St.Vincent-St. Mary wanting to take next step in 2008

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Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary Fighting Irish

With a pair of losses to perennial power Cardinal Mooney last year, including a Week 12 setback, the Fighting Irish discovered the steps they needed to take in the offseason to reach the next level.

Second-year head coach Dan Boarman said his team has had a solid offseason and will hopefully take it to the next level in Region 13 and beyond.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

OL/DT Ben Bertsch (6-3, 250, Sr.), WR/CB Todd Culver (5-9, 170, Sr.), WR/CB David Lee (5-10, 170, Sr.), RB/LB Harvie Tuck (5-11, 220, Sr.), OL/DE-LB Nate Nasrallah (5-11, 215, Sr.), TE/LB Garrett Wilcox (6-3, 220, Sr.), QB/DB Vince Pelini (6-2, 180, Sr.), OL/DL Kyle Hammer (5-11, 290, Sr.), RB/LB Rhys Edwards (6-1, 200, Sr.), OL/DL Brian Cresswell (6-3, 285, Jr.), OL/DL Bryan Ausperk (6-6, 320, Jr.).

SEASON OUTLOOK

With a pair of losses to perennial power Cardinal Mooney last year, including a Week 12 setback, the Fighting Irish discovered the steps they needed to take in the offseason to reach the next level. Second-year head coach Dan Boarman said his team has had a solid offseason and will hopefully take it to the next level in Region 13 and beyond.

With seven starters back to anchor a defense that only allowed 13.2 points per game, the Fighting Irish are looking to have another good season under coach Boarman, who spent the previous 17 years at Copley before returning to his alma mater for a second go-round. Skilled players like senior wideouts Culver (29 receptions for 618 yards and seven TDs last year) and Lee, and senior back Tuck also return to the fold, which should provide stability on offense as well.

Although the Fighting Irish will have more size this season, Boarman said “we’re going to have some size, but I think we’ll be pretty similar to last year. We have some skilled players and our defensive unit is fairly intact. I think our defense should be a cornerstone of the team.

“The thing we need to do is we must develop an offensive line for our offense to be productive,” he continued. “We have to replace a couple of starters up front. We’ve got some good sophomores and juniors that should come around.

“It’s going to be hard to replace Kevin Saunders (wide receiver/safety). We also have to replace quarterback Roger Wilson. We feel that Pelini can get the job done. He has started five games as a junior and sophomore so he does have some experience,” Boarman added.

With Mooney and Steubenville also in what is perhaps one of the toughest regions in the state, Boarman knows his Fighting Irish has a tough road ahead.

“We are looking to have a good year. The success we have depends on what the kids did in the offseason and what they are doing now,” Boarman noted. “When anyone speaks of a state power, Mooney is a team that has been talked about for the past several years. We want to be where Mooney is at. We just hope that we can continue the tradition of St. Vincent-St. Mary football and get better.

SCHEDULE

8/23 at Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph

8/29 at Bellville Clear Fork

9/5 vs. Akron Garfield

9/12 vs. Akron Hoban

9/19 at Napoleon

9/26 vs. Canton Central Catholic

10/3 vs. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit

10/11 at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney

10/17 vs. Hunting Valley University School

10/24 at Youngstown Ursuline

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