last year, but was bounced in the second round of the playoffs. This
year, the Tigers return a talented group that includes 13 starters (9
offense, 4 defense). Howland is a legitimate D-II state championship contender.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
TE/LB Tyler Scott (6-4, 230, Sr.), RB/CB Dante Marsh (5-11, 185, Sr.), OT Craig Stan (6-5, 235, Sr.), C/DT Clay Cooper (6-4, 270, Sr.), OL/DL Matt Cash (6-1, 285, Sr.), QB Matt Preston (6-2, 195, Jr.), RB Mike Mangiarelli (5-11, 175, Jr.), KR Kyle Spence (6-2, 190, Sr.), FB Solomon Jackson (5-10, 230, Sr.).
2007 Record: 11-1, Regional semifinalist
Howland finished the regular season with the No. 1 seed in Region 5 last year, but was bounced in the second round of the playoffs. This year, the Tigers return a talented group that includes 13 starters (9 offense, 4 defense).
Leading the way is Scott who is ranked as the No. 44 senior prospect in the state by Ohio High. As a junior in 2007, he had 92 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions on defense, and added six receptions and a touchdown offensively.
“He is an outstanding player and is athletic as hell,” Howland head coach Dick Angle said. “He can play tight end, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, down end, anything you need. He went to three one-day camps this summer: Ohio State, Penn State and Notre Dame. He also has a 3.7 GPA.”
Marsh is ranked as the No. 79 senior in the state by Ohio High and he will carry the load once again for the Tigers this year. Last season, Marsh exploded for 1,130 yards and eight touchdowns.
“Dante had a great year for us last year,” Angle said. “He had zero fumbles. We try and be a two-tailback offense usually, but Dante obviously gets the ball a lot. He will have to play more defense for us this year too. He’s a fantastic corner.”
When the Tigers mix in a second tailback, they will go with Mangiarelli who had 598 yards and six touchdowns last year and is called an “outstanding athlete” by Angle.
At quarterback, Preston was impressive last year when he threw for 730 yards, rushed for 537 yards and accounted for 15 touchdowns (10 rushing, 5 passing). He is ranked as one of the top junior signal callers in the state by Ohio High.
“Matt will be a two-year starter and he had a great year last year running and throwing,” Angle said. “He is a great athlete and is going to play some defense this year for us at free safety. He’s also a very good baseball player.”
Angle also feels good about his three top linemen – Stan, Cooper and Cash – who are each ranked in the top 150 in the state by Ohio High.
“Craig Stan has been offered by all the service academies,” Angle said. “He is looking at all of his options. Buffalo recently offered him as well. He has a 3.7 GPA.
“Cooper is just a real solid football player and a big guy who is hard to move out of there.
“And Cash is strong as hell. He is a 400 bencher and is pretty quick for his dimensions.”
Rounding out the players to watch are Jackson (10 TDs last year; can bench 400) and Spence (8 catches, 117 yards, 1 TD, 9.8 yards per punt return).
Angle is entering his 10th year at Howland and his 35th overall as a head coach.
“It’s been fun and I’ve been blessed,” Angle said.
As for his goals, Angle knows he has a good team to work with, but also knows that making a deep run in the playoffs won’t be easy.
“You want to win the league and get back to playoffs then it’s new season,” Angle said. “We found that out last year that it doesn’t matter what you did in the regular season once the playoffs begin. But to win it, you’ve got to get in it first.
“I think we have as good of a chance as anybody else to get to the dance, but we’ve got a long way to go. It’s nice to have starters back and all that, but you’ve got to have chemistry. Last year our seniors provided great leadership and we’ll have to see how this group does. We’re committed to making our offense better. We’re a smart team and that will help.
“Our schedule is not very favorable. We’re on the road our first four games so we just want to get through those first four games. If we can stay healthy, keep our heads focused, we will be competitive.”
Aug. 21 @ Ashtabula Lakeside
Aug. 30 Klein Forest (Tx) in Herbstreit Classic at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium
Sept. 5 @ Hubbard
Sept. 12 @ Canfield
Sept. 19 Chaney
Sept. 26 Beaver Local
Oct. 3 @ Poland
Oct. 10 Niles McKinley
Oct. 17 @ Youngstown Liberty
Sept. 10 Warren JFK