Akron Hoban to take a shot in D-III after D-II state semifinals finish

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Akron Archbishop Hoban Knights

Akron Hoban reached the state semifinals in Division II
last season falling to eventual state champion Sylvania Southview 31-0. It was
the first postseason appearance for Hoban since 2005, which was the last season
of an eight-year playoff berth run.  

This season, the Knights “have a
chance of being a real good ball team,” according to head coach Ralph Orsini.


Akron Hoban (9-5)

* Players to Watch – RB/DB Lawrence Wynn (5-7, 146,
Sr.), FB/LB/P Nick Horning (5-10, 160, Jr.), WR/DB Ryan Ross (5-11, 160, Sr.),
FB/LB Travis Howe (5-10, 207, Sr.), OL David Sutter (6-0, 240, Sr.), WR/LB Greg
McMullen (6-5, 215, Soph.), LB Guiseppe Frisone (6-0, 212, Sr.), LB Stephan
Veilette (6-1, 212, Sr.), WR/DB Ben Coudriet (6-0, 165, Sr.), TE/LB Kyle Brett
(6-3, 203, Sr.), RB/DB Xavier Kirksey-Ivery (5-10, 150, Jr.) 

Outlook – It was ‘close but no cigar’ for Akron
Hoban in 2008. 

The Knights reached the state semifinals in Division II
last season falling to eventual state champion Sylvania Southview 31-0. It was
the first postseason appearance for Hoban since 2005, which was the last season
of an eight-year playoff berth run.  

New season…new division…new start. 

Hoban drops back down to D-III after four seasons in D-
II. 

“Division III has always been a strong division in the
state of Ohio year-in and year-out. As far as that goes, it is not going to get
any easier,” head coach Ralph Orsini said.  

“Getting through the regular season to earn the playoffs is
going to be tough but if we are fortunate enough to make it to the playoffs, it
doesn’t get any easier.”  

Hoban loses the bulk of its offensive production from last
season as Courdriet, Ross, Kirksey-Ivery, Wynn and Howe each step into starting
roles.  

“I think we have enough people coming back where we have a
chance of being a real good ball team,” Orsisni said. “One area we really need
to address early is the inexperience factor. We have a lot of players that will
be first-year players and our first four games are really tough so that maturity
at the beginning is going to be key.” 

Frisone, McMullen, Veillette and Jesser will be the anchor
on defense up front and at the linebacking positions. 

“Defensively, we ought to be a pretty good ball team,” said
Orsini. “We lost a couple of good players but the experience at linebacker will
be key for us there.  

“Secondary-wise, we are going to be young but I still
consider it to be a strength. We have some good athletes that can perform back
there and I don’t think we are going to miss a beat in the secondary.” 

As usual, Hoban faces one of the toughest schedules not
only in Northeast Ohio but in the state overall.  

“It is a real difficult schedule,” Orsini said. “Those
first four games (Akron Garfield, Walsh Jesuit, Louisville, and Akron SVSM) are
going to be a telling factor. We split those four last year and want to do at
least one better this year.  

“When you look at our team over the past dozen years,
playing the teams we have really prepared us for the postseason.” 

Schedule 

Aug. 27, Akron Garfield, 7 p.m.

Sept. 4, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, 7 p.m.

Sept. 11, at Louisville, 7 p.m.

Sept. 18, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 7 p.m.

Sept. 25, Warrensville Heights, 7 p.m.

Oct. 2, at Parma Heights Holy Name, 7 p.m.

Oct. 9, Elyria Catholic, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17, at Mentor Lake Catholic, 7 p.m.

Oct. 23, Parma Padua Franciscan, 7 p.m.

Oct. 30, at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin, 7 p.m.

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