Region 7 Teams To Watch: Aurora, Hubbard, Chardon, Kenston, Poland among challengers

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Region 7

A look at those teams we think will challenge for the top spot in the region.


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2013 Ohio HS Football Preview

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Region 7 Preview

Teams To Watch

*Aurora (12-2, Region 5 Champion): The Greenmen drop back down to D-III where they won a state title in 2008. Aurora’s brief D-II stint (four years) was a successful one that’s resulted in back-to-back regional titles. All told the Greenmen have been in the postseason eight straight times and are 84-18 over that span. Expect the excellence to continue. Head Coach Bob Mihalik won his 100th game last year and is 102-40 in 12 seasons. “We expect to compete for a (Chagrin Valley Conference) title and a playoff berth once again,” Mihalik said. “We lost a talented senior class, but our JV team was undefeated and we return a good nucleus, which should allow us to be competitive in 2013.” Among the key returners is senior QB George Bollas (6-4, 215) who threw for 1,355 yards and 14 TDs and ran for 1,071 yards and 16 TDs last year. He’s committed to Kent State. Expect the senior trio of OL/DL Justin Wazbinski (6-3.275/91% grade as OL, 46 tackles, eight sacks, 5.5 FL), DB/WR/RB Kirk janoch (6-0, 175) and DL/LB/RB Romell Pollard (6-2, 200). Key juniors are LB/SS Alex Smierciak (5-10, 160) and OL/DL Brandon Zamary (6-2, 245). The schedule includes six home games including the opening back-to-back gauntlet of Twinsburg and Ravenna. Chagrin Falls,

*Canton South (7-3): The Wildcats will build around a talented senior backfield that includes QB Josh Lyon (6-3, 195) and RB Deonte Settles (5-9, 175). Lyon threw for 1,913 yards and 20 TDs and ran for two scores last year. Settles returns after rushing for 922 yards and five TDs. He also caught a TD and threw for one.

*Chardon (10-3, Region 5 finalist): The Hilltoppers have a solid returning senior cast that includes DB Anthony Cantanzariti (5-8, 145), QB Matt Bolden (6-1, 195), TE Andrew Gray (6-4, 215/Maryland), DL Joey Fodor (6-6, 200) and DB Joe Connick (5-7, 160).

*Hubbard (8-4, Region 9 semifinalist): The Eagles return one of Ohio’s top junior prospects in RB Larry Scott (6-0, 205) who owns offers from Tennessee, Michigan State, Kentucky, West Virginia and Cincinnati. Last year Scott ran for 1,614 yards and 23 TDs. In two years he’s accounted for 2,790 yards and 39 TDs. Also back is senior WR Darnell Tate (6-0, 170) and junior OL Matt Jones (6-4, 315). Tate, a three-year starter, has combined for 52 receptions, 1,004 yards and 17 TDs the last two years. Jones has offers from West Virginia, Kentucky and Toledo. The wildcard is senior QB transfer Brennan Wassil (6-5, 195) who threw for 1,518 yards and 11 TDs last season at Kennedy Catholic in Hermitage, Pa. Junior LB Isaiah Scott (6-3, 188) is another top prospect.

*Kenston (7-5, Region 5 semifinals): Former Mentor assistant coach Jeff Grubich’s first season in charge of the kenston program was a success as the Bombers won their first playoff game in 18 years despite starting 0-2. There are holes to fill, but Grubich is excited by what he sees. “We are young but athletic,” Grubich said. “The young men here have bought in.” Key contributors will be seniors DB Drew Weninger (6-0, 180), DB Pedro Velasco (5-10, 175), OL Nick Lewis (6-0, 225), OL Chris Ross (6-1, 255), OL James Gruver (6-1, 250) and WR Jake Silberman (5-10) and juniors DE Mike Kruger (6-3, 220), RB Jeremy Weirs (6-0, 175) and DB Andrew Silberman (5-10, 215).

*Marlington (8-3, Region 11 quarterfinalist): The Dukes must replace RB/DB Dymonte Thomas (Michigan), but senior QB/DB Shawn Kirk (5-11, 190) looks to be the next in line. Kirk ran for 751 yards and four TDs and threw for 833 yards and six TDs last year. The past two years he’s combined for 61 tackles and six INTs.

*Poland (8-4, Region 11 semifinalist): The Bulldogs, who have made the playoffs six years in a row, have their sights set high. “We return the most skill players since I’ve been at Poland,” head coach Mark Brungard (58-38 in eight years) said. “We have to replace holes on the O and D line and replace Conner McFadden, a 3-year starter at kicker who signed with Youngstown State, but the coaching staff is all coming back and it’s a blessing to have a returning quarterback. The kids are hungry for a regional championship.” That returning QB is senior Jacob Wolfe (6-3, 200) who threw for 1,020 yards passing and 10 TDs last year. Also back is the senior trio of RB Ross Gould (5-8, 180/1,100 yards rushing, 12 TDs), ATH Tyler Evan (6-2, 200) and TE John Markota (6-2,225). Key returners on the OL are senior Nick Rizzo (5-10, 280) and Liborio Ricottilli (6-3, 280). The defense will be anchored by senior DL Zach Bader (6-0, 250), junior LB Adam Wollett (6-0, 200) and junior DB Austin Wilson (6-1, 200). 

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Region 7: Team To Beat

Our favorite to win the Region is…..CLICK HERE

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Region 7: Keep An Eye On

Teams, players and programs of note entering 2013…..CLICK HERE

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Region 7: Also In This Region

Who rounds out the region?…..CLICK HERE

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D-III 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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