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Ellet hopes to keep winning ways going in 2014 football season

By Michael Beaven Published: August 29, 2014

Ellet will attempt to win its third consecutive City Series championship in 2014 after putting together back-to-back 6-0 league records. The Orangemen advanced to the Division II playoffs each season, finishing 10-1 overall in 2013 and 8-3 in 2012.

The Orangemen must reload with several seniors from last season gone due to graduation. Matt Geer, Hussain Hamdan and Jacob Isenhart are gone after earning four varsity letters. Auston Fink, Jake Fisher, Dakota King, Andrew Neal and Jake Williams have also moved on with three varsity letters.

“It is hard to tell how are team looks because we have a lot of question marks [following the graduation of a lot of seniors],” said Ellet coach Joe Yost, who is in his 36th season and is 211-144-2. “We have good kids to fill in, but we also have some spots where we are searching.

“I am excited about our guys because they have grown up as young kids around successful kids. They have a great work ethic and they plan on winning.”

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Friday Night Football: Springfield pays a visit to neighboring rival Ellet

By Michael Beaven Published: August 29, 2014

Here is a brief preview of the non-league football game at 7 p.m. Friday between Springfield and host Ellet:

Ellet Orangemen

League: City Series. 2013 record: 10-1, 6-0.

Coach: Joe Yost, 36th season. Coach’s record: 211-144-2.

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Friday Night Football: Barberton travels to Cuyahoga Falls to renew acquaintances

By Michael Beaven Published: August 29, 2014

Here is a brief preview of the non-league football game at 7 p.m. Friday between Barberton and host Cuyahoga Falls:

Barberton Magics

League: Independent. 2013 record: 2-8.

Coach: Tony Gotto, first season.

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Friday Night Football: Lake visits neighboring rival Green

By Michael Beaven Published: August 29, 2014

Here is a brief preview of the non-league football game at 7 p.m. Friday between Lake and host Green:

Lake Blue Streaks

League: Federal League. 2013 record: 6-4, 4-2.

Coach: Dan DeGeorge, second season. Coach’s record: 6-4.

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Firestone seniors Jovahn Fair and Bryce Harris preview the season

By Ohio.com Published: August 29, 2014

Firestone seniors Jovahn Fair and Bryce Harris talk about the upcoming 2014 high school football season with Michael Beaven from the Akron Beacon Journal. Click here for our entire high school football preview section.

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Video: Hudson's Mitchell Guadagni talks about this season

By Ohio.com Published: August 29, 2014

Hudson senior quarterback Mitchell Guadagni talks about the upcoming 2014 high school football season with Michael Beaven from the Akron Beacon Journal. Click here for our entire high school football preview section.

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Nordonia players set to grace cover of ABJ 2014 High School Football Preview

By Michael Beaven Published: August 28, 2014

Several talented players from area schools have graced the cover of the Akron Beacon Journal High School Football Preview over the years.

There have been football players from Archbishop Hoban, Buchtel, Canton McKinley, Garfield, Hudson, Kent Roosevelt, Massillon, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Wadsworth and a host of other schools recently on the front cover of the section.

The 2014 version will have Nordonia football players on the front cover, and be available to the public in the traditional newspaper form on Friday and online at ohio.com.

Nordonia hopes to improve upon 8-3, 5-2 with Division I college recruits Denzel Ward (Ohio State), Justice Alexander (Michigan State) and Cameron Bell (Toledo) playing key roles.

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Wadsworth aims for another successful football season

By Michael Beaven Published: August 28, 2014

Wadsworth, 9-2, 6-1 a year ago, will open the season without coach Greg Dennison, who is recovering from a surgery that removed a cancerous kidney. He is hoping to return Week 2 or 3, but until he returns defensive coordinator Robb Karovic is in charge.

“Our strength is the program,” Karovic said. “We have program kids. We are consistent in that we run the same system from the seventh grade up on offense and defense. A weakness would be our inexperience on the varsity level. We are replacing 10 starters on defense and eight starters on offense.”

Wadsworth gradated 25 seniors from last year team’s team, but returns new senior leaders in Adam Dennison, Austin White, Wil Rock, Kyle Kemppel, Mason Egleston, Andrew Hammer, Trent Cornacchione and Kyle Pennington. Adam Dennison, Greg’s son, is entering his third year as the starting quarterback.

