Last year’s state runner-up, Shadyside has made the postseason six times in the last seven years with two trips to the regional final and a state semifinal appearance in addition to last year’s runner-up finish. A return trip to the postseason seems imminent in 2007.
Eric Frantz has more on the 2007 Shadyside Tigers.
QB Billy Merryman (5-10, 145), WR Nathaniel Haney (5-11, 165), LB Dustin Sadlowski (5-11, 190, Sr.), C Jeff Campbell (5-10, 250, Sr.), LB Ross Palicka (5-10, 170, Sr.)
2006 Record: 11-3
Shadyside enters this season with a target on its back and head coach Ty Flemming is ecstatic.
“That’s good,” Flemming said. “If you don’t have a target on your back that means you haven’t done anything.”
The Tigers have done plenty.
Last year’s state runner-up, Shadyside has made the postseason six times in the last seven years. Over that span, the Tigers have compiled a 13-6 playoff record with two trips to the regional final and a state semifinal appearance in addition to last year’s runner-up finish. A return trip to the postseason seems imminent.
Despite the loss of four lineman and first team All-Ohio running back Taylor Jovicic, Shadyside returns plenty of weapons, starting with quarterback Billy Merryman. One of the state’s best small school signal callers, Merryman returns for his third year under center after earning honorable mention All-Ohio honors last season. A three-sport star (basketball and baseball), Merryman will play a large role again in the Tigers success.
“It’s always good to have your QB back,” Flemming said. “He’s a three-year starter and he’s going to have to provide some great leadership early until we start jelling.”
The Tigers averaged 36 points per game last year and scored over 40 seven times. Those blowouts allowed a lot of players to gain Friday night experience, albeit under less than stressful situations.
“We had a lot of kids get playing time, but a lot of them haven’t been under the gun,” Flemming said. “There will be a little more pressure on them this year.”
Senior Dustin Sadlowski hopes to cushion the loss of Jovicic. A three-year starter in the backfield, Sadlowski will move from fullback to halfback.
“He’s going to get a lot more touches than he has the past two years,” Flemming said.
Senior receiver Nathaniel Harney also returns.
“We feel really comfortable with our skill people,” Flemming said. “The key will be the line. If you can’t block anyone it doesn’t matter what you have at the skill positions.”
Defensively, Shadyside has some holes to fill as well.
“The first and third levels were wiped out,” Flemming said. “Our second level is back in tact though.”
Linebackers Sadlowski and senior Ross Palicka headline the defense. Harney returns at corner.
“It’s nice to have the linebackers back,” Flemming said. “Last year that was a little bit of a question mark with Taylor being the only returner, but this year that will be our strength.”
Strong is a word that can be used to describe Shadyside’s schedule as well. A revamped slate awaits.
“It’s one of those things where when you have a lot of success people don’t want to play you anymore,” Flemming said. “We’ve definitely had to go out and upgrade the schedule.”
Unlike last year when it was forced to play a nine-game regular season, Shadyside has a full 10-game schedule. New additions include Williamstown (W.Va) and Glouster Trimble. Gone is Grove City Christian.
Williamstown is riding a 38-game regular season winning streak and finished state runner-up in West Virginia’s Class A the last two years to Wheeling Central Catholic. WCC, the three-time defending West Virginia champ, is also on Shadyside’s schedule.
Flemming is not concerned.
“We don’t have to teach that winning attitude here, the kids already have it,” Flemming said. “They know what it takes to get the job done to get to where we want to be.”
Shadyside 2007 Schedule
|8/31/2007||@ Woodsfield Monroe Central||5|
|9/7/2007||Wheeling Linsly School (W.Va.)||N/A|
|9/15/2007||@ Wheeling Central Catholic (W.Va.)||N/A|
|10/5/2007||Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans||6|
|10/26/2007||Bellaire St. John Central||6|