Ravenna aiming for third playoff appearance in school history

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Ravenna Ravens Football

Ravenna made the playoffs for the second time in school history last year coming up one-point short of advancing to the second round falling to state semifinalist Mentor Lake Catholic.

But the Ravens only return only six starters for the 2008 campaign.



PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB/SS Blayr Davis (5-11, 180, Sr.), QB/WR/FS Jamiran Mack (5-10, 170, Sr.), FB/NG Chris Hudson (5-10, 225, Sr.), OL/DL Jake Bell (6-3, 270, Sr.)

SEASON OUTLOOK

Ravenna made the playoffs for the second time in school history last year coming up one-point short of advancing to the second round falling to state semifinalist Mentor Lake Catholic.

But the Ravens only return only six starters for the 2008 campaign.

“We only return two (players) offensively and four defensively having graduated 18 seniors. So, that is a big void to replace,” head coach Juim Lunardi said. “It is time for kids to step up and fill in and they are happy that those guys have moved on so they can do the things that they feel they can do for the team.

“It is time for them to step in and step up. I think it is more of an opportunity than a loss.”

Davis is the premier player on both sides of the ball. He rushed for 957 yards on 155 carries and nine touchdowns last year. He also had nine catches for 107 yards and a score. On special teams, Davis returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. He earned All-Portage Trail conference honors and was honorable mention Northeast District.

Bell, Mack and Hudson all bring starting experience but Lunardi is looking towards the younger players to fill some voids.

“We have a freshman class that only lost one game and has some pretty good talent on there,” he said. “The kids are sophomore and are inexperienced but there are some big boys and pretty mature for their age.

“We’re winning at all levels and for the kids it is contagious. It has taken a while to get like that but I took over an 0-10 program.”

Ravenna opens the season on the road against 2007 Division II state runner-up Louisville.

“We play a tough non league schedule and we have to be prepared right off the bat,” Lunardi said. “We have to buckle up and be ready to go. We ended in the playoffs and we have to start again in the playoffs. We definitely have to be ready to go.”

With the foundation if success in place, Lunardi is aiming to make winning a habit.

“(Making the playoffs) has to be one of those things that is engrained,” he said. “We don’t worry about winning and losing, we worry about how many points we score and if we are going to shut them out – that is what I am trying to teach the kids.”

SCHEDULE

8-21 at Louisville

8-29 at Streetsboro

9-5 Canton South

9-12 at Norton

9-19 Ravenna Southeast

9-26 Mantua Crestwood

10-3 at Kent Roosevelt

10-10 Akron Coventry

10-17 Mogadore Field

10-24 at Akron Springfield

 

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