Here is a look at the Week 1 football matchup between Firestone and host Archbishop Hoban. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday.
League: City Series. 2013 record: 2-8, 2-4.
Coach: Tim Flossie, ninth season at Firestone and 34th overall. Coach’s record: 32-41 at Firestone; 193-153-3 overall.
Players to watch: Jovahn Fair, Sr., OL-DL; Bryce Harris, Sr., OL-DL; Kamar Majid, Sr., QB-FS-WR; Rahsaan Price, Sr., FS; Demonte’ Swain, Soph., RB; Bahote Griffin, Sr., DE-RB; Isaiah McClain, Sr., LB-RB; Courtlyn Armstrong, Jr., WR; Zuriel Sanders, Soph., WR; Bryce Obeng, Jr., C; London Curry, Sr., OG-DT; Brandon McDowell, Sr., OL; Trent Arnold, Sr., LB; Jaylen Johnson, Fr., OL-DL.
Preseason thoughts from coach Tim Flossie: “I think the City Series will be pretty solid this year. Ellet will be good again and East has a lot back. I know Garfield has a lot back too.
“I was really worried because I wasn’t happy with our quarterback play last year. I didn’t think we had anybody this year because of the guys who graduated, but we have our wide receiver, Kamar Majid, that we moved in to play quarterback. He is doing a really good job. He provides leadership and he doesn’t get too excited. He does what we ask him to do. He is real bright. He understands what we are trying to do. I think we will be a lot better. Our lines, offensively and defensively will be OK. We have good senior leadership, and we have some young kids we are counting on heavy.”
Experience: Flossie, a Garfield graduate who is in his ninth season as coach at Firestone and 34th overall, enters this season seven wins shy of 200 at 193-153-3 overall. He guided Buchtel to Division II state championship victories over Steubenville in 1987 and 1988, and also had success coaching teams at Central-Hower, Firestone and Buchtel. He led Buchtel, Central-Hower and Firestone to City Series championships. Firestone's lone playoff appearance in football came in 2007 under Flossie.
Note: A feature story on Firestone seniors Jovahn Fair and Bryce Harris will appear in the 2014 Akron Beacon Journal High School Football Preview with comments from each player and Flossie. Fair is an Ohio University recruit and Harris is a University of Toledo recruit.
“They bring leadership,” Flossie said. “Both of them are real good football players and both are Division I scholarship guys. They are good kids. They are going to go offense and defense. They have great attitudes and are good leaders. We lacked that last year, big time. We didn’t have anybody who would take over. I think these two kids will do it.
“Firestone is a great academic school, and they have both have over a 3.0 [grade-point average]. College recruiting was easy. That is the first thing they look at. They were open [to going anywhere], and they are big and strong. They got recruited right off the bat. I think they will do real well. Bryce is going to go to Toledo and Jovahn is going to go to OU. That is two great systems."
Archbishop Hoban Knights
League: North Coast League Blue Division. 2013 record: 5-5, 3-2.
Coach: Tim Tyrrell, second season at Hoban and 14th overall. Coach’s record: 5-5 at Hoban; 77-59 overall.
Players to watch: Ted Stieber, Sr., OL; Owen Mellon, Sr., WR; Vince Murdocco, Jr., QB; Todd Sibley, Soph., RB; T.J. Moore, Sr., RB; Tom Redle, Jr., OL; Jonah Morris, Jr., FS/WR; Tyler Gilchrist, Jr., CB/WR; Zack Shoemaker, Sr., LB; Dane Kersh, Jr., LB; Tyler Canova, Jr., CB/WR; Kevin O’Neil, Jr., DL; Nate Bauer, Fr., WR/DB; Mark Westover, Soph., LB.
Outlook: Hoban finished .500 in Tyrrell’s first season, snapping a streak of three losing seasons in a row. The Knights are seeking to make the playoffs this season in Division III with Stieber, Mellon, Murdocco, Sibley, Moore, Redle and Morris playing key roles. Stieber has a Division I scholarship waiting for him as a University of Minnesota recruit. Sibley and Morris are garnering interest from several colleges, as are some of their teammates. Hoban reached the playoffs 10 times (1998-2005, 2008 and 2009) before struggling earlier this decade.
Preseason thoughts from coach Tim Tyrrell: “We have a lot of returning players. We are still pretty young for the second year in a row. We only have nine seniors, two starting on offense and one on defense. The junior class is the heavy class, and we have about four or five good sophomores. The seniors are good, but there are only nine of them.”