Norwalk St. Paul suits up for another run at a state title

Image

Norwalk St. Paul Flyers

Over the last 13 years, Norwalk St. Paul has added its name to Ohio’s top football programs regardless of division. The Flyers own 11 playoff trips since 1995 and have reached at least the regional final each of the last four years. This season both trends should continue. Offense will be St. Paul’s strength. The Flyers return eight starters from a unit that averaged 39.6 points per game.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

OT Chris Doughty (6-3, 295, Sr.), DE Jacob Rhoad (5-11, 205, Sr.), QB/SS Eric Schwieterman (6-1, 195, Jr.); OL Shawn Hemenway (5-11, 235 Jr.); FB Matt Wilde (5-8, 175, Sr.); HB Adam Pugh (5-11, 175, Sr.); HB Rob Kunisch (5-6, 165, Sr.); G Clint Nickoli (5-10, 195, Sr.); C Scott Meyer (5-8, 185, Sr.); OT Shawn Hemenway (5-11, 235, Jr.); DB Dan Tracht (5-11, 175, Sr.)

SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 11-2, Regional Finalist

Over the last 13 years, Norwalk St. Paul has added its name to Ohio’s top football programs regardless of division. The Flyers own 11 playoff trips since 1995 and have reached at least the regional final each of the last four years. This season both trends should continue.

Offense will be St. Paul’s strength. The Flyers return eight starters from a unit that averaged 39.6 points per game.

Junior quarterback Eric Schwieterman (6-1, 195) is three-year varsity starter (startedaAt defensive back as a freshman) and returns for his second season under center. He was second team Firelands Conference last season after throwing for 1,129 yards and 10 touchdowns. Schweiterman also rushed for 354 yards and four scores.

Running duties will be delegated to senior Matt Wilde (5-8, 175) the majority of the time. Wilde earned first team Firelands Conference honors last year after tallying 1,053 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Senior halfbacks Adam Pugh (5-11, 175) and Dan Kunisch (5-6, 165) will see their share of snaps as well. Pugh had 161 yards and two touchdowns last year.

St. Paul is especially strong along the offensive line where four of five starters return including standout junior Shawn Hemenway (5-11, 235)) and senior Chris Doughty (6-3, 295) honorable mention FC) anchor a line that brings back four regulars.

Hemenway was first team FC and second team All-Ohio last season, while Doughty was honorable mention FC.

Seniors Clint Nikoli (5-10, 195) and Scott Meyer (5-8, 185) return at guard and center, respectively.

“We have a lot of talented players returning on the offensive side of the ball,” longtime head coach John Livengood said. “We need to gain experience quick on defense.”

On defense, St. Paul brings back three starters, including senior end Jacob Rhoad (5-11, 204), senior defensive back Dan Tracht (5-11, 175) and Schwieterman.
Rhoad (79 tackles, five TFL), Tracht (76 tackles) and Schwieterman (68 tackles, three TFL) all earned FC honors.

Said Livengood, who has a 154-48 career record: “We have a positive outlook if the new starters step in and play well.”

St. Paul opens at Sandusky St. marys before hosting Tiffin Calvert in Week 2. The Flyers draw a new opponent in Week 3 with Huron replacing Elyria Catholic.

SCHEDULE

8/23 @ ST MARY CENTRAL CATHOLIC (SANDUSKY)
8/30 CALVERT (TIFFIN)
9/6 HURON
9/12 @ PLYMOUTH
9/20 CRESTVIEW (ASHLAND)
9/27 MAPLETON (ASHLAND)
10/3 @ SOUTH CENTRAL (GREENWICH)
10/10 @ WESTERN RESERVE (COLLINS)
10/18 NEW LONDON
10/24 @ MONROEVILLE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *