Regional breakdown, top players, big games, big names, teams to beat, teams to watch and more…
2013 Ohio HS Football Preview
Region 23 Preview
Team To Beat
*Berlin Center Western Reserve (9-3, Region 21 semifinalist): The Devils are coming off two highly successful seasons (state semis in 2011 and regional semis last year). Can they put together another run in D-VII? Yep. WR returns one of the state’s best small school backfields in QB Nick Allison and RB Dan Zilke. Both seniors were…MORE
Teams To Watch
*Danville (11-2, Region 23 finalist): The Blue Devils fell one win shy of the program’s third state semifinal appearance and first since 2004 by dropping a 48-46 shootout to eventual state runner-up Newark Catholic in the regional final. That squad relied on offense (scored 457 points). This year’s rendition will lean on defense…MORE
*Garfield Heights Trinity (4-6): The Trojans return three players at the QB position who completed passes in games last year, including seniors Pat Sobolewski (671 yards, five TDs) and Matt Iacobucci (542 yards, three TDs) and sophomore Kyle McSweeney (84 yards). Iacobucci was the team’s leading rusher last year too (374 yards, five TDs). Also back…MORE
*Norwalk St. Paul (7-4, Region 22 quarterfinalist): Veteran head coach John Livengood flirted with the Clyde job but decided to remain with the Flyers where he’s accumulated a record of 201-60 in 21 years. St. Paul graduated seven seniors but returns a talented group high on experience. Line play will be a strength thanks to the return of…MORE
*Warren JFK (9-2, Region 21 quarterfinalist): The Eagles made the playoffs for the 19th time last season but must replace nine All-North Coast Conference players. JFK does return one of the state’s top kickers in senior Eric Bofenkamp (6-0, 175). Bofenkamp hit 40-of-44 PATS (including 31 in a row) last year and was 7-of-9 on FGs (long of 37). Expect…MORE
Keep An Eye On
*Elyria Open Door Christian (6-2): The Patriots have only been playing football for three years and this is the first season they’ll compete against a varsity football schedule. Don’t fret. They’ll be competitive – and young. “This will be a huge jump for our players, moving from a JV schedule to a Varsity schedule,” head coach Ray Lowe said. “All of the games will be big.” A good group of juniors is leading Open Door into its new era…MORE
*Fairport Harding (7-4, Region 21 quarterfinalist): The Skippers made the playoffs for the first time since 1991 and for just the second time ever last year. Now they must replace nine all-district players.
*Leetonia (5-5): The Bears return senior RB Zack Van Giesen who ran for 849 yards and 10 TDs last year.
*Lucas (3-7): The Cubs are a wildcard. Head coach Scott Spitler (13-27 in four years) welcomes back nine starters on each side of the ball, but must replace 3,000 yards of offense. Lucas also faces eight new opponents…MORE
*Monroeville (4-6): The Eagles return five All-Firelands Conference players and could have a huge season. Senior DL Seth Farley was the conference Defensive Lineman of the Year last season. Senior RB Rick Heck was first team all-conference. Other key pieces are…MORE
*Plymouth (5-5): The Vikings .500 record last year secured the program’s first back-to-back non-losing seasons since 1993-94. Junior QB Hunter Bailey returns after earning second team All-Firelands Conference honors. Also back are…MORE
*Vienna Mathews (1-9): Senior RB Austin Arnal expects to get plenty of touches again after running for 1,002 yards and eight TDs last season.
*Wellsville (4-6): Senior RB Marcus Moxley will again carry the load after running for 923 yards and nine TDs last season. He’s a two-time All-ITC selection.
*Windham (3-7): The Bombers move from the Portage Trail Conference to the Northeastern Athletic Conference this season. The change allows Windham to play teams more their size. Expectaitions are heightened with the move of…MORE
*Youngstown Christian (9-3, Region 21 finalist): The Eagles have posted back-to-back playoff appearances. Can they make it three?…MORE
Also In This Region
Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic (2-8); Ashland Mapleton (2-8); Newbury (3-7); Thompson Ledgemont (5-5); Lowellville (4-6) ; Sebring McKinley (0-10); East Canton (5-5); Mineral Ridge (6-4); Southington Chalker (4-6); Windham (3-7); Richmond Heights (2-8); Cleveland Heights Lutheran East (1-9)
D-VII Preseason All-Ohio Team
Playoff Teams: Our Predictions
10 Players To Watch