Here is a preseason look at Suburban League football. In this post, you will find players (and any all-star recognition they received in the league last season) to watch from each team and my predictions for the upcoming season.
TALLMADGE (8-3 overall, 6-1 in the Suburban League last season)
Top players: Senior LB-RB Collin Haben (first-team Suburban League), senior QB-DB Patrick Pakan (first-team), senior LB-TE Aaron Donze (first-team), senior OL-DL Nick Fleming (second-team all-district in Division II and first-team SL), junior PK-P James Plunkett (first-team), senior OL-DL Jesse Hobbel, junior Zack Cevasco (first-team), junior RB-DB Tyler Fortner, junior OL-DL Nick White.
WADSWORTH (7-3, 5-2)
Top players: Senior RB Dru Jones (second-team All-Ohio and first-team all-district in Division I), junior OL-DL Ricky Canestraro (second-team SL), junior DB Anthony Lorubbio (second-team), junior LB-RB Jake Palidar (second-team).
GREEN (8-2, 5-2)
Top players: Senior OL Nick Bridenbaugh (second-team), senior OL-DL Cory Potter (second-team), senior DL Shane Callahan (second-team).
REVERE (5-5, 5-2)
Top players: Senior QB Taylor Newmann (first-team), senior OL-DL Patrick Lyden (first-team), senior WR-DB Mick Battaglia (second-team).
COPLEY (5-5, 4-3)
Top players: Senior WR-DB Joe Hanlin (first-team), senior RB Justin White-Reid (second-team), senior OL Tim Goodman (second-team), senior LB-RB Walt Harris (second-team), senior OL Drew Bowser (second-team).
CLOVERLEAF (3-7, 2-5)
Top players: Senior DL Justin Marrs (first-team), junior QB-DB Cody Roberts (second-team).
HIGHLAND (1-9, 1-6)
Top players: Junior LB-FB Tyler Houska (special-mention all-state, first-team all-district in Divison III and first-team SL), junior Chris Snook (first-team), senior Will Sutton (second-team).
BARBERTON (3-7, 0-7)
Top players: Sophomore QB Kyle Snyder (second-team).
Here are my preseason predictions for the Suburban League:
Here is an explanation for my picks: Tallmadge has won the past two Suburban League titles, and the Blue Devils should be able to do it again. Wadsworth will also be tough with senior running back Dru Jones leading the way for the Grizzlies. But I think Tallmadge senior quarterback/defensive back Patrick Pakan will be able to help the Blue Devils hold the Grizzlies off. Tallmadge senior Nick Fleming, one of the area's best offensive linemen, will lead an experienced unit that should be able to give Pakan plenty of time to orchestrate the offense effectively. Green lost its three offensive stars (quarterback Kade Wagner, wide receiver Evan Elliot and running back Corey Welch) because of graduation. But the Bulldogs have eight returning starters on offense, meaning all the linemen who blocked for the three offensive standouts will be back to block well for new skill players. That's why I think Green will be dangerous. Copley will go through some changes under first-year coach Ron Viscounte, who will fill in for now-St. Vincent-St. Mary coach Dan Boarman. I think Revere will improve and be a dangerous team that can pull off some upsets. Highland, Cloverleaf and Barberton all have talented players returning but will have a difficult time making it out of the bottom three in a tough league.
What do you think of these picks? Leave comments to let me know.