2006 Record: 12-2
Canton McKinley reached the Division I state semifinals last year and lost a heartbreaker to Mentor, 18-13. This season, head coach Brian Cross welcomes back a talented group and McKinley could be in the hunt for the state title once again.
“We want to get better week-to-week, win the Federal League and compete for a state championship,” Cross said.
If that is going to happen, a new quarterback will need to step up – either Tim Davis (6-0, 185, Sr.) or Jordan Evans (5-10, 170, Jr.). They split time as the junior varsity quarterbacks last year.
Running back Christian Griffin (5-10, 205, Sr.) is a transfer from St. Thomas Aquinas where he was the third-leading rusher in Stark County with 1,400 yards in 2006. And the Bulldogs have another solid running back in Marvin Johnson (5-9, 205, Sr.).
As usual, McKinley is well-stocked with college prospects. Brandon Mingo (5-8, 150, Sr.) is one of the top cornerbacks in the state. He has excellent speed and will lead the way for the Bulldogs on defense.
The top lineman on the team is senior left tackle Sean Whited (6-2, 255, Sr.) who is a returning starter.
“He is a very good high school left tackle,” Cross said. “As far as his college prospects, he is kind of a tweener. He would probably have to move to center to be a Division I player.”
The lone three-year starter on the team is WR Kenyad Blair (6-2, 190, Sr.) who is the son of former Philadelphia Eagles WR Kenny Blair.
“He has a chance to be a Division I college wide receiver,” Cross said.
Two more key players for McKinley are LG Andrew Suwell (5-11, 245, Sr.) and FB Myrell Smith (5-9, 215, Sr.). Suwell is a two-year starter. Smith will be a first-year starter but played a lot last year – especially down the stretch.
Cross thinks that Region 2 is loaded once again this year, including rival Massillon Washington.
“There are some good teams out of Toledo,” Cross said. “Whitmer has a lot of talented kids coming back. St. John’s always does a nice job and they will be there again this year. And then of course the teams from the Federal League. I think this league is as good as any league around.”
|8/25/2007||Detroit (Mich.) Pershing||–|
|9/1/2007||Tulsa (Ok.) Union||–|
|9/14/2007||@ North Canton Hoover||I|
|10/5/2007||@ Massillon Perry||I|
|10/19/2007||@ Massillon Jackson||I|