Here is a preview capusle for the 2014 season:

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Highland football team seeks a second Suburban League title in a row

By Michael Beaven Published: August 28, 2014

The Highland football team put together a season to remember in 2013 by winning the Suburban League championship and advancing to a Division II state semifinal game.

Hornets players, coaches and fans enjoyed the ride, which included playoff victories over Avon Lake, Massillon and Avon, and a loss to Cleveland Glenville.

Coach Tom Lombardo guided Highland to a 13-1 overall record and a 7-0 league mark, and he is optimistic that the Hornets can create more memories this season.

“We have 24 seniors this year after graduating 17 seniors off of last year’s team,” Lombardo said. “We have eight starters back on defense and five on offense.

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Copley football coach set to make debut against alma mater Kent Roosevelt

By Michael Beaven Published: August 28, 2014

Scott Chouinard, 33, will make his debut as the Copley High School football coach Friday night in a familiar place.

Chouinard will guide the Indians to his alma mater, Kent Roosevelt, for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Chouinard played at Roosevelt and also recently coached on the Rough Riders staff.

Chouinard was 32 when Copley hired him and turned 33 on April 20. He graduated from Kent Roosevelt in 2000 and from the College of Wooster in 2004. He played quarterback for the Rough Riders and also for the Fighting Scots.

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Perry, Northwest say hello to new turf fields

By Michael Beaven Published: August 28, 2014

Perry High School and Northwest High School will play their inaugural football games on their new synthetic turf fields this week.

Perry opens the 2014 season Thursday night with visiting Massillon and Northwest will stat the season by hosting Cloverleaf on Friday night. Both games are set to kickoff at 7 p.m.

Walsh Jesuit will also plays its first game on its new synthetic turf field on Friday night when it hosts Youngstown Ursuline at 7 p.m.

The synthetic turf fields are similar to the playing fields at several area schools, such as Archbishop Hoban, Brunswick, Copley, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, Green, Hudson, Jackson, Lake, Massillon, Medina, Nordonia, Orrville, Ravenna, Revere, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Stow and Wadsworth.

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Video: Previewing Week 1 of high school football

By Ohio.com Published: August 28, 2014

Michael Beaven and Rich Stallsmith preview Week 1 of the 2014 high school football season and break down the biggest games.

Here are all of our picks for Week 1:

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Jackson graduate Kyle Mottice commits to Cincinnati for baseball

By Michael Beaven Published: August 18, 2014

Kyle Mottice, a 2014 Jackson High School graduate, has committed to continue baseball career at the University of Cincinnati.

Mottice helped Jackson win the Division I state championship in baseball in June as a leadoff hitter and middle infielder.

Mottice led the Polar Bears with a .488 batting average and 32 runs scored as a senior. Jackson also won a Federal League championship, and sectional, district and regional titles on its way to earning the state title.

Mottice played the role of a catalyst during Jackson’s run under coach Bill Gamble, as he hit safely and scored in each of the Polar Bears six district, regional and state tournament games. He went 13-for-23 at bat with seven runs scored and five runs batted in. In the regional wins against Mentor and Hudson, he went 6-for-8.

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Walsh Jesuit starts season with midnight practice, ready for Friday's home opening game

By Michael Beaven Published: August 28, 2014

The Walsh Jesuit football team opened the 2014 season with a midnight practice on its new synthetic turf field on Aug. 1, and will continue it tonight when it hosts Week 1 opponent Youngstown Ursuline at 7 p.m.

“It ended up being a pretty neat event,” Walsh coach Gerry Rardin said in regards to the practice at Conway Memorial Stadium. “At 10:45 p.m. I was struggling and kind of tired because I am not usually awake at that time, but then the kids started arriving and the coaches were there and it was time to practice. Everyone was excited and ready to roll.”

Rardin said the practice featured three sessions. The first session started at midnight and went for an hour and 45 minutes. A break for 45 minutes followed, and then a second sessions last about an hour. Another 45-minute came and then the third session went for an hour and 45 minutes. Rardin said practice wrapped up around 6 a.m.

