High School Spotlight - Week 10 Part 1
This week the tenth edition of our High School Spotlight series takes an in-depth look at some of the local football programs in the Southwestern Conference.
Amherst Steele Comets
Head Coach – Mike Passarello (2nd season)
2017 Record – 6-4
Key Returners: QB Matt Fairchild, RB Khennedy Scagliozzo, LB Aidan Johnson, LB Christian Velez, LB Nathan Soto, OL Jared Prete, OL Russ Hellinger, OL Jacob Frankowski, OL Kyle Ketts, OL Jake Lezon, WR Eric Ritter, RB Alex Karohl
Key Losses: WR/DL Devin Holmes, WR Nick Keron, OL/DL Matt Lee, LB Matt Stevens, LB Aaron Gonzalez, DB Hunter Cassidy, DB Evan Shawver, OL Connor O’Doherty
The Comets are coming off a 6-4 season in 2017 where they just missed out on a playoff spot. This season, Head Coach Mike Passarello returns key contributors at most of the team’s positions on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Most notably led by quarterback Matt Fairchild and talented running back Khennedy Scagliozzo.
Head Coach – Mike Elder (12th season)
2017 Record – 13-1
Key Returners: QB Ryan Maloy, RB Nick Perusek, WR Jake Parker, OL Michael Bergen, DL Jack Roesch, DL Jacob Slunski, LB Mark Steinmetz, OL Aaron Endrizal, WR/DB Ryan Jones, DL Brandon Schaefer, OL Greg Sedlak
Key Losses: RB Tony Eberhardt, WR/DB David Orlando, WR Matt Kennedy, WR/DB Chris Mullins, TE Vlasi Pappas, OL Jimmy McKenna, OL Danny Burdick, OL Jack Liber, OL Matt Cooper, DL Max Torbert, LB Kyle Kudla, LB Alex Waters, DB Jackson Myers
It was an incredible run to the state semi-finals for the Avon Eagles in 2017, winning their first 13 games of the year, highlighted by a Southwestern Conference crown, and playoff wins over Toledo St. John’s Jesuit, Medina Highland, and Olmsted Falls, before falling to Akron Hoban in Week 14.
Head Coach Mike Elder returns quarterback Ryan Maloy as well as running back Nick Perusek in 2018, as the Eagles look climb one more rung and advance to the OHSAA Division 2 State Championship.
Avon Lake Shoremen
Head Coach – Matt Kostelnik (2nd season)
2017 Record – 6-4
Key Returners: QB Jack Mikolich, OL/DL Ryan Beckman, RB Konner Riggs, WR/DB Cole Schraff, WR/DB Luke Fedders, WR/DB Gabe LaBianca, OL/DL Noah Welsh, LB Matt Sanders LB Ryan McCrum
Key Losses: WR/DB Caleb Burr, WR/DB Andrew Butrey, OL Kyle Leitch, DL Jake Marinelli, DL Cutter Briggs, DL Maxwell Wittman, DB Jake Sommers, K Noah Fowkes
The Shoremen of Avon Lake finished with a 6-4 mark in 2017 just missing out on a postseason spot. The return of quarterback Jack Mikolich, as well as offensive and defensive lineman Ryan Beckman, gives Avon Lake plenty of veteran leadership in their quest to push themselves to the top of the Southwestern Conference in 2018.
Head Coach – Jon Hunek (3rd season)
2017 Record – 4-6
Key Returners: QB Trevor Bycznski, WR/DB Dwayne Holland, RB/LB Bryce Agnew, RB/DB Jabriel Williams, RB/LB Anthoney Miller, WR Garrett Waite, WR Omar Siggers, WR Jon Lyons, LB/DL Stephen Yerkey
Key Losses: WR Luis Wuudie vega, WR David Browning, WR Reid Perry, LB J.C. Bricker,
Berea-Midpark is looking to take a big step forward in 2018 after finishing with a 4-6 record last season. The return of multiple skill players on offense and defense will help push the Titans towards the winning season that the football program is looking for.
Head Coach – Tom Hannan (2nd season)
2017 Record – 1-9
Key Returners: QB Albert Wilhelmy, RB Will Adams, FB Nate Bilski, OL Alvin Musai, OL Keegan Frear, LB Dwighski Jackson
Key Losses: QB/DB Austin Mahar, FB/DL Jared Naida, WR Basho Kwaham, WR Milan Jackson, WR/DB Jay Boyd, OL Joe Giffels, OL Jacob Brown, LB Patrick Gilman
After a 1-9 finish in 2017 under first-year Head Coach Tom Hannan, the Lakewood Rangers football program is hoping to take some strides in the 2018 campaign.
