Mechanicsburg one of the early favorites in Region 24

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Mechanicsburg Indians

Is this the year Mechanicsburg takes the next step in the postseason? On paper it looks like it might be.

With 15 starters back from last year’s regional semifinalist, the Indians appear to be the team to beat in Region 24.

Once the season starts, we’ll find out if they are.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Andy Huffman (6-0, 175, Sr.); LB/RB Ethan Price (5-8, 165, Sr.); S/WR Joe Webb (6-1, 185, Jr.); DE/RB David Bethel (6-2, 175, Sr.); LB Dan Shoaf (6-2, 190, Sr.); TE/DE Keith Hurst (6-3, 170, Sr.)

SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 7-5, Regional semifinalist

Is this the year Mechanicsburg takes the next step in the postseason? On paper it looks like it might be.

With 15 starters back from last year’s regional semifinalist, the Indians appear to be the team to beat in Region 24.

Once the season starts, we’ll find out if they are.

“Team speed and experience will be a couple of our strengths,” second-year head coach Chris Kosiorek said. “We’ll be returning 8 starters on offense and 7 on defense. Offensively, we’ll have 3-5 lineman returning and all of our skill positions, led by Andy Huffman, who will be a third year starter and Joe Webb. Defensively, we return our top four tacklers, including Ethan Price and Dan Shoaf.”

Mechanicsburg lost to OHC rival Springfield Catholic in the regional semifinals last year and in 2006 was a regional finalist. The Indians offensive firepower is one reason expectations are heightened.

Huffman (6-0, 175) is one of the Miami Valley’s top quarterbacks after earning all-OHC and southwest district laurels last season (1,484 yards and 16 touchdowns). He brings an 18-6 record as a starter into his senior campaign.

The Indians backfield is loaded with the return of Price (5-8, 165; 550 yards, 12 TDs) and David Bethel (6-2, 175; 445 yards, six TDs). Both seniors were all-conference and all-district.

The wildcard is Webb, an explosive athlete and game-changer. Webb (6-1, 185) was first team OHC and southwest district last season and honorable mention All-Ohio after rushing for 441 yards and nine touchdowns. He also caught seven touchdowns and had 682 yards receiving.

The line returns four seasoned vets including seniors Keith Hurst (6-3, 170, TE) and Ryan Gould (6-2, 225, C) and juniors Tyler Wasserman (6-2, 220, G) and Josh Salyers (6-4, 220, T).

On defense the Indians return stalwarts Price (101 tackles, 12.5 TFL), Shoaf (101 tackles, 11.5 TFL), Webb (97 tackles) and Bethel (66 tackles). Price and Shoaf are linebackers, while Webb and Bethel excel at defensive back and defensive end, respectively.

Also back on a unit that allowed just 11 points per game the last seven weeks of the season, are seniors Billy Maddox (6-2, 170; 45 tackles, four sacks) and Hurst (39 tackles, 4.5 sacks) and sophmore Mason Poland (6-0, 175; 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks).

Mechanicsburg has been to the playoffs eight times in the last nine years. Might as well pencil it in as nine of 10.

SCHEDULE

8/22 @ WEST JEFFERSON
8/29 ADENA (FRANKFORT)
9/5 @ FAIRBANKS (MILFORD CENTER)
9/12 @ CATHOLIC CENTRAL (SPRINGFIELD)
9/19 NORTHEASTERN (SPRINGFIELD)
9/26 GREENEVIEW (JAMESTOWN)
10/3 @ SOUTHEASTERN LOCAL (S CHARLESTON)
10/10 CEDARVILLE
10/17 @ TRIAD (NORTH LEWISBURG)
10/24 WEST LIBERTY-SALEM (WEST LIBERTY)

 

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