After a strong run to last year’s D-III Regional Semifinals, Hubbard was blanked by Youngstown Mooney 55-0. The offense must rebuild as the team looks for another trip to the postseason and a better showing there. Expect the Eagles to soar.
2009 Record: 10-2
* Players to watch – DT/FB Blake Novotny (6-3, 210, Sr.), WR/DB Danny Duvall (6-0, 188, Sr.), QB/S Mike Lopuchvsky (6-1, 180, Sr.)
* Outlook – After a run to the regional semifinals last fall, Hubbard is tasked with rebuilding a talented offensive lineup. Gone is QB Andre Givens, four offensive linemen and two receivers (Tommy Jackson and Kurtis Drummond).
Still, head coach Brian Hoffman remains “cautiously optimistic.” In fact, the team’s offensive line could be even bigger than it was last year. After getting pounded by Cardinal Mooney in the playoffs 55-0, that size could come in handy, opening up some room for the team’s key attackers: Novotny, Duvall and Lopuchvsky. That should give the team the chance to put a lot more points on the scoreboard.
Duvall caught 39 passes for 691 yards and eight TDs last year, while also rushing for 295 yards and two scores. He had two interceptions on defese. Novotny has an offer from Youngstown State.
“Was I happy with the way our season ended (last year)?” Hoffman says. “Absolutely not. Overall, though, I think it’s exciting when you make it into the postseason. Anytime we have the opportunity to play some extra games and get into the playoffs, it’s exciting. Every team is 0-0 as we start heading into the summer and we need to do our best job as we start preparing for the season.”
Hoffman is entering his fourth year as coach at Hubbard, and that means he will have worked with this fall’s seniors for four years. They’ve been groomed to his style of play, and they’ve gotten accustomed to winning during the regular season and showing up for postseason play.
“We’ve had the luxury of having guys that received some experience the year before,” Hoffman said.
Expect the Eagles to remember their tough loss against Mooney – something that should drive them to work harder during the offseason and once kick off comes.
* Schedule – Hubbard starts off its season against one of their toughest opponents: Poland Seminary. “It’s always a double-edged sword to play that type of game Week 1,” Hoffman said. Hubbard lost last year’s game against Poland 24-13. Big games against Salem, Lakeview and Girard also occur back-to-back-to-back in Weeks 4-6.
8/26 @ POLAND SEMINARY (POLAND)
9/4 @ JOHN F KENNEDY (WARREN)
9/10 SOUTHEAST (RAVENNA)
9/17 SALEM (SALEM)
9/24 @ LAKEVIEW (CORTLAND)
10/1 @ GIRARD (GIRARD)
10/8 JEFFERSON AREA (JEFFERSON)
10/15 @ LIBERTY (YOUNGSTOWN)
10/22 STRUTHERS (STRUTHERS)
10/29 NILES MC KINLEY (NILES)