Poland Seminary is looking for its fourth straight trip to the playoffs. The Bulldogs should have enough bite to get there. Poland returns several standouts, including junior QB Colin Reardon and senior WR Darius Patton, who has 16 scholarship offers – including one from Michigan.
Poland Seminary (10-3)
2009 Record: 10-3
* Players to Watch – WR/DB Darius Patton (5-10, 170, Sr.), QB Colin Reardon (6-0, 180, Jr.), OT/DT George Dibo (5-11, 242, Jr.), TE/DE Jordan Voitus (6-3, 205, Jr.), DB/WR Anthony Machi (5-10, 160, Sr.), OL Nick Sebastian (6-0, 260, Sr.), DE Noah Hochendoner (6-2, 185, Sr.), Punter Chris Walla (5-10, 160, Sr.)
* Outlook – Looking to get into the state playoffs for the fourth straight year, Poland Seminary has speed at the skill positions and a tough offensive trio in Reardon, Machi and Patton.
Patton holds scholarship offers from nine of the 11 teams in the Big Ten, and that list could grow. He makes a great target, too, for the up-and-coming Reardon. Reardon put up monster numbers as a sophomore (yes, sophomore): 1,924 passing yards, a 66-percent completion rate (127/194), eight TDs passing and five TDs on the ground. That was good enough for him to earn First Team All-League honors.
“(We have a chance) to go to state playoffs for a fourth straight year,” head coach Mark Brungard said. “We’ve got good speed at the skill positions, an offense that will spread ball around and a defense that will run well.”
The only gap on the roster right now? Kicker. The Bulldogs return experienced punter Chris Walla, but they’re probably scouting summer soccer leagues as they look for someone who can put it through the uprights.
Expectations will be high for Poland this fall. The Bulldogs won two playoff games last year before falling 24-7 to Youngstown Mooney in the regional finals. Still, they gave Mooney the closest game of the tournament when they lost by just two touchdowns.
With a lot of key players returning in leadership roles, expect Poland to be in serious contention for a deep playoff run.
* Schedule – The Bulldogs will start off their season against one of their toughest foes in Hubbard. “It’s always a double-edged sword to play that type of game Week 1,” says Hubbard head coach Brian Hoffman. Lakeview (Week 4), Howland (Week 7) and bitter rival Canfield (Week 10) all await as well.
8/26 HUBBARD (HUBBARD)
9/3 AUSTINTOWN-FITCH (AUSTINTOWN)
9/10 @ MARLINGTON (ALLIANCE)
9/17 @ LAKEVIEW (CORTLAND)
9/24 NILES MC KINLEY (NILES)
10/1 CHANEY (YOUNGSTOWN)
10/8 HOWLAND (WARREN)
10/15 EAST (Youngstown)
10/22 @ BEAVER (LISBON)
10/29 @ CANFIELD (CANFIELD)