Region 11 Overview: This is Steubenville’s region to lose


Region 11

Few programs in Ohio rival Steubenville, and few teams in Region 11 stand a good chance of stopping Big Red from defending its regional title. There are some challengers out there, though, who feel they have a chance. In reality, do they?




Dover (11-2)
* Players to watch –
OL/LB Chance Shalosky (6-2, 200, Sr.), WR/DB Colton Zahner (6-2, 190, Sr.), OL/DL Dylan Knight (6-5, 275, Sr.), QB/S Derek Swinderman (6-4, 180, Jr.), K Zach Rafter (5-11, 165, Sr.), OLB/QB Christian Ifft (6-1, 180, Sr.)
* Outlook – No story about Region 11 and Dover Football would be complete without talking about Danny Jeandervin. The football captain, 3-year starter and legitimate D-I college prospect, was severely injured in a sledding accident on Jan. 14, 2010. After two surgeries and four months in hospitals and rehab centers, he returned home in May. His accident left him a paraplegic.

“Danny’s attitude and strength have been a source of encouragement for all our kids,” says head coach Dan Ifft. “This is an incredible young man. … He was destined to be First Team All-Ohio and a scholarship kid. The accident took all this away but it did not take away his spirit. I am amazed at how he has handled this tragedy.”

Expect the team to play harder this year in Danny’s honor.

“Three of the last four years we have worked our way into the Regional Championship game in Region 11,” Ifft said. “It is a huge task but one that serves to motivate our kids and coaches. It drives our off-season program.”

Steubenville (12-2)
* Players to watch –
OLB Jesse Birden (6-0, 200, Sr.), FB/OLD Shaquille Petteway (6-1, 200, Sr.)
* Outlook – Clearly the team to beat in Region 11, Steubenville marched to the state semifinals last year where they lost to eventual state champion Mooney. The Big Red had the second-highest Harbin ranking in the division (behind only Mooney), and they dropped just one game all season to Michigan’s Inkster High School.

This fall, they’ll start their season against Inkster – the only team that has beaten the Big Red during the regular season in the past seven years. The Big Red lost their starting quarterback to graduation, so it’ll be interesting to see who steps up to take his spot. Petteway, who had 116 tackles including 18.5 for loss last year, has offers from Michigan State, West Virginia and Toledo.

Alliance Marlington (8-3)
* Players to watch –
RB Alden Hill (6-1, 200, Jr.), OT Zack Higgens (6-5, 285, Jr.), RB/OL Dymonte Thomas (6-0, 170, So.), RB Alden Hill (6-1, 200, Jr.), OG Nate Manos (6-4, 270, Sr.), LB Clayton Staib (5-9, 170, Jr.)
* Outlook – It’s Ed Miley’s fourth year at the helm of the Dukes, and he’s on the cusp of becoming the winningest coach in the program’s history. He currently stands at 19 wins and the school record is 23.

“It’s been a gradual process,” Miley says. “Our seniors have 19 varsity wins. In middle school, they only had one win. Our kids have just rolled up their sleeves, and … said ‘enough’s enough.’”

It helps that Marlington has two great running backs in Hill and Thomas. Hill rushed for 1,196 yards last season. If he rushes for 1,244 this season, he’ll be the school’s all-time leading rusher. Thomas is younger, but just as good. In fact, his coach says he’s “probably one of the best running backs in the country.” Thomas averaged 8.6 yards per carry for 800 yards on the season.
Cadiz Harrison Central (8-3)
* Players to watch –
FS/QB Kyle Blanchard (6-4, 190, Sr.), C/WR Alex Brooks (5-8, Sr.)
* Outlook – In Harrison Central’s short history, last year was the first time the Huskies made it to the playoffs. They did it on the strength of senior leadership and the play of Blanchard and Brooks. Blanchard’s already getting looks from Ball State and a lot of MAC schools. Returning just three starters on offense and four on defense, the team’s fate appears to hinge on underclassmen.

Canal Fulton Northwest (8-4)
* Players to watch –
TE Gavin Hutchison (6-2, 230, Sr.), OL Jim Galley (5-10, 250, Sr.), OL Andy Gromofsky (5-9, 220, Sr.), WR Cory Hoffman (5-8, 150, Sr.), SS Jacob Staubs (5-11, 160, Sr.), DE Gavin Hutchison (6-2, 230, Sr.), C Nate Harper (5-9, 170, Sr.)
* Outlook – In possession of the longest playoff streak in Stark County, the Indians have made it to the postseason nine times in a row. Last year, they made it to the regional semifinals before falling in a close game with Dover. The team returns five starters on offense and five starters on defense.

