offense will have to come from elsewhere. Litwiler had more than 48 percent of the Lions total yards gained last season. The defense loses key players as well. Litwiler was the only Linesville player who made all-region first or second team not to be a senior. The Lions have the players on offense to potentially replace Farley, but the defense also will need people to step up on the line, at linebacker and in the secondary. The team’s third, fourth and fifth leading rushers — Jimmy Kearns, Jack Sindlinger and Walter Litwin — all return and could vie for the starting running back spot. The Lions could repeat at region champs with a talent like Litwiler coming back, but others will need to assist him on both offense and defense.
4 Cambridge Springs 7
12 at Kennedy Catholic* noon
18 Lakeview* 7
25 at Mercer* 7
2 Farrell* 7
9 Conneaut Valley* 7
16 at Saegertown 7
24 West Middlesex* 7
31 at Sharpsville* 7
6 at Conneaut Lake* 7
* Region 1 game
Tuesday: Region 1: Mercer