A look at some players, teams, programs and news of note for the region…
2013 Ohio HS Football Preview
Region 1 Preview
Keep An Eye On
*Austintown-Fitch (9-2, Region 1 quarterfinalist): The Falcons feature one of the state’s top junior prospects in RB Darrin Hall Jr. (6-0, 205) who holds offers from Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Toledo, Cincinnati, Purdue, Michigan State, Florida Atlantic, Louisville and Arkansas. Hall ran for 950 yards and 14 TDs last season.
*Berea-Midpark (n/a): What can the Titans (created by the joining of Berea and Midpark highs) do in their first year of existence?
*Brunswick (7-3): The Blue Devils are trying to snap a three-year playoff drought. During that span, Brunswick has gone 5-5, 6-4 and 7-3, respectively.
*Canton GlenOak (8-3, Region 2, quarterfinalist): The Eagles, who have been to the playoffs five times in six years, feature one of the state’s top junior prospects in RB Jason Simon (6-1, 205).
*Cleveland Heights (8-2): The Tigers big hitter is senior LB Dorian Baker (6-3, 200), a JJHuddle Top Prospect with offers from Pittsburgh, Akron, Minnesota, Ohio, Buffalo, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Marshall, Toledo and Illinois. Other key senior contributors are ATH Marcus Bagley (5-11, 178), DB Kory Pearson (6-3, 195/Akron offer) and Ol DeAngelo Ware (6-5, 310).
*Delaware Hayes (3-7): The Pacers are poised to take the next step. Head coach Zebb Schroeder (6-14 in two years) returns 10 starters on defense and nine on offense. That group includes seven players that have started since they were sophomores. “If we are going to break through to the upper part of our division, we have to defend the run better, run the football better and protect the ball,” Schroeder said. “We believe we have the pieces in place to do just that and our kids have the mindset that they want to be great. ”One of those players is senior WR/DB Jante Wright (6-1, 165). A two-year starter, Wright caught 50 passes (nine TDs) and had five INTs last year. He was All-OCC. Also back at WR/DB is senior Caleb Howell (5-11, 160) who caught 42 passes and two TDs last season. On the OL, Hayes returns seniors Collin Wittig (6-4, 280), Andrew Sieawski (6-0, 210), Shawn Johnson (5-11, 205) and Gaige Linville (6-2, 225). Underclassmen who figure to loom large are junior DE Lamar Ryhmes (6-3, 245/started 10 games as a soph.), junior TB/LB Cody Wooten and sophomore LB/FB Ethan Tucky (6-2, 215/started five games as a freshman, 64 tackles). Hayes’ schedule shifts a little with the addition of Worthington Kilbourne to the OCC Capital slate (gone is Watkins Memorial). The non-league slate includes Buckeye Valley, Canal Winchester and Dublin Jerome. “We will look the part, but we talk about it all the time that it is up to the players and coaches now to play the part,” Schroeder said. “We are looking forward to the challenge of putting our plan into action this fall.”
*Elyria (7-3): The Pioneers return two good ones in senior LB Conner Kamczyc (6-1, 215/126 tackles, 10 sacks) and senior RB Jordan Connell (5-9, 185/904 yards rushing, 19 total TDs).
*Findlay (8-2): The Trojans must replace 13 All-TRAC performers, including the school’s career rushing and tackling leaders. Sophomore K Grant McKinnis (6-0, 170) returns after kicking 46 PATs and hitting 3-of-4 FGs, including a 49-yarder. Junior OL Sam Lliff (6-3, 257) is one to watch.
*Lorain (2-8): The Titans have a new interim head coach in Tony Shoulders who takes over for former mentor Mark Solis (now at Olentangy). Lorain features a very talented junior class that includes Qb Eddie Williamson (5-8, 165), RB Sherman Saunders (5-10, 205), WR/DE Rashod Berry (6-4, 215/offers from Toledo, Bowling Green, Akron and Kent State/27 rec., 452 yards, five TDs) and DB Aaron Neal (6-0, 210/135 tackles, 8.5 TFL).
*Marysville (3-7): Senior DL Darius Walker (6-3, 270) returns after making 59 tackles last season en route to All-OCC Central honors. Also back is senior LB/RB Austin Pfarr (6-0, 220) who had 81 tackles and ran for 305 yards and three TDs last season.
*Massillon Jackson (5-5): Senior QB Tyler Langenfeld (6-2, 180) returns after throwing for 1,593 yards and nine TDs last season.
*Massillon Perry (4-6): Senior OL Stefano Millin (6-6, 240) has committed to Kent State.
*Newark (2-8): The Wildcats will lean on senior QB and four-year starter Grant Russell (6-4, 212). Russell has thrown for 4,354 career yards and 28 TDs. He’s also rushed for six scores.
*North Canton Hoover (8-3, Region 2 quarterfinalist): The Vikings will lean on senior WR/DB Luke Grandjean (6-3, 170) who caught 34 passes for 623 yards and six TDs last year. He also had 85 tackles and six INTs.
*North Royalton (10-2, Region 1 semifinalist): The Bears will lean on senior RB Austin Smith (5-9, 170) who ran for 534 yards and 14 TDs last season. He added 33 receptions for 301 yards and two TDs. NR must replace its QB and top four WRs (23 TDs).
*Olentangy Liberty (7-3): Senior RB Daryian Davies (5-7, 150) returns after rushing for 925 yards and 14 TDs. Also back is senior WR Dan Rhinehart (5-8, 150/34 receptions, 519 yards, three TDs). Junior OL Hunter Littlejohn (6-4, 268) has offers from Indiana, Illinois and Akron.
*Wadsworth (6-4): Greg Dennison (130-59 career record) starts his 18th season as the Grizzlies head coach with a team that possess a lot of experience. Last year, Wadsworth returned just three starters. The only concern is replacing four starters on the OL. Key returning seniors are RB Martice Jackson (5-9, 205/1,093 yards rushing), LB Nick Winkler (5-10, 170/119 tackles, 11 TFL), DB Ryan Looser (6-1, 170/48 tackles, six INTs), DL Jake Lamp (6-0, 198/60 tackles, nine TFL), FB/LB Greg Young (5-8, 167/50 tackles/six rushing TDs), RB Scott Campbell (5-10, 181/543 yards rushing and seven TDs) and OL Chandler Martinex (6-0, 241). Keep an eye on junior DB Austin White (6-3, 190/61 tackles, three INTs).
*Strongsville (2-8): The Mustangs have a JJHuddle Top 100 Prospect in senior LB Clay Caruso (6-3, 220/92 tackles, five TFL) who has offers from Buffalo, Bowling Green, Toledo and Kent State. Another key contributor is senior OL Brandon Bailey (6-6, 275/offers from Akron, Kent State and Buffalo).
Region 1: Team To Beat
Our favorite to win the Region is….CLICK HERE
Region 1: Teams To Watch
Our favorites to challenge for the Regional title are…..CLICK HERE
Region 1: Also In This Region
Who rounds out the region?….CLICK HERE
D-I Preseason All-Ohio Team
Playoff Teams: Our Predictions
10 Players To Watch