I went to the City Series football media day to gather information, get answers to some of your questions and most importantly, eat lasagna. Here are some items I have in my notebook:
---All the coaches agreed that the 2007 season might be the most wide open the City Series has been in years.
"I think this could be one of the most balanced years that we've seen in the City Series in a long, long time," said Ellet coach Joe Yost, who is entering his 29th season with the Orangemen.
Yost will be inducted into the Summit County Hall of Fame on October 2.
---Firestone coach Tim Flossie was entertaining as usual. After Joe Howard, the Akron Schools director of athletics, introduced Flossie as the coach who is celebrating the 20th anniversary of winning his first state championship with Buchtel, Flossie joked about it.
"I'm so old I can't even remember the damn thing," said Flossie, who won back-to-back state titles as the Griffins head coach in 1987 and 1988.
Flossie went on to talk about the value of the City Series and how its underrated.
"I get sick and tired of hearing about the suburbs," he said. "It enrages me. ... We have a 3.0 student here and they have an 8.9 student there."
---I talked to Buchtel senior Johnny Adams about making the switch from wide receiver to quarterback this season.
"I feel like it's my senior year, and I'm ready to take charge of the offense," Adams said.
Adams, who has a 2.7 grade-point average and scored a 22 on the ACT, said he feels comfortable in his new position because the Griffins offensive line looks solid. "Our line is bigger, stronger and smarter than any line we've had since I've been here," he said.
Adams, who earned special-mention all-state honors as a defensive back/receiver/kick return specialist last season, said he has received offers from the following colleges: University of Akron, Michigan State, Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Iowa, Marshall and Toledo. Adams said he hasn't narrowed down his choices yet.
---Garfield defensive end/tight end Whitney Mercilous said he has narrowed down his colleges of choice to Purdue and Illinois. Whitney, 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, was a second-team all-district pick in Division II last season, when he had 23 tackles (eight for a loss).
---North senior running back Larry Dawson said he's received offers from the University of Akron, Bowling Green State University and Army. Dawson said he hasn't made a decision where he will go, but he knows what he wants.
"I want to be comfortable," said Dawson, who has a 3.8 grade-point average. "I want to be on a team where I at least know one person. I want to be somewhere we can compete."
At BG, Dawson said he knows former Walsh Jesuit standout running back Mark Wooldridge. At UA, Dawson said he knows former Buchtel standout running back Bryan Williams.
---East coach Damon Beasley said East senior linebacker Shomari Akhdar, a first-team All-City selection last season, is receiving interest from Villanueva, Holy Cross and Miami of Ohio. Beasley also said Bowling Green has shown interest in senior fullback/linebacker Demetrius Bentley, a second-team All-City selection in 2006.
---East High School students will go to school in the old Central-Hower buidling in downtown Akron because their building is being renovated. Beasley said the move has had a positive affect on the football team.
"It was a tough process at first, but it turned out to be a blessing," Beasley said. "It's a nice facility. The kids like it a lot."
---Flossie said Firestone running back Darshawn Thomas is the real deal. Thomas ran for 1,126 yards and eight touchdowns on 211 carries for the Falcons (4-6, 3-2).
"He runs a 4.3 40 (yard dash), Flossie said. "He's fast and he's tough. He could go to a Division I school. I think he's as good as Antonio Pittman."
Pittman was a standout running back at Buchtel and Ohio State University. He's now an NFL rookie with the New Orleans Saints.
---Kenmore coach Tony Grimes said Cardinals senior running back/linebacker Thomas Cheairs gaining interest from colleges because of his speed and size (6-foot-2, 195 pounds).
"He's probably our best athlete," Grimes said of Cheairs. "He's got some schools looking at him at the low-Division I level."
---Buchtel first-year coach and legendary area running back Ricky Powers talked about the importance of emphasizing academics among his players.
"We've got to get our kids to understand that school is first," said Powers, who was a star player on the Griffins team that won state titles under Flossie. "That's they only way they're going to get to play at the next level."
Powers knows about playing at the next level. He played for the University of Michigan, then went on to play for the Detroit Lions and Browns.