A look at some players, teams, programs and news of note for the region…
2013 Ohio HS Football Preview
Region 7 Preview
Keep An Eye On
*Akron Buchtel (4-6): The Griffs return one of the state’s best DL prospects in senior Anthony Clark (6-4, 255) who holds offers from Ohio and Toledo. He had 35 tackles and 12 sacks last year.
*Akron Garfield (4-6): Junior RB Darrion Powers (5-11, 175) returns after rushing for 875 yards and eight TDs.
*Alliance (4-6): The Aviators return a good one in senior RB/DB Parrish Martin (5-11, 175) who ran for 796 yards and eight TDs on 124 carries and caught 36 passes for 534 yards and six TDs. He also made 39 tackles.
*Canfield (2-8): The Cardinals will lean on senior QB Kimu Kim (ran for 596 yards and threw for 495 yards last year).
*Howland (8-3, Region 5 quarterfinalist): The Tigers will build around senior LB T.K. Fortson (6-0, 170) who had 112 tackles, 22 TFL and 19 sacks last year en route to being named the Trumball County Defensive Player of the Year. ON offense, senior WR Tom Bailey returns after catching 10 passes for 195 yards.
*Louisville (5-5): Senior QB Joey Duckworth (6-3, 215) returns after missing the final five games last year with injury. The Ohio University recruit threw for 1,161 yards and 11 TDs and ran for 320 yards and two TDs in the five starts he made.
*Niles McKinley (8-3, Region 9 quarterfinalist): The Dragons hosted the school’s first playoff game last year and return nine starters from that squad, including six on defense. Senior DB Chris Parry had eight INTs last year, while senior LB Nick Sanchez (105 tackles, 15 TFL) is the team’s top returning tackler. Offensively, Niles lone returning starter on the OL is senior Josh Krok (6-7, 300) who has committed to West Virginia. Senior WR Marcus Hill caught 34 passes for 478 yards and five TDs last year.
*Norton (5-5): The Panthers will lean on junior RB/LB Jon Cheatham (6-0, 170) who ran for 881 yards and 10 TDs last season.
*Ravenna (7-5, Region 9 semifinalist): Senior OL Brandon Craig (6-3, 275) returns to open holes for senior RB Demetrius Fear (6-0, 210/748 yards, nine TDs) and junior RB Warren Bradley (6-0, 180/634 yards, nine TDs). Ravenna must replace its top five tacklers.
*Tallmadge (8-3, Region 5 quarterfinalist): The Blue Devils are looking to match the school’s 2004-07 run and win a fourth straight Suburban League title. The loss of 17 starters hurts those odds, but head coach Joe Vassalotti (89-40 in 11 years) is counting on a strong junior class to mature quickly. Senior OL Joe Lowery (6-6, 290) holds offers from Cincinnati and Toledo and will open holes for senior RB Bobby Clark (5-11, 190/five TDs). Senior WR Jim Aumont (5-7, 155/14 receptions, 302 yards, three TDs) leads the receiving crops. On defense, senior LB Davis Moore (5-11, 190/33 tackles) returns.
Region 7: Team To Beat
Our favorite to win the Region is….CLICK HERE
Region 7: Teams To Watch
Our favorites to challenge for the Regional title are…..CLICK HERE
Region 7: Also In This Region
Who rounds out the region?….CLICK HERE
D-III Preseason All-Ohio Team
Playoff Teams: Our Predictions
10 Players To Watch