High School Spotlight - Week 4
This week the second edition of our High School Spotlight series takes an in-depth look at the football programs in the Stars and Stripes Divisions of the Patriot Athletic Conference.
Patriot Athletic Conference: Stars Division
Black River Pirates
Head Coach – Al Young (29th season)
2017 Record – 11-2
Key Returners: QB Riley Bartolic, OL Mitchell Young, LB Spencer Constable, LB/RB Alex Vormelker
Key Losses: RB Riley Gibbs, RB Jacob Campbell, RB Travis Sexton, OL Trevor Scott, OL Cole Haswell, WR Brandon Weidrick, WR River Wheeler, WR/DB Garrett Hord
The Pirates are looking to take the next step after making a run to the Regional Finals last year, defeating Gilmour Academy and Wickliffe before ultimately falling to South Range to end their 2017 campaign. Head Coach Al Young returns for his 29th season at the helm and will look to help guide his program to a Stars Division title.
Head Coach – Paul Ferguson (4th season)
2017 Record – 2-8
Key Returners: QB Jonathan Hice, RB/LB Will Hawksley, OL/DL Malachi Sheffield, WR/DB Ravin Anderson, QB/DB Shawn Smith, OL/DL Tim Borgmann, OL/LB Adam Borgmann
Key Losses: WR/DB David Chambers, RB/DB Ronald Rivera, TE/DL Nate Brown, OL Jordan Ciza Cole, K/P Owen Rozanc, WR/DB Dustin Spirko, DB Noah Ortiz
Head Coach Paul Ferguson enters his fourth season as head coach of the Cardinals. Quarterback Jonathan Hice is back under center along with a plethora of talent on both sides of the ball. Senior Ravin Anderson is a playmaker who will contribute on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and defensive back.
Head Coach – Greg Dennison (2nd season)
2017 Record – 10-1
Key Returners: RB Anthony Watkins, RB/OLB Dom Monaco, TE/DL Logan Schultz, QB Jacob Doerge, TE/OLB A.J. Kirlough
Key Losses: RB/WR Justin Canedy, QB Adam Fauver, OL Dom Kriz, OL Spencer Murphy, OL Lucas Conrad, OLB Turner Mitchell, DB Patrick Caniglia, WR Johnny Neel
The Buckeye Bucks swept through the regular season and the Patriot Athletic Conference with a 10-0 record in Head Coach Greg Dennison’s first season at the helm. Despite the loss to Tallmadge in the first round of the playoffs, coach Dennison is excited to get back on the field in preparation for the 2018 season. The Bucks come into the year losing two of their best players to graduation in running back/wide receiver Justin Canedy and quarterback Adam Fauver. Despite those losses, coach Dennison is eager to see who will step up in their absence. This fall, the Bucks will look to make a repeat of last year’s regular season before taking aim at a deep run into the OHSAA playoffs.
Head Coach – Ryan O’Rourke (2nd season)
2017 Record – 8-2
Key Returners: DB Braedan Casper, Matt Kovach, Blake Ruffner
Key Losses: RB/DB Nick Denney, RB/DB Logan Strader, QB/DB Michael Bansek, OL/DL Tyler Bennett, OL/DL Sean Lipscomb, OL/DL Landon Peterson, TE/LB Luke Peterson, DL Richard Maggard, LB Garrett Tester, OL Clavin Stull, OL Noah Hammond, DB Anthony Faris
Finishing with an 8-2 record, including two very close losses to Buckeye and Black River, it was a very successful season for the Firelands Falcons in 2017. Once the OHSAA Playoffs kicked off in November, however, the Falcons were left out.
Despite some heavy losses due to graduation, Head Coach Ryan O’Rourke and the rest of his Falcons program are looking to remove all doubt this year and make sure their name is called when the postseason rolls around in 2018.
Head Coach – Don Griswold (2nd season)
2017 Record – 4-6
Key Returners: WR/DB Jacob Shackleford, RB/DB Anthony Provagna, WR/DB Isaac Manning, RB/DB Dylan Naylor, DE Jarod Febel, OL/LB Kayden Williams, OL/DL Karson Cendrosky, OL/DL Craig Copley
Key Losses: QB Bobby Weber, RB/DL Cole Corraini, RB/DB Jack Corraini, OL/DL Matt Kelling, OL/DL A.J. Fowler, RB/LB Jacob Saxton, OL/DL Nick Williams
The Wildcats finished with a 4-6 mark in 2017, but there’s plenty of confidence surrounding the program this season that Keystone can push for a winning season and a potential playoff spot.
Head Coach Don Griswold returns playmaking wide receiver and defensive back Jacob Shackleford as well as running back and defensive back Anthony Provagna.
Head Coach – Roy Moore (2nd season)
2017 Record – 0-10
Key Returners: QB Ben Higgins, WR/DL Zach Constantino, WR/DB Parker Adler, OL Joe Stout, OL/DL Caleb Teague, DL Michael Casello,
Key Losses: WR/DB Trevor Porter, DL/LB Brandon Sorg, RB/DB Mason Wright, OL Drew Mason, QB Tristan Arno, FB Justin Skinner, RB/DB Parker Rieske, LB Ryan Moon
The first season under Head Coach Roy Moore didn’t go as expected but plenty of veteran leadership returns this season in the form of quarterback Ben Higgins and wide receiver/defensive lineman Zach Constantino.
