Players to Watch – OL/DL Justin Woo (5-11, 260, Sr.), LB/RB Joe Janasek (6-0, 185, Sr.), OL/DL Alex Littell (6-1, 225, Sr.), OL/DL Andy McGill (5-10, 200, Sr.), OL/DL Sam Gaeth (6-1, 220, Sr.), WR/DB Matt Piscitello (6-1, 187, Sr.), WR/DB Mark Ruby (5-9, 160, Sr.), TE/DE Darryl Baldwin (6-6, 250, Jr.).
Outlook – The Comets reached the second round of the 2007 playoffs before falling to eventual state runner-up Mentor 23-13. It was Solon’s ninth straight playoff berth. Coach Jim McQuaide returns five starters on offense and six on defense.
Woo has been a two-year starter on the offensive line and also helped at defensive tackle. He started at guard last year. Gaeth and Littell also return on the OL at center and tackle, respectively.
“We have three starters back on the offensive line and this is comforting,” McQuaide said. “We also have three starters back in the secondary. Some areas where we need to find some experience are in the offensive backfield, at linebacker and at kicker and punter.”
Janasek tallied 111 tackles, including 20 tackles-for-loss as a junior. He started at linebacker and helped at fullback last year. He was a first-team All-Northeast Ohio Conference pick last year.
“Joe is being looked at by all of the schools in the MAC,” McQuaide said.
Piscitello had 50 tackles last year at cornerback and also helped out at wide receiver. Baldwin started in 2007 as a sophomore (34 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss) and already has several major colleges interested.
Junior Jake Voigt (5-11, 180) started one game at quarterback last year and could be a candidate there. He also played some at free safety. Junior Juan Lemus (5-9, 175) accumulated 360 yards and three TDs alternating at running back last year.
“We have finished second in our league the last two years and one of our major goals is to add another league championship,” said McQuaide, who is back for his sixth year as the Comets head coach. “We have some good guys returning, but we know we will have a tough schedule.”
Solon’s slate includes road games at Canton McKinley, Mentor, Brunswick and Strongsville.
Aug. 23 at Canton McKinley
Aug. 29 Massillon Jackson
Sept. 5 at Mentor
Sept. 12 at Mayfield
Sept. 19 Hudson
Sept. 26 at Lakewood
Oct. 2 at Brunswick
Oct. 10 Elyria
Oct. 17 Medina
Oct. 24 at Strongsville