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.
“I don’t want to bother him,” Musgrave said. “Obviously it is a draining a situation when you have surgery. His son, who is the starting quarterback, said he is really tired and recovering. He is doing fine, and hopefully the cancer is gone.”
Musgrave said sixth-year defensive coordinator Robb Karovic is the interim head coach until Dennison returns for his 20th season at Wadsworth.
“Greg had told me before his surgery that every indication from his doctors is that he would be back three weeks after surgery,” Musgrave said. “That is a tentative schedule and we will have to see how he feels then.”
Wadsworth travels to play at Ashland on Aug. 29 and at Wooster on Sept. 5. The Grizzlies home opener is against Medina on Sept. 12.
“I talked to Greg last night [Tuesday] and talked to him Sunday,” Karovic said. “We talk and text periodically since he has been out of surgery and he is doing well. He is on a, hopefully, speedy recovery. He sounded really well on the phone the other day. He sounds tired at times, but he is moving around more and not confined to a chair.”
Wadsworth starts the Suburban League portion of its schedule at Tallmadge on Sept. 19 and at home on Sept. 26 against Highland.
All of the Grizzlies games are set to kickoff at 7 p.m.
“Greg is an old-school type of person,” Musgrave. “He is a great guy and a great football coach. . . . I know he is chomping at the bit to get back on the field with the players.”
Wadsworth finished 9-2 overall last season, 6-1 in the Suburban League and participated in the Division I playoffs.
Dennison started as Wadsworth’s football coach in 1995, and has guided the Grizzlies to the playoffs eight times, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Dennison graduated from Norton in 1983 and returned to his alma mater as football coach in 1993 and 1994 before moving to Wadsworth. His father, Jim Dennison, formerly was the football coach at the University of Akron and Walsh University. Greg played for his father at UA.
“From knowing Greg, he wants to be back for Week 1, but doctors have said they want him to rest and relax for three weeks following the surgery,” Karovic said. “We’re hoping to have back him as quick as possibly, but we want to him to do what is right and heal properly.”
Karovic said Dennison was able to watch Wadsworth’s recent scrimmage with Hudson and Ellet from home on his computer through www.hudl.com, and has been able to game plan with second-year offensive coordinator Kyle Stout.