If Wellington executes more consistently on both sides of the ball this season, the Dukes could be vastly improved on the field this fall.
Patriot Athletic Conference: Stripes Division
Head Coach – Sean Belveal (3rd season)
2017 Record – 2-8
Key Returners: RB/DB Seth Majewski, QB/DB Hunter Smith, RB/LB Brandon Jakubecz, RB/DB Jordon Eberhardt, OL/DL Thomas Godley
Key Losses: QB/DB John Kenderes, RB/LB Matt Crossman, RB/DB Andrew Zarins, WR/LB Joey Sullivan, WR/DB Yamil Rivera, WR/DB Logan Hennings, WR/LB Isaiah Linder, DL Alex Gucwa, OL/DL Brandon Chiv
The Brooklyn Hurricanes are coming off a 2-8 season but return plenty of playmakers all over the field, led by seniors Seth Majewski, Hunter Smith, and Brandon Jakubecz.
Despite the loss of their quarterback from a year ago, John Kenderes, the senior class in 2018 should give Head Coach Sean Belveal some confidence that a winning season is right around the corner.
Head Coach – Mike Collier (12th season)
2017 Record – 9-2
Key Returners: RB/DB Drew Engle, LB David Renftle, LB Julian Colbert, RB/DB Fabion Kirkwood, RB/DB Trevor Bauer, RB/LB Jadis James, DB/WR Jordan Reed, WR/DB Jaylen Paschel, TE/OLB Avrey Cruz
Key Losses: QB Anthony Terry, LB Kahliel Fenderson, DB/RB Nomar Salas, WR/DB Kash Warren, WR/DB Gee Newton, WR/DB Jordan Dealmeida
After losing to Amherst in Week 1 in 2017, Clearview reeled off nine straight wins to finish the regular season 9-1, clinching a spot in the postseason.
Despite the first-round exit to Clear Fork, Head Coach Mike Collier and the Clippers return senior running back Drew Engle and will aim to make a deeper run in 2018.
Head Coach – Jason Ward (13th season)
2017 Record – 5-5
Key Returners: QB Jared Byczinski, RB/LB Brandon Coleman, WR/DB Jay DeLisle, RB Mike Lovell, DB Ben Alten, TE/LB Cole Schwartz, OL/DL Logan Wos, DB Adam Ross
Key Losses: OL/DL Nolan Miller, OL/DL Matt Carabello, LB Adam Allen, OL Jagger Schmidt, LB Adam Alten
It was a very up and down campaign for the Raiders in 2017, resulting in a 5-5 finish for Head Coach Jason Ward’s program.
Confidence is sky-high in 2018 however, as most of the team, including quarterback Jared Byczinski and running back Brandon Coleman, return in 2018, giving Columbia the experienced and veteran-laden team it needs to make a push to the top of the Stripes Division of the Patriot Athletic Conference.
Head Coach – Dave Latkovic (5th season)
2017 Record – 3-7
Key Returners: RB/WR/DB Jack Provenza, WR/DB Turner Hahn, QB/DB Tommy McNamara, QB Jeremy Sassano
Key Losses: OL/DL Don McClintock, FB/LB Adam Perkins, WR/LB Demetrius Allen, OL/DL Cody Keisner, OL/DL Trevor Lansu, DB Ashton Bumgardner, K/P Adam Nemeth
The Fairview Warriors return quarterback Tommy McNamara and do-it-all athlete Jack Provenza, which should give Head Coach Dave Latkovic a lot to be excited about entering the 2018 campaign.
Lutheran West Longhorns
Head Coach – Frank Petroff (5th season)
2017 Record – 4-6
Key Returners: WR Shawn Naim, OL David Busch, LB Nolan Raglund, OL Cole Nicholas, WR/DB Gerald McHenry, DB DeAnte Furry
Key Losses: RB Owen Albers, QB Rory Zakareckis, WR Brett Mather, RB Parker Watson, OL/DL Nick Moore, OL Garrett Frye, OL Evan Brown
Lutheran West started the 2017 campaign at 4-3 before stumbling in the last three games and finishing the year at 4-6.
This season, the Longhorns return seniors Shawn Naim, Gerald McHenry, and Nolan Raglund in addition to many other key contributors on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. With some better late-season execution in 2018, a playoff berth could be on the horizon.
Head Coach – Mike Akers (2nd season)
2017 Record – 5-5
Key Returners: RB/DB Ravon Eisom, WR/DB Aaron Arnold, WR Hunter Clawson, OL David Hopkins, OL/DL Alex Rucker, DL Jeremiah Sutton, OLB James Thomas
Key Losses: QB/DB Devan Yarber, OL/DL Matt Rasmussen, OL/DL Jeremy Austin, RB/LB Justin Noble
Oberlin comes into 2018 hoping to build off a four-game winning streak that closed their 2017 campaign. With the return of senior running back/defensive back Ravon Eisom, the Phoenix will look to make a push to the top of the Stripes Division of the Patriot Athletic Conference.