MVP Football Preview Excerpt:
A look at Division VI, Region 21 and what to expect this season. We look
at the top teams, players and offer up our playoff predicitons. Who has what? And what will they do?
JJHuddle’s Region 21 Previews and Predictions
TEAMS TO WATCH
* Players to Watch – RB/LB Hunter Schneiter (5-11″, 175, sr.), QB/DB Ryan Froman (5-10″, 165, sr.), K Daniel Kohr (5-10″, 165, sr.), WR/LB Mitch Wilkinson (6-0, 160, sr.), WR/LB Clete Hensel (6-0, 155, sr.), OL/LB Nick Metzger (5-11″, 195, sr.), OL/DL Kooper Dessecker (6-2, 185, sr.), OL/DL Eric Duff (5-10″, 205, sr.), OL/DL Adam Brandon (5-11″, 215, jr.), RB/LB Landry Hostetler (5-11″, 170, so.), RB/DB Kalib Winters (5-9, 160, so.)
* Outlook – The Tigers dropped two OT games last year and finished ninth in computer points. Making the postseason for the first time since 2002 is a real possibility this year. Schneiter returns after running for 1,098 yards and 17 TDs, while Froman is back after throwing for 918 yards and 10 TDs. Defensively, Schneiter (97 tackles, 11 sacks), Froman (four INTs), Wilkinson (33 tackles), Hensel (35 tackles), Metzger (53 tackles), Dessecker (32 tackles) and Brandon (35 tackles) spearhead a loaded unit. Kohr is a viable option at kicker (43-of-44 Pats, 5-of-10 FGs).
Mogadore (13-1, D-VI State Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – RB/LB Gary Strain (6-0, 195, Jr.), RB/DE Zack Heigelmann (6-2, 185, sr.), LB Scot Hower (5-9, 180, jr.)
* Outlook – According to head coach Matt Adorni (68-19 in eight years) the Wildcats are in for a “major rebuild” this year. The roster includes six seniors and Mogadore must replace nine starters on defense and six on offense. Help is coming from a 10-0 JV team though. Strain is poised to take over the bulk of the carries. Mogadore has qualified for the playoffs every year since the format expanded to eight teams (1999). That streak could be in jeopardy unless “we mature fast upfront” said Adorni.
* Players to Watch –QB/DB Cody Stokes (6-4, 200, sr.)
* Outlook – The Bears recorded their first losing record in 15 years last season and look to make amends with the return of 17 starters (nine offense, eight defense) and 22 lettermen. Stokes is a three-sport standout.
Thompson Ledgemont (11-1, D-VI R21 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – RB Danny LaRosa (5-10, 178, sr.), WR/DB Brad Marsic (6-3, 170, sr.), RB/LB Brad Seiler (6-0, 165, sr.), RB/LB Kyle LaRosa (5-10, 160, jr.), DB Kyle Dennis (6-1, 165, sr.)
* Outlook – The Redskins are coming off the most successful season in school history (first undefeated regular season and first playoff win). For an encore they’ll try to top it. Marsic had 10 INTs last year and is a talented receiver (83 career receptions for 1,465 yards). Danny LaRosa has rushed for over 3,100 yards and 48 TDs the last two seasons. Seiler is a threat on both sides of the ball (578 rushing yards, 10 TDs; 80 tackles). Kyle LaRosa and Dennis help anchor the defense. Last year the Redskins outscored opponents 368-63 in the regular season.
Bridgeport (12-1, D-VI R23 Finalist)
* Players to Watch – QB/DB Cole Smelley (6-0, 200, sr.), LB/TE Mike Dalto (6-2, 230, sr.), WR/DB Cody Frey (5-11, 145, sr.)
* Outlook – The Bulldogs have been to the playoffs three straight years and will challenge for the postseason again. Dalto (101 tackles, 13 TFL, five sacks) is a defensive hammer. Smelley (four INTs) is key to both backfields.
McDonald (10-3, D-VI R21 Finalist)
* Players to Watch – DL Nick Puntel, McDonald (6-2, 265, sr.)
* Outlook – The Blue Devils are looking to make the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. Puntel (78 tackles, six TFL) impacts both sides of the ball.
Malvern (8-4, D-VI R23 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB/DB Shawn Ball (6-1, 215, sr.), TE/DL Travis Tucci (6-4, 185, sr.), LB/RB Brady Weber, Malvern (6-3, 215, jr.), WR/DB Max Kapron (6-5, 180, jr.), WR/DB Marcus Johnson (5-9, 175, jr.), TE/DE Logan Sellers (6-4, 205, sr.)
* Outlook – The Hornets have become a playoff staple (four straight trips) and graduated just five seniors. Ball is one of the most electric players in any division. Last year he threw for 2,600 yards and 32 TDs and ran for 1,383 yards and 13 TDs. Ball added 57 tackles on defense. Tucci (57 receptions, 1,004 yards, 12 TDs; 28 tackles, three INTs), Weber (six TDs, 132 tackles), Johnson (80 tackles), Sellers (62 tackles, six sacks) and Kapron (47 receptions, 799 yards, 10 TDs; 58 tackles, three INTs) are all part of a seasoned roster.
Shadyside (13-2, D-VI State Runner-Up)
* Players to Watch – OL/DL Matt Hammond (6-1, 195, sr.), OL/DL Hunter McPherson (5-11, 220, sr.), WR/DB Ian Baker (5-10, 155, jr.)
* Outlook – The Tigers made the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years and advanced to their second state final before falling to Delphos St. John’s 77-6. Hammond is a standout defender.
KEEP AN EYE ON
* Dalton (8-4, D-VI R21 Semifinalist) – The Bulldogs are looking to make the playoffs for the third straight season and eighth time in 11 years.
* Berlin Center Western Reserve (9-2, D-VI R21 Quarterfinalist) – The Blue Devils have made three straight postseason trips. Senior OL/DL Tyler Powell (6-3, 290) is a good one.
* Steubenville Catholic Central (1-9) – The Crusaders graduated a small senior class so expectations for improvement exist. Senior LB/RB Jon Emmerling (5-11, 185, sr.) leads the charge.
* Tuscarawas Central Catholic (4-6) – The Saints will ride senior QB Travis Craven (6-5, 175).
ALSO IN THIS REGION
Chalker (0-10), Conotton Valley (0-10), East Canton (2-8), Fairport Harding (3-7), Jackson-Milton (1-9), Warren JFK (4-6), Lowellville (5-5), Cleveland Heights Luthern East (3-6), Mathews (6-4), Sebring McKinley (4-6), Mineral Ridge (5-5), Newbury (1-9), Richmond Heights (0-10), Bellaire St. John’s (2-8), Toronto (4-6), Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph (4-6), Wellsville (4-6), Windham (2-8), Youngstown Christian (1-9)
Dark Horses: Leetonia