Despite the loss of their veteran signal-caller Austin Mahar, the team does get running back Will Adams and physical linebacker Dwighski Jackson back.
Head Coach – D.J. Shaw (3rd season)
2017 Record – 8-9
Key Returners: WR/DB Seth Sanders, WR/DB Isaiah Johnson
Key Losses: QB Seamus Higley, RB Connor Wolfe, LB Jake Snider, DB Alonzo Banks, DB Ben Gendics, DB/RB Noah Markus, DB/WR Nick Crum, LB Trevor Begin, DL/TE Seth Frambach, LB/WR Owen Hawke
Midview clinched a playoff spot in 2017 after closing the regular season with an 8-2 record. The Middies got around one rematch with Olmsted Falls, who the team lost to in the regular season, 41-27. Despite an incredible effort, Midview’s season ended in heartbreaking fashion, falling 26-23.
This year the losses are heavy, as Seamus Higley, Connor Wolfe, and Jake Snider all depart. Even though experience will be limited for most of the players in the Middies’ starting lineup, Head Coach D.J. Shaw will lean on seniors Seth Sanders and Isaiah Johnson for veteran leadership as the team tries to get back to the playoffs once again in 2018.
North Olmsted Eagles
Head Coach – Tim Brediger (6th season)
2017 Record –4-6
Key Returners: RB/LB Darren Anders, LB Colin Strong, QB Liam Fay, WR Sean Elbin, WR/DB Nate Eyerman, OL/LB Ricky Scott, OL/DL Tyler Jones, WR/DB Owen Juhn
Key Losses: FB/LB Ryan Connolly, WR/DB Sean Conroy, OL Zach Rondeau
The Eagles started the season 4-2 before dropping their last four games to finish with a 4-6 mark in 2017. This season, running back Darren Anders returns to the North Olmsted offense, giving the program an excellent chance of outscoring their opponent every time they take the field in 2018.
In addition to Anders, the return of quarterback Liam Fay and linebacker Colin Strong give the Eagles the leadership it needs to help push the team towards a winning record this season.
North Ridgeville Rangers
Head Coach – Luke Durbin (5th season)
2017 Record – 3-7
Key Returners: QB Matt Steinmetz, RB Cade Riley, WR/DB Mikey Richmond, WR/DB Marcus McLean, OL/DL Jacob Mozny
Key Losses: LB/FB Jamir Malone, DB Cannon Kerr, RB Shomari Williams
It was a 3-7 finish for Head Coach Luke Durbin and the North Ridgeville Rangers in 2017, but the good news is the Rangers won three of their last four games, giving the program a lot of positive momentum as they head into their 2018 campaign.
The return of Matt Steinmetz under center gives the Rangers a steady presence in the huddle, but the loss of running back Shomari Williams will be felt in the early onset of the season.
Olmsted Falls Bulldogs
Head Coach – Tom DeLuca (6th season)
2017 Record – 11-2
Key Returners: QB Teddy Grendzynski, RB Jack Spellacy, WR/DB Michael Howard, WR/DB Braden Galaska, TE Dylan Renies, OL Nick Vance, OL Sam Lofton, DL Tommy Pettry, DL Trae Henderson
Key Losses: WR/DB Josh Jaeckin
It’s safe to say that the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs are looking forward to their match-up with the Avon Eagles in 2018. Head Coach Tom DeLuca and his team are coming off an 11-2 campaign in 2017, where the teams’ losses were to Avon in the regular season, 31-7, and then to Avon again in the Regional Final, 55-14. Giving the Bulldogs program every reason to circle the date of August 31st, 2018, when the two teams clash again.
Olmsted Falls is expected to be even stronger in 2018 than they were last season, returning most of their key contributors from last season. Giving the team a great chance to make another deep push into the postseason.
Head Coach – Jason Hall (4th season)
2017 Record – 0-10
Key Returners: RB/DB JJ Coleman, WR/DB Jacob Jablonski, QB Jacob May, WR/DB Kevin Walls, OL/DL Brennen Rowe
Key Losses: LB Matt Beaver, QB Billy Blood
Despite going 0-10 in 2017, the Westlake Demons have all the confidence in the world that strides will be made in 2018. The return of running back J.J. Coleman, as well as wide receiver/defensive back and Akron, commit, Kevin Walls, gives the program some excitement heading into their season opener at Eastlake North this Friday.