Norwalk St. Paul has reached at least the regional final each of the
last six years and this past season reached the mountain top by claiming
the program’s first state championship. Unlike last year when the
Flyers returned a ton of experience at the skill positions on each side
of the ball, this season the depth is all up front.
Norwalk St. Paul
2009 Record: 15-0, State Champions
* Players to Watch – RB/OLB Eric Bradt (5-9, 165, Sr.), TE Alex Foster (6-3, 205, Sr.), TE/LB Mitchell Gross (6-2, 205, Sr.), G/DT Brandon Kraft (6-0, 215, Sr.), T/DT Derek Kraft (6-0, 225, Sr.), G/DE Joe Schafer (5-10, 195, Sr.), LB Adam Smith (5-11, 175, Sr.), FB/DT Isaac Livengood (5-8, 215, Jr.), DT Hayden Service (Jr.)
* Outlook – Norwalk St. Paul has reached at least the regional final each of the last six years and this past season reached the mountain top by claiming the program’s first state championship. Unlike last year when the Flyers returned a ton of experience at the skill positions on each side of the ball, this season the depth is all up front.
Gone from last year’s squad is all-everything quarterback Eric Schweiterman (Ashland) who terrorized opponents the last four years. The good news is most of the guys that blocked for him – Foster, Gross, B. Kraft, D. Kraft and Schafer – return.
Bradt is the Flyers leading returning rusher after collecting 266 yards and three TDs on 46 carries last season. Additional touches will go to Smith and Livengood who had 194 yards (and four TDs on 36 carries) and 143 yards (and five TDs on 16 carries), respectively.
Foster will be a key target in the passing game.
“We need to focus on getting better every day,” head coach John Livengood said. “Many of our upcoming seniors have been waiting in the wings for their chance to be starters and we believe they are ready for the challenge to step up this season.”
The challenge as always will be to score on St. Paul.
The Flyers allowed 99 total first downs and 106 total points (7.1 per game) last year.
Gross is the top returning tackler after having 140 tackles and 11 sacks in 2009. Smith (99 tackles, 10 sacks), Livengood (42 tackles, seven sacks) and Bradt (34 tackles) are also seasoned.
St. Paul owns 13 playoff appearances – all under Livengood (181-49 career record in 19 years) – including seven straight.
Said Livengood: “Our approach in the off-season and this coming season is that we start with a clean slate. Our past success is simply in the past and we need to look forward.”
*Schedule – Last season the Flyers didn’t play their second playoff team until Week 11. Amazingly that light of a regular season was enough to propel and ready them for a state title run. Maybe that’s just how good last year’s team was. Regardless…this year’s schedule looks a lot like last year’s.
8/28 @ ST MARY CENTRAL CATHOLIC (SANDUSKY)
9/4 CALVERT (TIFFIN)
9/18 *CRESTVIEW (ASHLAND)
9/25 MAPLETON (ASHLAND)
10/1 @ SOUTH CENTRAL (GREENWICH)
10/8 @ WESTERN RESERVE (COLLINS)
10/16 NEW LONDON
10/22 @ PLYMOUTH
10/30 @ MONROEVILLE
* 2009 Playoff team