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Portage Trail Conference Metro Division preview

By Tim Rogers, The Plain Dealer
on August 13, 2009 9:39 AM, updated August 22, 2013 4:40 PM

PD projected finish

1. Kent Roosevelt (8-3 overall, 7-0 league in 2008)

2. Field (8-3, 6-1)

3. Ravenna (7-3, 5-2)

4. Southeast (2-8, 2-5)

5. Norton (2-8, 2-5)

6. Crestwood (3-7, 3-4)

7. Springfield (0-10, 0-7)

8. Coventry (3-7, 3-4)

Preseason awards

Preseason offensive MVP: Zach Thomas, QB, Ravenna, Sr., 5-9, 175.

Preseason defensive MVP: Denerio Bryant, CB, Kent Roosevelt, Sr., 5-9, 165.

Preseason Most Valuable Lineman: Jim Cercek, OG/DE, Field, Jr., 6-2, 230.

Outlook: Three playoff teams could emerge from this division as well in Kent Roosevelt, Field and Ravenna. The division is spotted with outstanding athletes, such as Roosevelt's Denerio Bryant, Field's Jay Lugo, Ravenna's Zach Thomas, Crestwood's Chris Graves, Norton's Steve Smith, Southeast's Anthony Pennington and Springfield's John Hofer. Look for an overall improvement from everyone, especially those who finished in the lower end of the division last year. Neil Kopp, former head coach at Austintown Fitch, brings Federal League experience to Coventry. Still, the Big Three - Roosevelt, Field and Ravenna - should dominate.

Top 3 games: Sept. 18, Field at Kent Roosevelt; Oct. 9, Kent Roosevelt at Ravenna; Oct. 23, Field at Ravenna.

Meet the teams

Kent Roosevelt

Last year: 8-3, 7-0. Advanced to Division II regional quarterfinals.

Coach: John Nemec (157-82-3 in 24 seasons; 186-92-3 in 28 seasons overall).

Key players: Ryan Anderson, OG/DE, Soph., 6-4, 265; Denerio Bryant, WR/FS, Sr., 5-9, 165; Richard Graves, WR/CB, Soph., 5-6, 155; Shakeel Howard, WR/CB, Soph., 5-5, 165; Dustin Maley, DE, Sr., 6-3, 200; Eric Pucillo, C, Sr., 6-2, 165; Marcus Rogers, LB/RB, Sr., 6-2, 215; Evan Shimensky, QB, Sr., 5-10, 175; Sam Thomas, WR/SS, Sr., 6-1, 220; Marcus Wright, LB, Sr., 6-4, 225.

Scouting report

Strengths: Both units are loaded with experience and an abundance of excellent athletes from a team that made the playoffs. Shimensky is in his third year as a starter and Bryant is a special player.

Concerns: Despite the experience, Nemec worries about overall depth beyond his starters.

 

Field

Last year: 8-3, 6-1. Advanced to Division III regional quarterfinals.

Coach: Patrick Youell (8-3 in one season).

Key players: Mike Boosinger, LB/WR, Sr., 6-3, 185; Jim Cercek, OG/DE, Jr., 6-2, 230; Brian Grubich, LB, Sr., 6-1, 210; Zack Horovitz, DB/WR, Sr., 6-2, 175; Jay Lugo, RB/CB, Sr., 5-6, 165; Zack Moore, LB/RB, Sr., 5-11, 205; Aaron Polasky, FS/WR/PK, Sr., 6-3, 180; Mike Ries, DE, Sr., 5-8, 175; Nate Stasic, OT/DE, Jr., 6-3, 215.

Scouting report

Strengths: Experience abounds, as 18 starters return from last year's division runner-up and playoff team. Coach Youell loves the leadership and chemistry. Strong line play will carry the team a long way.

Concerns: There is minimal experience at quarterback, one of the few spots where the Falcons are lacking. A tough schedule, with only four home games, could complicate things.

 

Ravenna

Last year: 7-3, 5-2.

Coach: Jim Lunardi (39-32 in seven seasons). Advanced to Division III regional quarterfinals.

Key players: Josh Chechak, QB/DE, Jr., 6-3, 206; Colton Collage, WR/CB, Sr., 5-8, 155; Jake Harris, OT/NT, Sr., 6-3, 370; D.J. Jones, RB/LB, Soph., 5-9, 185; Xavier Jones, FB/LB, Jr., 5-7, 235; Dan McCoy, OT/LB, Sr., 6-1, 270; Parnell Taylor, RB/CB, Sr., 5-10, 185; Zach Thomas, QB/S, Sr., 5-9, 175; Stephen Wilmington, RB/DB, Jr., 6-0, 177; Nick Winn, OG/DE, Jr., 6-0, 180.

