West Unity Hilltop posied to earn school’s second postseason berth

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West Unity Hilltop Cadets

It took nine years, but head coach Mike Bumb and his West Unity Hilltop
football team finally reached the mountain top. Last season the Cadets
earned the school’s first postseason berth.

The players, coaches and community may not have to wait as long for a return trip.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB/DB Chad Beals (5-11, 180, Jr.); WR/DB Neil Klinger (5-9, 160, Sr.); OL/DT Logan Mercer (6-2, 255, Jr.); OL/DT Josh Lesniak (5-7, 200, Sr.); QB Josh Westfall (5-11, 170, Sr.); WR Shawn Miller (6-2, 162, Sr.); DE/FB Logan Armbruster (6-3, 210, Sr.); OLB Josiah Poletta (5-9, 170, Jr.)

SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 8-3, Regional quarterfinalist

It took nine years, but head coach Mike Bumb and his West Unity Hilltop football team finally reached the mountain top. Last season the Cadets earned the school’s first postseason berth.

The players, coaches and community may not have to wait as long for a return trip.

Despite losing four all-league offensive lineman, including the tight end, Hilltop returns a wealth of skill players and young lineman eager for an opportunity.

“We feel we have enough experience back on offense with six starters to be competitive,” Bumb said. “We lost three very talented offensive lineman and our tight end which is a concern. We have decent, young offensive lineman and tight ends who will hopefully fill in nicely.

“If so, with most of our skill players back we could be good.”

Hilltop finished 8-3 last season and was excused from the playoffs by Arlington in the regional quarterfinals.

The firepower is there for further advancement.

Senior quarterback Josh Westfall (5-11, 170) returns after earning first team Toledo Area Athletic Conference laurels with 1,461 yards and 16 touchdowns. Westfall’s favorite targets also return in senior receivers Shawn Miller (6-2, 162) and Neil Klinger (5-9, 160). Klinger (first team TAAC) caught 19 passes for six TDs, while Miller had 17 catches for 267 yards and three TDs.

The running game will again be headlined by junior Chad Beals. A first team TAAC selection, Beals ran for 969 yards and 11 TDs last season. He also added 24 receptions and four TDs through the air.

Offensive linemen Josh Lesnick (5-7, 200, Sr.) and Logan Mercer (6-2, 255, Jr.) will be counted upon to anchor the line.

Defensively Beals (four intereceptions) leads a secondary that returns in tact.

Hilltop loses two linebackers and both defensive tackles from its front seven, which Bumb has called a “concern,” adding “but I like our young talent.”

Lesniak earned second team TAAC honors last season on the D-Line. Bumb is also expecting big things from senior Logan Armbruster (6-3, 210) who had three sacks from his defensive end position.

Said Bumb, who is 56-35 entering his 10th season: “We have a nucleus for a good football team. We need to have success early in the season and improve in some areas were we lack experience. (If we do that) we will be fine.”

SCHEDULE

8/22 @ EDGERTON
8/29 @ ANTWERP
9/5 HOLGATE
9/12 DANBURY (LAKESIDE)
9/19 @ TOLEDO CHRISTIAN
9/26 NORTHWOOD
10/3 OTTAWA HILLS (TOLEDO)
10/10 @ MONTPELIER
10/17 CARDINAL STRITCH (OREGON)
10/24 @ EDON

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