Bruins return 17 starters from last year’s playoff team


Parma Padua Franciscan Bruins

Parma Padua Franciscan made the playoffs last year with the No. 4 seed
in Division II, Region 5 and it returns a whopping 17 starters.

“We think we have a good group coming back and we want to capitalize on it,” head coach Tony Shuman said.


LB Dan Molls (6-2, 215, Sr.), QB Andrew Dziak (6-1, 185, Sr.), RB Cory DePiero (5-9, 201, Sr.), PK Scott Blasinsky (5-11, 175, Sr.), FS Nick Kaszei (5-11, 180, Jr.), TE/DE Mark Ellis (6-2, 215, Sr.), MLB Jake Mason (5-11, 198, Sr.), CB Anthony Pavia (5-11, 183, Sr.).


2007 Record: 7-4, Regional quarterfinalist

Parma Padua Franciscan made the playoffs last year with the No. 4 seed in Division II, Region 5 and it returns a whopping 17 starters.

“We think we have a good group coming back and we want to capitalize on it,” head coach Tony Shuman said.

Molls was named first-team All-Ohio and was the co-district defensive player of the year. He is ranked as the No. 57 senior prospect in the state by Ohio High and has been timed as low as 4.57 in the 40. As of press time, Molls held scholarship offers from Army and several MAC schools.

“Words that come to mind when I think of Dan and the way he plays defense, he plays fast while being a very hard hitter,” Shuman said. “When you think of the ideal defensive mentality, he’s got it. And then off the field, he’s a great student and role model. On the field, he’s old-school and he’s got an edge to him.”

At tailback, DePiero was named first-team All-Ohio and first-team all-district last year when he rushed for 806 yards (4.9 per carry), had 355 receiving yards (13.7 per catch) and 12 total touchdowns (10 rushing, 2 receiving).

“We run our offense through Cory and we know he can take on the load,” Shuman said. “We’ll try and spread out the carries a little more this year, but we’re intent on getting the ball to Cory. He has been our leading rusher and receiver and he is being recruited by four or five MAC schools.”

Looking at quarterback, Dziak was a second-team all-district selection a season ago when he threw of 995 yards, rushed for 484 yards and accounted for 10 touchdowns (8 passing, 2 rushing). Even bigger things are expected in his final prep season.

“Andrew had one outstanding season for us last year,” Shuman said. “He came out of gates strong and got better week to week. He had an outstanding playoff game against Mayfield.

“His decision-making, accuracy and running ability are his strengths. His arm strength needs to improve and he worked on that hard this offseason. Hopefully he will be more of a deep ball guy now.”

Blaninsky was named first-team all-district in 2007 is one of the top kickers in the state. He was 10-of-15 on field goals with a long of 47 and a pair of 45-yarders. He was also 25-of-26 on extra points, had a 35.4-yard average on punts and boomed 16 touchbacks on kickoffs. He also plays wide receiver and had 21 receptions for 188 yards and two touchdowns last year.

Ellis returns at tight end and Shuman calls him the “best blocker on the team in terms of technique and aggression.” Last year, Ellis had 14 catches for 190 yards (13.6) and two touchdowns and the coaching staff wants to get him more involved in the passing game this fall.

Kaszei is back at free safety for the Bruins. He only played five games last year due to a broken leg, but still finished the season with 47 tackles and four interceptions. The coaching staff is very high on him and said he was as productive as Molls prior to the injury.

Mason is a returning starter at linebacker and last year he collected 76 tackles (23 solo), 6 TFLs and two sacks en route to being an honorable mention all-district selection.

“He’s not the overall athlete that Molls is, but he’s productive, a good student of game and has natural football instincts,” Shuman said. “He reads blocks well.”

Pavia is Padua’s top cornerback and he returns for his third season in the starting lineup. Last year he had 58 tackles (18 solo) and three interceptions.

“He is a big playmaker for us in the secondary to go along with Kaszei,” Shuman said. “He is a very aggressive kid. In some short-yardage situations, we use him almost like a linebacker. He can run with any wideout and has a fearless mindset.”

Overall, expectation levels are very high at Padua. But Shuman knows his team has a lot of work ahead of it.

“We have a lot of experienced kids back,” he said. “Most of our seniors this year played as sophomores. We have good young men who work hard and have good character. But we know we have to buckle down and focus if we want to accomplish some of our goals. We’ve got to spread ball around offensively and play tough defense.”

In terms of the aforementioned goals, Shuman specified what he would like to see transpire this season.

“We want to get qualified for the playoffs again,” he said. “We have four home games and six road games – it was just the way the schedule worked out. We would love to have our first home game in the playoffs and that is something the kids are striving for. It would kind of be our fifth home game of the season.”

Shuman is entering his third season as head coach and he sees a difficult schedule when he looks ahead.

“We feel like we play in great league,” he said. “Lake Catholic, Hoban, Holy Name, Cathedral Latin, that’s our division. And then if we get in the playoffs, Region 5 is difficult. Howland was young last year and they’ll be around. Tallmadge is around every year. Cleveland South will be back.”



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