A look at some players, teams, programs and news of note for the region…
2013 Ohio HS Football Preview
Region 23 Preview
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. Junior QB Danny Stintsman (6-2, 165) returns after throwing for 745 yards and 12 TDs and rushing for 467 yards and seven TDs. Junior WR Jacob Lowe (5-8, 150) is a threat both rushing (167 yards, four TDs) and receiving (435 yards, nine TDs). Junior RB Troy Atwood (5-8, 148) ran for 493 yards and three TDs last year. Defensively, Lowe (28 tackles, two INTs), Stintsman (19 tackles, seven sacks, three INTs) and Atwood (20 tackles, two INTs) excel too. Look for juniors Zach Davis (5-11) and Dennis Robinson (5-11, 277) and sophomore Cody Edwards (6-2, 225) to make an impact on both lines. Said Lowe: “We are a very young team, but our upper classmen have been in the program for two years know, and they are getting better and better each year. We will rely on them to bring the freshmen and sophomores along. We are not soft by any sense of the word.”
*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 in 2013. “The schedule is all new after week two,” Spitler said. Key contributors will be: senior RB/DB Kolton Bernhardt (5-9, 160) and senior FB/LB Dominick Strassell (5-9, 165).
*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 senior DB Levi Anderson, senior LB Nick Tommas and senior DL Nate Thomas.
*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 junior WR Tyrell Edmiston and junior LB Chance Butcher.
*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 junior WR Parker Rickey to QB. Junior RB Dillon Blewitt, senior WR Joey Miranda and senior OL/DL Jonah Konzen will contribute heavily.
*Youngstown Christian (9-3, Region 21 finalist): The Eagles have posted back-to-back playoff appearances. Can they make it three? Senior DL Tymere Dubose (6-6, 250) has committed to Kentucky.
Region 23: Team To Beat
Our favorite to win the Region is…CLICK HERE
Region 23: Teams To Watch
Our favorites to challenge for the Regional title are…CLICK HERE
Region 23: Also In This Region
Who rounds out the region?…CLICK HERE
D-VII Preseason All-Ohio Team
Playoff Teams: Our Predictions
10 Players To Watch