Akron Garfield (8-2)
* Players To Watch – RB/DB Tyson Gulley (5-9, 210,
Sr.), RB/DB Toneo Gulley (5-9, 175, So.), OL/DL Sheldon Spaulding (6-1, 220,
Sr.), WR/DB Davonne Dixon (5-10, 170, Sr.), C/LB Kevin Jones (5-9, 190, Jr.),
TE/DE Kevin Brewton (6-3, 215, Jr.)
* Outlook – Garfield narrowly missed the playoffs
last year in Division I (11th in Region 2) and this year the Rams
move down to D-II which should help their postseason chances.
Tyson Gulley is ranked as the No. 67 senior in the state by
Ohio High and has scholarship offers from Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green,
Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kansas, Kent State, Miami U., Ohio U.,
Syracuse and Toledo. Last season, he had 1,376 rushing yards (7.9 yards per
carry) and a total of 22 touchdowns (18 rushing, two on kickoff returns, one on
a punt return and one on a fumble return). He played sparingly on defense last
year, but had 15 tackles, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and an
Younger brother Toneo Gulley is ranked as the No. 10
sophomore in the state according to Ohio High. Last year as the only freshman on
Garfield’s varsity, he had 64 tackles, five pass break-ups, a fumble recovery
returned for a touchdown and a forced fumble.
Dixon had 35 tackles and a fumble recovery and will have a
bigger role offensively and defensively this season.
“Sheldon Spaulding, Kevin Jones and Kevin Brewton did an
outstanding job run
blocking for us,” head coach Bob Sax said.
Sax is entering his eighth season at Garfield’s head coach
and has been at the school for 21 years. He has a career mark of 45-26 and
coached former Ohio State and current Arizona Cardinals running back Chris
“Beanie” Wells at Garfield.
As for the 2009 season, the Rams believe they are going to
be contenders for a playoff spot.
“We have high expectations this year, but realize that we
lost nine starters on
defense,” Sax said. “We don't have a very big senior class
to rely on, but our junior class is very large and has potential. The sooner
this group comes together and gets quality practice time in, the better we will
Sax is honest when asked about moving down a division. He
knows nothing will come easy, but believes it will help his team’s playoff
“We are excited about dropping down to D-II,” he said. “Our
region is very strong, but we feel like we can compete at a high level with
these teams. Our schedule is primarily a bunch of D-II teams, so finally getting to
compete for a playoff spot in D-II is beneficial for us. But you still have to
take care of business and win football games. It was unfortunate for us last
year to go 8-2 and not make the playoffs in D-I. We feel if we can win seven or
eight games you should have a great chance of playing a week 11 game in this
Aug. 27, at Akron Hoban, 7 p.m.
Sept, 4, at Green, 7 p.m.
Sept, 11, at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 19, at Akron North, noon
Sept. 25, at Washington Massillon, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 3, Akron East, noon
Oct. 9, at Akron Ellet, 7 p.m.
Oct. 16, at Akron Firestone, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24, Akron Kenmore, 2 p.m.
Oct. 30, Akron Buchtel, 7 p.m.