Region 11: Keep an eye on Benedictine, NDCL, Crestwood, Streetsboro, Woodridge…

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Region 11

A look at some players, teams, programs and news of note for the region…


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2013 Ohio HS Football Preview

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Region 11 Preview

Keep An Eye On

*Ashtabula Jefferson (8-2): The Falcons must replace their QB, top rusher and top four receivers. Senior LB Justin Butler (5-11, 185/75 tackles) returns.

*Cleveland Benedictine (3-7): The Bengals have one of the state’s top junior prospects in LB Jerome Baker (6-1, 190) who already holds offers from Ohio State, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, Michigan State and Penn State among others.

*Cleveland Central Catholic (5-5): The Ironmen made the program’s lone playoff  appearance in 1982. This year’s team would like to add a second. Said Head Coach John Lundy (23-17 in four years): “(We don’t have any) household names yet, but there’s a lot of potential on this roster to surprise the competition.” Key players include QB/WR Brandon Brown (jr.), WR Kie’sean Cooke (sr.), LB Devon Robinson (sr.), LB Curtis Parks (jr.), QB/WR Desmond Lundy (jr.) and OL/DL Jamil Dean (sr.). The schedule is brutal and opens with larger schools Warrensville Heights, Euclid, Shaker Heights, Vermillion and archrival Benedictine. Said Lundy: “That will test us and let us know right away how good we are.”

*Fairview Park Fairview (3-7): The Warriors own one playoff berth in program history, but the return of senior QB Jason Kish (6-0, 160) has hopes high. Other key contributors are senior OL Cortez Harris (6-2, 279) and senior LB Richard Davis (5-11, 170).

*Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (8-3, Region 9 quarterfinalist): The Lions made the playoffs for the fourth time in school history but were denied the program’s first postseason win by eventual state champion Akron SVSM (49-23). Gone from that squad is a talented senior class and 200-win head coach Byron Morgan. Incoming head coach Ben Malbasa (43-17 career coaching record) inherits a program that will lean heavily on its experience in the trenches. Key players are seniors Joe DeMuth (LB/TE, 6-2, 220/two-way returning starter), Brian Blatnik (DE/TE, 6-1, 190) and Anthony Leonetti (OL/DL, 5-11, 225/two-way returning starter). Junior LB/OL Nick Wagner (6-1, 210) started both ways as a sophomore. “We play a very challenging non-conference schedule that includes two playoff teams from last year (Willoghby South and Chagrin Falls), and our league includes perennial playoff contenders Walsh Jesuit, Lake Catholic, Benedictine, Hoban and Padua,” Malbasa said. “When replacing a senior-laden team, the challenge is to gain confidence and improve quickly during the scrimmages and preseason.”

*Mantua Crestwood (4-6): The Red Devils enter Year 2 of the Pete Thompson era looking for the program’s first winning season since 2006. Expectations are rising.
“We are looking to build upon the limited success that we had last season,” Thompson said. “As a new coaching staff, we decided to play a good deal of young players. Several sophomores and freshman gained valuable experience against a competitive schedule that included five playoff teams. We will still be a young team this season, but our youth now has experience.” Defense will be Crestwood’s strength. Senior LB Kenny Jackson (6-1, 215) returns after making 148 tackles last season. Also back are junior DE Stephen Cox (6-3, 225/30 tackles), junior DB Gabe Surgeon (5-10, 175/60 tackles, three INTs), junior DB Brendan Harrris (5-10, 185/90 tackles) and senior LB Eric Harris (5-11, 185/75 tackles). Offensively, Jackson (450 yards rushing and nine TD) and Surgeon (three rushing TDs, two passing TDs) will make up the backfield. Senior Grant Bates (5-9, 230) headlines the OL. New additions to the schedule include West Branch and Garrettsville Garfield. Crestwood will scrimmage Chagrin Falls.

*Streetsboro (7-4, Region 13 quarterfinalist): The Rockets must replace 2,000-yard RB Dorian Williams. The top leading returning rusher? Sophomore RB Johnathan Williams (5-10, 170). Senior WR/DB Devin Rencher (6-2, 165) ranked second on the team in receptions (15), yards (257) and TDs (two) last year. He also had four INTs. Junior LB Josh Reyes (6-1, 195) had 81 tackles as a sophomore.

*Woodridge (7-4, Region 9 quarterfinalist): The Bulldogs must replace their QB, leading rusher and top two receivers. The good news? Senior ATH/DB Devonte Fellows (6-3, 180) returns after accounting for six TDs in seven games.

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Region 11: Team To Beat

Our favorite to win the Region is….CLICK HERE

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Region 11: Teams To Watch

Our favorites to challenge for the Regional title are….CLICK HERE

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Region 11: Also In This Region

Who rounds out the region?…CLICK HERE

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D-IV Preseason All-Ohio Team

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Playoff Teams: Our Predictions

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10 Players To Watch

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Top Games

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