“The practices were outstanding,” Rardin said. “We had about 50 to 100 people at about midnight when we came out, and then naturally it was more quiet after that for the other practices. That was a really cool experience. The mom’s had pancakes and sausage, waffles, hashbrowns, fruit, bagels, donuts, milk and juice. They had it all. The kids ate like kings at about 6:30 a.m. and then everybody went home and slept. We were off that afternoon and evening, and then got back at it the next day.”

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The ABJ 2014 High School Football Preview will be available in print & online Friday

By Michael Beaven Published: August 28, 2014

The Akron Beacon Journal 2014 High School Football Preview section will be available in print and online at ohio.com on Friday.

The section includes coverage of several area teams with feature stories on players and teams, league preview stories, capsules on teams and several pictures.

Included in the coverage are public schools in the City Series, the Suburban League, the Portage Trail Conference, the Northeast Ohio Conference, the Federal League and the PAC-7, as well as area schools in other leagues, Independent schools and Catholic and Christian schools.

The section includes feature stories on players from Firestone, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Nordonia, Hudson, Green, Manchester and Jackson.

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Thursday night football: Firestone visits Hoban in Week 1 of 2014 season

By Michael Beaven Published: August 28, 2014

Here is a look at the Week 1 football matchup between Firestone and host Archbishop Hoban. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday.

Firestone Falcons

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.

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Thursday night football: Garfield visits St. Vincent-St. Mary in Week 1 of 2014 season

By Michael Beaven Published: August 28, 2014

Here is a look at the Week 1 football matchup between Garfield and host St. Vincent-St. Mary. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday.

Garfield Golden Rams

League: City Series. 2013 record: 5-5, 3-3.

Coach: Bob Sax, 13th season. Coach’s record: 66-55.

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High school football is back, here is the 2014 Week 1 area schedule

By Michael Beaven Published: August 28, 2014

Here is a look at the Week 1 schedule for the 2014 high school football season:

Firestone at Archbishop Hoban

Garfield at St. Vincent-St. Mary

Massillon at Perry, 7:30 p.m.

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Walsh Jesuit senior Azim Qadri commits to Ohio State for baseball

By Michael Beaven Published: August 26, 2014

Walsh Jesuit senior baseball player Azim Qadri has made a commitment to continue his academic and athletic career at Ohio State University.

Qadri, an outfielder, helped Walsh to an undefeated regular season and a No. 3 ranking in the CBS MaxPreps Xcellent 50 national rankings.  Walsh lost to Hudson in a Division I district final in May.

Qadri, a Hudson resident, played a key role on Warriors teams that won the 2013 and 2014 North Coast League Blue Division championship. He posted a batting average of .386 as a junior and led the team with a .531 batting average as a sophomore.

“What a true joy it has been having Azim Qadri as a member of Walsh Jesuit baseball for four years,” Warriors coach Chris Kaczmar said. “He has a great heart, he is an extraordinary ambassador to our program and the game of baseball, and he possesses an abundant set of tools and truly has a great deal of potential for success at the next level.

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Hoban’s Todd Sibley Jr. tabbed as a sophomore to watch in the country

By Michael Beaven Published: August 22, 2014

CBS MaxPreps has tabbed Archbishop Hoban sophomore Todd Sibley Jr as a member of its Preseason Sophomore All-American Football Team.

Sibley, a running back, is also listed as a “sleeper pick” on the publication’s Sophomore Player of the Year Watch. He is praised for displaying “uncanny power as a freshman” last year and “breakaway speed.”

Hoban opens the 2014 football season at home against Firestone at 7 p.m. on Aug. 28.

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St. V-M, Hudson, Massillon among top ranked football teams in Midwest

By Michael Beaven Published: August 22, 2014

The CBS MaxPreps Midwest preseason regional computer rankings include three area football teams, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Hudson and Massillon.

St. V-M is ranked No. 12, Hudson checks in at 20th and Massillon is 21st.

The Midwest rankings include schools from the following states: Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Lakewood St. Edward and Archbishop Moeller are No. 1 and 2, respectively in the rankings. Other schools in the top 25 are Mentor (ninth), Loveland is (14th), Austintown Fitch is (22nd).