Said head coach Vic Whiting: “We will be a surprising team in 2010.”

Granville (9-2)
* Players to watch –
OL/DL Kirk Willis (6-3, 210, Sr.), Punter/DB Jamie Datz (6-2, 175, Sr.), WR/DB Josh McKenzie (5-10, 165, Sr.), OL/DL Cole Gordon (5-10, 220, Sr.), LB/OL Chris Lanham (6-2, 200, Sr.), K Ryan Green (6-2, 175, Sr.), DB/WR Tyler Compton (5-11, 160, Sr.), DB/RB Brandon Wilson (5-11, 185, Sr.)
* Outlook – Granville will be fighting for its fourth straight playoff berth, and it helps that the Blue Aces will be returning a lot of depth, experience and talent on the offensive and defensive lines. All told, the defense returns seven starters, and the offensive line returns three. McKenzie, who had 41 catches for 897 yards last season, is an electric player. The team’s biggest concern is a lack of experience at some of the skill positions.

Salem (9-3)
* Players to watch –
QB/OLB Trent Toothman (6-1, 215, Sr.), OL/DL Mike King (6-3, 280, Sr.), WR/S Zach Penick (6-1, 175, Jr.), RB/OLB Eric Bailey (5-10, 175, Sr.), RB/CB Austin Noel (5-10, 165, Jr.), OL Steve Manypenny (6-2, 220, Jr.), OL Steve Navarra (6-1, 265, Sr.)
 * Outlook – Toothman should make Salem an exciting team to watch this fall. The Ball State recruit passed for 2,000 yards and rushed for another 1,000 last year. According to head coach Mike Kopachy: “He could shatter every career Salem passing record this season.”


* Rayland Buckeye Local (8-3) – After putting together back-to-back playoff appearances, Panthers head coach Ron Pobolish stepped down this year. His successor and former assistant Anthony Barsch will try to keep the streak alive. Keep an eye on junior RB Josten Dear (5-11, 190). Dear rushed for 800-plus yards as a sophomore.

* Minerva (7-3) – Fighting to become a force in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference, the Lions have steadily improved since a 2-8 finish in 2007. This year they’re stacked. Keep an eye on seniors WR/DB Jeremy Fick (6-0, 175), QB/DB D.J. Marrah (5-11, 180), WR/DB Drew Prendergast (5-8, 165) and OL/DL C.J. Soehnlen (5-11, 200).  Become
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* Pataskala Licking Heights (8-2) – The Hornets put together a great record with just two losses to Baltimore Liberty Union and West Jefferson. Keep an eye on WR/DB Jordan Bodell (5-8, 160, Sr.) and kicker Kevin Carr (5-9, 170, Sr.), both of whom were named All-District last year.   Become
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* Thornville Sheridan (8-2) – Having made the playoffs six times since 2001, the Generals put together another outstanding season last year despite losing a large crop of seniors. All eight of the Generals wins were by large margins. If they stay consistent this fall, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Keep an eye on C.J. Myers (5-10, 165, Sr.) and OL/DL Josh Busby (6-5, 240, Sr.).

* Carrollton (6-4) – The Warriors started the season off strong winning six games in a row. Then, they couldn’t pull themselves back together after a demoralizing 52-0 loss to Louisville. The Warriors will try to turn that around this year after losing just six seniors. They’ll be helped along by QB/LB Johnny Lowdermilk (6-2, 190, Sr.) who’s one of the top players in the state. He has offers from Miami (Ohio), Toledo and Youngstown State.

* Wintersville Indian Creek (6-4) – Narrowly missing a playoff berth, Indian Creek was one of the few schools to defeat playoff team Buckeye Local. If they can find consistency, the Redskins might just make it this fall. Look for leadership from seniors FB/ILB Niko Otto (6-2, 210) and QB Adam Young (6-2, 180).  Become
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* Zanesville Maysville (6-4) – It’s hard to believe that Maysville went 0-10 two years ago. The team bootstrapped its way to a winning record last year – their first in a brand new turf stadium – and it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.   Become
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Alliance (1-9)
Cambridge (5-5)  Become
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Canton South (3-7)
Philo (3-7)  Become
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East Liverpool (4-6)
Hebron Lakewood (0-10)
Lisbon Beaver (1-9)
McConnelsville Morgan (0-10)  Become
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Millersburg West Holmes (2-8)
Navarre Fairless (1-9)
New Concord John Glenn (2-8)  Become
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New Lexington (4-6)
Newark Licking Valley (5-5)  Become
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Richmond Edison (3-7)
Uhrichsville Claymont (2-8)  Become
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Warsaw River View (1-9)


REGION 12 (released Aug. 13)

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