Continued success expected for Bellaire under new head coach

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Bellaire Big Reds

Bellaire has made the playoffs each of the last four seasons and reached the state semifinals game three of those four years.  But the Bellaire football program will have a significantly different look for the 2007 season after John Magistro stepped down as head coach to make way for long-time offensive coordinator Greg Bonar.


OL Tyler Robinson (6-0, 230, Sr.), OL Bobby Mansfield 6-1, 240, Sr.), WR Nick Liberati (6-1, 170, Sr.), WR Ty Tobiczyk (5-11, 165, Jr.)

2006 Record: 13-1

In recent years, success on the gridiron has become expected at Bellaire High School.

The Big Reds have made the playoffs each of the last four seasons and reached the state semifinals game three of those four years.

But the Bellaire football program will have a significantly different look for the 2007 season. After leading the Big Reds for 24 years and to a 181-76 record, John Magistro stepped down as head coach to make way for long-time offensive coordinator Greg Bonar.

“It is going no different than what I thought it would be like,” Bonar said. “I’ve been preparing for this the last 7-10 years. It is not like it just got sprung upon me. I’ve been writing things down, taking notes, making lists for several years now. So, when it finally happened I was kind of prepared for most of the things that have happened so far.”

In addition to having a new head coaching on the sidelines, Bellaire will have many new players stepping into key positions following a graduated senior class of 16, which included first team All-Ohio WR Trey Masciarelli, first team All-Ohio LB Jordan Traylinek, and second team All-Ohio QB Nick Rocchio, OL/DL Dustin Bruce, RB/DB Jayson Keyser to name a few.

“This is one of the heaviest losses we have had in a while but I think one of the reasons we do well every year is we expect to win,” Bonar said. “We do not look at things pessimistically and expect to do well. This year is no different.

“Every year you have people to replace. Last year, we had Nate Davis to replace and Nick Rocchio stepped in and threw 44 touchdown passes and did a great job for us.

“This year, lose our whole offensive backfield and top two receivers. We’re just hoping that people step up and it always seems to happen. We have a lot of players that are talented and hopefully will know their names here in the next few months,” he said.

Another concern for Bellaire this season will be the ground game. Bonar is looking towards several players that were on the reserve squad last year to step in on the varsity level.

“As far as the backfield is concerned, we’re unproven but have done a nice job of playing all the reserve games and it is something we really emphasize playing between eight and nine J.V. games a year. So, we always feel like our players aren’t completely inexperienced,” he said.

And with the success Bellaire has had the last four seasons, Bonar feels the extra practice through those long playoff runs has been beneficial for the younger players.

“We’ve gone 14 weeks several times and we like to think that for even the players that didn’t play much, the fact that you’re practicing for four extra weeks a lot of years really helps your cause,” he said.

“They have been working very hard. Physically, we have some players that are fast. We should have good team speed again and good size on the line. But anytime you have speed, you can break the game wide open because you can make big plays.”

Bellaire
2007 Schedule

Date Opponent Division
8/25/2007 Wheeling Park (W.Va.) N/A
8/31/2007 @ Glen Dale John Marshall (W.Va.) N/A
9/7/2007 @ Ryland Buckeye Local 3
9/15/2007 St. Clairsville 4
9/22/2007 @ Steubenville Catholic Central 6
9/29/2007 Cadiz Harrison Central 3
10/5/2007 @ Belmont Union Local 4
10/13/2007 Richmond Edison 3
10/19/2007 @ Wintersville Indian Creek 3
10/27/2007 Martins Ferry 5

 

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