String of failed levies has Canal Fulton Northwest ‘under the gun’


Canal Fulton Northwest Indians

Canal Fulton Northwest has made the playoffs eight straight seasons but the entire athletics program is now in jeopardy following a series of failed levies. If the Indians are going to win their first state football title, they better do it soon.

The following is a look at the 2009 Canal Fulton Northwest Indians.

Canal Fulton Northwest (8-3) 

* Players to Watch

RB/DB Evan Bach
(5-10, 180, Sr.), WR/LB Bobby Schilling (6-0, 210, Sr.),
QB/FS Bryan Jones (6-0, 180, Sr.), WR/CB Tim May (5-8, 160, Sr.), WR/DE Mitch
Lewis (6-2, 240, Sr.), WR/PK Joe Demaree (6-0, 170, Sr.), PK Seth Miracle (6-1,
170, Sr.), OL Gavin Hudson (6-2, 230, Jr.), FS Ben Beadle (5-10, 170, Sr.), LB
Stephan Socotch (5-10, 180, Sr.), NG Brandon Konen (5-8, 170, Sr.) 

* Outlook – If Canal Fulton Northwest is going to win its first state football title, it better happen soon.

After a series of failed levies in the school district – 11 to be exact –  athletics will be eliminated at Northwest following the 2010-2011
school year.  

The football program has made the playoffs eight straight

“We’re fighting for our lives here and we’re under the
gun,” head coach Vic Whiting said. “The kids on this football team have paid a
price to be on this football team. Not only do they work hard but they have to

The fee is $400 per student-athlete to participate in

As for the X’s and O’s for 2009, Whiting likes the team he
is going to field. 

“We’ve got good kids and there is no doubt about that.
We’re going to be really young and we’re going to be small,” he said. 

Bach headlines the roster after moving from receiver to the
backfield last season and rushing for 1,659 yards on 215 carries and 20
touchdowns. He made the position change after all three Northwest tailbacks went
down with season-ending knee injuries. 

“(Bach) did a pretty good job at tailback but we had no
receiving threat once he went to tailback,” Whiting said. “We just kind of ran
out of bullets.” 

Reloading under center, Jones returns at quarterback coming
off a 74-of-129 passing effort for 975 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine

“(Jones) was disappointed he threw for under 1,000 yards
last year but when you have people who are talented covering man-to-man and
loading up the box, things get tough,” said Whiting. “It was tough to beat
anyone one-on-one so our passing stats were down.” 

Defensively, the linebacking corps returns with Schilling
as the focal point. He tallied 166 tackles as a junior with four sacks and two
interceptions. Lewis had 52, respectively. 

But according to Whiting, Northwest will field its share of
underclassmen in 2009 

“You don’t know what is going to happen because you don’t
know how they are going to play on the varsity level,” he said. “They were great
freshmen but know that they are sophomore and on the varsity level we’ll have to
see how they react.  

“Our kids lift hard and usually turn themselves into pretty
good athletes and are able to compete at the varsity level. Anytime you are
dealing with sophomores, you never know how they are going to play until they
put the pads on.

“As those kids grow up during the season and if we get a
chance to make the playoffs, we could make some noise.”  

With Alliance, Canton South, Louisville, Marlington and
Beloit West Branch on on the league schedule, the task doesn’t get any easier
for Northwest. 

“The whole (Northern Buckeye Conference) is loaded again
and everyone is pretty good so anyone can win it,” Whiting said. “You can’t say
that every year but anymore it is like that every year. You can end up being a
5-5 team and make the playoffs and do well. I can see that happen here.” 

Following the divisional realignment, it won’t get any
easier should Northwest qualify for the Division III, Region 11 postseason with the likes of
Dover, Granville, New Lexington, Steubenville and New Concord John Glenn in the

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Said Whiting, “Division III is absolutely loaded right

And with the OHSSA two-year realignment cycle, D-III will
be “loaded” for the next two seasons – potentially Canal Fulton Northwest’s last


Aug. 28, at Orrville, 7 p.m. 

Sept. 4, Akron Firestone, 7 p.m. 

Sept. 11, Mogadore Field, 7 p.m.

Sept. 18, at Alliance Marlington, 7 p.m. 

Sept. 25, at

Louisville, 7 p.m.

Oct. 2, Canton South, 7 p.m. 

Oct. 9, Minerva, 7 p.m. 

Oct. 16,
at Carrollton, 7 p.m.

Oct. 23, Beloit West Branch, 7 p.m. 

Oct. 30, at Alliance, 7 p.m.

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