Coach (season, record): Terry Verrelli (33rd season, 253-108-3)
2010 overall record: 7-5
2010 region record (place): 3-2 (third)
2010 playoff results: Lost 14-7 to Sharon in the District 10 Class AA semifinals.
Top players lost: Sutton Whiting, Jason McFarland
Top returning players: Anthony Derrick, Ryan Crawford, Bryn Kaufman, John Yohman, Tyler Donati
Assistant coaches: David Welch, Bob Mitcheltree, Pat Anderson, Brandon Ghillian, Brian Cooper and Rob Shimrack
Outlook: It could be trap year in Region 3 if any teams are doubting perennial power Wilmington. Sharon and Hickory had impressive seasons in 2010 to play each other for the District 10 Class AA championship, but to overlook the Greyhounds would be a huge mistake. Wilmington lost one of the top running backs in District 10 in Sutton Whiting and a standout lineman Jason McFarland but almost everyone else is back. Sharon and Hickory were hit much harder by graduation than Wilmington. The ‘Hounds return Anthony Derrick, Ryan Crawford, Bryn Kaufman, Jon Yohman and Tyler Donati. Wilmington’s strength this year will be it offensive and defensive lines as well as experience. The ‘Hounds had numerous underclassmen starting last fall and that experience could pay off in a big way.
The offense is set with the exception of replacing Whiting. Josh Tekac and Nick Vasko split time at quarterback last season and both return along with a backfield of Derrick and Donati. Crawford, Cameron Rossi and Zack Llewellyn are back after solid receiving seasons in 2010.
It’s no surprise Wilmington loaded up its non-region schedule with Class AAA teams and out-of-District 10 powers. The ‘Hounds actually don’t play a region game at home until a showdown with Hickory on Sept. 30. Wilmington follows with another brutal home game against Grove City, but the most important game of the year could come Oct. 21 against Sharon if both teams survive Hickory until that point in the Region 3 standings.
2 Slippery Rock 7
9 at Greenville* 7
16 at Karns City 7
23 at Reynolds* 7
30 Hickory* 7
7 Grove City 7
14 at Titusville* 7
21 Sharon* 7
28 at Warren JFK 7
4 Northwestern 7
Look for the Kickoff magazine at a Country Fair near you beginning Aug. 15. The 112-page magazine previews the upcoming District 10 football season, including top returning players, schedules, stats and more.
– Tom Reisenweber