Canfield’s goal? “Win our league championship, make the playoffs and then see what we can do from there”

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Canfield Cardinals

Canfield was the No. 4 seed in the Division II, Region 5 playoffs
last year. The Cardinals knocked off Aurora 31-14 in the first round and
then fell to top-seeded Mentor Lake Catholic 31-24 in the regional
semifinals. This season, they only have a handful of starters returning, but the talent pool is always deep at Canfield.


Canfield
Division II
Region 5

2009 Record: 10-2

* Players To Watch – QB/SS Jordan Italiano (5-10, 190, Jr.), TB/ILB Blake Jackson (5-11, 190, Sr.), FB/ILB Jon Rogers (6-1, 215, Sr.), FB/OLB Dante DeLorenzo (6-0, 195, Sr.), TE/DL Jim Rousher (6-2, 240, Jr.)

* Outlook – Canfield was the No. 4 seed in the Division II, Region 5 playoffs last year. The Cardinals knocked off Aurora 31-14 in the first round and then fell to top-seeded Mentor Lake Catholic 31-24 in the regional semifinals.

This season, they only have a handful of starters returning, but the talent pool is always deep at Canfield.

“Our expectations are that we’re going to come out and compete hard and improve every day,” head coach Mike Pavlansky said. “We want to win our league championship, make the playoffs and then see what we can do from there.”

Italiano led the team in tackles last year despite missing a game and then playing through a broken wrist. He will definitely start at safety again and might also be the team’s starting quarterback (although that decision won’t be made until preseason camp).

“We have Jordan and two other kids battling for that QB job,” Pavlansky said.

The only other returning starters for the Cardinals are Jackson, Rogers, DeLorenzo and Rousher. They are all expected to take on ironman roles and play both ways.

As for the difficulty of Region 5, Pavlansky knows it will be a tough road if his team qualifies for the playoffs again.

“We have a lot of competitive teams in this region,” he said. “Howland and Mentor Lake Catholic will have a big say in what happens. You also have teams like Walsh and Ashland. All you can do is do your job, win your games and hopefully everything will fall into place.”

* Schedule –
This slate is solid. Three straight road games to open the season (including at Aurora and Dover) are treacherous. Of course six of the final seven games at home bodes well. Week 8 against Maple Heights and Week 10 against rival Poland and dandies.

8/27    @ AURORA
9/3      @ CANTON SOUTH
9/10    @ DOVER
9/17    HOWLAND (WARREN)    
9/24    CHANEY (YOUNGSTOWN)
10/1    EAST (Youngstown)        
10/8    BEAVER (LISBON)        
10/15  MAPLE HEIGHTS
10/22  @ NILES MC KINLEY
10/29  POLAND SEMINARY

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