Scouting report

Strengths: There is an abundance of offensive linemen in camp and the Ravens always have talent at the skilled positions.

Concerns: The linebacking corps needs to prove itself and there is a slight lack of Friday night experience.

 

Southeast

Last year: 2-8, 2-5.

Coach: Rick Reynolds (13-17 in three seasons).

Key players: Andrew Burke, LB, Sr., 5-11, 170; Eric Fleming, RB, Sr., 5-6, 155; Matiyes Kinker, FB/LB, Jr., 5-10, 210; Rashun Lawrence, WR, Jr., 6-1, 180; Ravonne Lawrence, DB, Jr., 6-1, 180; Anthony Pennington, QB/LB, Sr., 6-0, 185; Damian Pennington, TB/S, Jr., 5-9, 165; Austin Sangston, OG/DE, Sr., 5-11, 220; Sean Stone, TE/LB, Jr., 6-1, 210.

Scouting report

Strengths: Talent at the skilled positions will have to carry the load.

Concerns: The school is the smallest in the PTC's big division, so overall depth and experience along the offensive line are the biggest worries.

 

Norton

Last year: 2-8, 2-5.

Coach: Matt Parrill (6-14 in two seasons).

Key players: Ian Adair, WR/DB, Sr., 5-6, 150; Jerry Baughman, OL/DL, Sr., 6-1, 200; Tim Cool, LB/RB, Sr., 6-1, 180; Brian Meadows, WR/DB, Jr., 5-10, 160; Nick Misura, TE/LB, Jr., 5-10, 185; Tyler Ross, WR/DB, Sr., 5-6, 150; Steve Smith, RB/LB, Sr., 5-11, 195; Xavier Sworniouski, DL, Sr., 6-0, 185; Todd Ward, OL/DL, Jr., 6-0, 210; Reed Zupanzik, LB, Sr., 6-0, 170.

Scouting report

Strengths: Close to 12 starters return from last year, mostly on defense, so the Panthers will be improved there. Parrill believes senior leadership will be a big plus.

Concerns: Only one starter returns along the offensive line and that can be a problem.

 

Crestwood

Last year: 3-7, 3-4.

Coach: Tom Hannan (96-63 in 15 seasons).

Key players: Josh Fehrenback, WR/DB, Jr., 5-11, 180; Chris Graves, TE/WR, Sr., 6-4, 210; Tyler Harris, QB/S, Jr., 5-11, 155; Dakota Long, RB, Sr., 5-9, 200; Joe Monroe, G/NG, Jr., 5-11, 197; Jesse Trefney, LB/FB, Sr., 5-9, 210; Tony Turner, C/DL, Sr., 6-0, 195; Cory Usher, WR/DB, Jr., 5-11, 165.

Scouting report

Strengths: There is talent at most of the skilled positions and Hannan's teams are always competitive.

Concerns: Due to small senior and sophomore classes, numbers are way down and that will be a problem when trying to compete with the upper echelon teams such as Roosevelt, Field and Ravenna.

 

Springfield

Last year: 0-10, 0-7.

Coach: Kevin Vaughn (0-10 in one season).

Key players: Chase Cole, WR/DE, Jr., 6-3, 225; Steven Cole, QB/CB, Sr., 5-7, 150; Chris Evans, OT/DT, Sr., 6-1, 285; John Hofer, TE/LB, Sr., 6-2, 210; Dillon Matthews, TB, Soph., 5-7, 150; Dustin Moneypenny, QB, Sr., 6-0, 180; Joey O'Neil, WR/DB, Sr., 6-2, 180; Zack Talbert, FB/DL, Jr., 5-8, 195.

Scouting report

Strengths: A strong offensive line will front a promising running game. For the first time since 2005, the players are returning to the same system in back-to-back seasons and it will show as Vaughn begins his second season.

Concerns: While the policy has ended, the program is still feeling the impact of pay-to-play. While 40 kids have turned out, there are only four freshmen in the program. Who will lead the offense?

 

Coventry

Last year: 3-7, 3-4.

Coach: Neil Kopp (first year; 24-16 in four seasons).

Key players: Derek Bauer, C/DL, Sr., 5-11, 220; Dave Bulgrin, FB/LB, Sr., 5-10, 185; Brandon Burns, TE/DE, Sr., 6-3, 210; Beau Cross, FB/LB, Sr., 6-2, 215; Randy Henline, RB/DB, Sr., 5-9, 155; J.D. Lucas, OL/DL, Sr., 6-2, 250; Jimmy Mashburn, OL/DL, Sr., 6-3, 265; Colton May, RB/DB, Sr., 5-9, 165.

Scouting report

Strengths: Nice size and good senior leadership will help ease the transition to a new coach and system.

Concerns: Shortage of depth at quarterback, wide receiver and in the secondary.

 

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