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Wadsworth football coach Gregg Dennison recovering from surgery, plans to return this season

By Michael Beaven Published: August 20, 2014

It appears that the Wadsworth High School football team will take the field for its 2014 season opener at Ashland on Aug. 29 without coach Greg Dennison.

Wadsworth Athletic Director Brad Musgrave said Wednesday that Dennison is resting at home following a recent surgery.

“Greg had surgery to remove a kidney a week ago yesterday, Aug. 12,” Musgrave said. “He is doing pretty well. He was supposed to be their one night and it went very well from what I have been told. It was an arthroscopic surgery that took about one hour. The cancer was contained to his kidney and it did not spread, so he does not need chemo or radiation.”

Musgrave said he has not been in contact with Dennison since Aug. 11. He has received updates from Dennison’s son, Adam Dennison, a senior at Wadsworth.

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Walsh Jesuit's Riley Minorik commits to Bowling Green for baseball

By Michael Beaven Published: August 18, 2014

Walsh Jesuit senior baseball player Riley Minorik has made a commitment to continue his academic and athletic career at Bowling Green State University.

Minorik, a shortstop and Akron resident, is a three-year varsity player who has helped Walsh win North Coast League Blue Division championships in 2013 and 2014. The 2014 Walsh team compiled an undefeated regular season, was ranked No. 3 in the CBS MaxPreps Xcellent 50 national baseball rankings and then lost to Hudson in a Division I district final.

Minorik was named to the NCL-Blue honorable mention team as a junior after posting a .328 batting average with two home runs and 11 runs batted in.

“One comment that resonates most from college scouts about Riley Minorik is that he consistently plays the game the right way, and that he stands out with respect to his effort and passion,” Walsh coach Chris Kaczmar said in a prepared statement.

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Firestone graduate Sara Davis commits to Flagler College for volleyball

By Michael Beaven Published: August 18, 2014

Sara Davis, a 2014 Firestone High School graduate, has signed to play volleyball at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla.

Davis, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker-middle hitter, earned four varsity letters between being a reserve as a freshman and a starter as a sophomore, junior and senior. She was named City Series Player of the Year as a senior helped Firestone win the City Series regular season percentage championship and playoff title.

Davis finished her high school career with 815 kills, 240 digs, 173 service aces and 131 solo blocks. She also set a school record for kills in a match with 38.

“Sara has been a huge asset to our team over the past few years and I have enjoyed working with her and watching her grow,” Firestone coach Stacey Myers said. “She is one of the best athletes that I have been blessed to work with. Her leadership and enthusiasm will be greatly missed by coaches and teammates.”

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The 9th annual Hudson Challenger Football Game set for Saturday

By Michael Beaven Published: August 6, 2014

The Hudson Hawks Organization and the Hudson Chapter of the Special Olympics will sponsor the 9th Annual Challenger Football Game on Saturday (Aug. 9).

The game will highlight those special athletes from the Hudson Chapter Special Olympics organization in a football game to showcase their love for the game and their special athletic talents.

“Last year’s event was a great success,” said Mark Guadagni, one of the game’s organizers. “The community came out in full force and we all witnessed some great football by some very special athletes. We also had many special guest from the city of Hudson, radio and TV personalities and former pro athletes from the Cleveland Browns who all contributed to this very special event.”

The game this year will be held again at The Scott Malson Memorial Field near Hudson Middle School, starting at 4 p.m. A gathering of the community, athletes and guests starts at 3 p.m.

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Inaugural Steve Pryseski Memorial Golf Open set for Sunday

By Michael Beaven Published: August 6, 2014

The Inaugural Steve Pryseski Memorial Golf Open is set for Sunday (Aug. 10) at Sunny Hill Golf Course in Kent.

The event honors Pryseski, a former teacher and coach at Ellet, and an athletic official in the Akron Public Schools that passed away last year. It will have a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m., and will have contests such as closest to the pin, longest drive and putting skill.

A granite marker at the landscaping on the 17th hole will be dedicated in memory of Steve at 8 a.m.

Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society and the Ellet Student Athlete Pryseski Scholarship Fund.

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