The list of undefeated football teams in the area is down to four as the season enters Week 7.
Canton McKinley, Marlington, Mogadore and Norwayne all carry perfect records into their games this weekend.
McKinley is 5-0. Marlington, Mogadore and Norwayne are all 6-0.
There are 14 area teams that are 5-1, including Summit County schools Hudson, Nordonia, Norton, St. Vincent-St. Mary and Tallmadge.
Nordonia and Norton both had losing records last year.
The Knights have rebounded this season under first-year coach Jeff Fox and the talents of senior quarterback Tyler Alders and sophomore wide receiver Alex Alders, who are brothers.
First-year coach John Tanksley has spearheaded the Panthers’ turnaround season.
“The kids are doing a great job,” Tanksley said. “They are doing everything we have asked them to do. They are playing well and giving it everything they have got. Streetsboro is a pretty good football club. We have our work cut out for us this week.”
Tanksley said junior center Johnny Glas and senior quarterback Colton Costanzo lead an offense that includes junior split end Drake Gable, junior tailback Jon Cheatham and junior left tackle Desmond Smith.
Norton’s defense features junior safety Jake Fling, senior cornerback Andy Simons, senior lineman Cody Meade, sophomore outside linebacker Ethan Humes and sophomore cornerback Hunter Carneal.
Wildcats march on
Undefeated Mogadore travels to Garrettsville on Friday after last week’s 60-0 victory over visiting Windham.
“We’re really happy to be off to such a great start at 6-0,” Mogadore coach Matt Adorni said. “We had two very good wins in Week 3 and 4 against Northwestern, who is now 5-1, and Woodridge, who is now 4-2.”
Senior running back Gary Strain is the Wildcats’ top offensive threat. Junior Anthony Ricci is solid at quarterback on an offense that also has senior split end Kasey Beard and senior lineman Joe Callihan. Seniors Jake Cramer and Scot Hower lead the defense.
Success at WRA
Western Reserve Academy Athletic Director Herb Haller is quite pleased with the Pioneers’ success in several sports this fall, including boys soccer, girls soccer, girls field hockey and boys golf.
Haller is the boys soccer coach and has led the team to a 12-0-1 record and a No. 1 ranking in the Division III state coaches poll with three matches left.
Sophomore forward Ryan Hassell, a Bermuda native, leads WRA with 25 goals and one assist. Senior Rishav Banerjee of Twinsburg has 11 goals and nine assists.
Seniors Federico Silva (10 goals and three assists) and Scott Schultz (six shutouts) are both key players that hail from Hudson.
WRA has wins over ranked teams Gates Mills Hawken and Mansfield Christian.
The Pioneers’ lone draw came against defending Division I state champion Cleveland St. Ignatius this past Saturday.
“We have a pretty good team this year,” Haller said. “Up until Saturday, on the attacking end of things we have been scoring left and right. That was the first time going into a match I knew our [defensive] backs would be tested.”
Hudson residents senior Jack McCormick, junior Joe Blanda, junior David Ma and sophomore Kurt Haller also play integral roles for WRA. Other key players on the team are junior Alex Campana (Twinsburg), senior Connor Polak (Cincinnati) and Till Bethge (Germany).
The Pioneers are 13-1-0 in girls soccer and ranked No. 4 in the Division III coaches poll.
Forward Nicky Waldeck and defender Audrey Brown are senior captains. Waldeck, a Glen Ellyn, Ill., native, has 37 goals and six assists this season. She has 105 goals in her prep career.
“We have got a good mix of young and old,” WRA girls soccer coach Joe DiBiase said. “We have the best player on the field in every game in Nicky. This is the best team we have had and this is my 11th year.”
Brown is from Boston Heights. There are six Hudson residents who start: seniors Virginia Carter, Pauline Van Dijck, Lindsey Wirtz and Andie DiBiase, junior Maggie Wise and sophomore Zoe McCormick. Freshman Maria Paparella (Akron) and sophomore Sam Mills (North Canton) are also starters.
German junior Tim Ewers and senior Adam Sneath of Pittsburgh lead the boys golf team, which has a 12-3 record. Sophomore Tinhao “Barnabas” Wang and Tinshuang “Joseph” Wang have made an impact after coming to school from China.
Four Hudson residents — seniors Andrew Fazekash and Kevin Hoover and juniors Robbie Murray and Miles Van Blarcum — each regularly contribute.
“It’s been an unreal season in that no one had high expectations,” WRA golf coach Brand Closen said.
Coach Kirsten Walther has the Pioneers’ field hockey team at 6-4 with senior captains Julia Schiciano of Hudson and Annie Wyman of Akron leading the way.
Junior Annie Carter (Hudson), sophomore Sarah Forhan (Hudson) and senior Cheyenne Gibbons (Tallmadge) are also key local contributors.
Panthers on the prowl
Manchester football coach Jim France said the Panthers’ four-game winning streak can be attributed to better play along the offensive line and on defense.
Junior center David Gresham anchors an offensive line that also features senior right guard Richie Ashley, senior right tackle Logan Hull, junior tight end Chandler Stahl, senior left guard Dalton Baska and junior left tackle Jake Hanzel.
Senior Nick Peyakov has been efficient at quarterback, with his top targets being senior wide receivers Jamar Dukes and Chad Robertson and junior wide receivers Aaron Hoxworth and Zach Ford.
Senior Clay Miller is the Panthers’ top running back. Miller is also a linebacker on a defense that includes senior middle linebacker Garrett Smith, junior back Austin Klein, Hanzel at middle guard and Dukes at an end position.
Five area baseball players will get to feel like major-leaguers Saturday.
In conjunction with ACE Baseball, the Indians will host the inaugural High School Fall League All-Star Game at noon at Progressive Field.
High school players from around Northeast Ohio will have the opportunity to take batting practice in the Progressive Field cages, use the dugouts and play a game on the field.
The local players are: Walsh Jesuit junior Trevor Ray, Brunswick junior Jake Brown, Brunswick senior Michael Cintron, Cloverleaf junior Adam Cooper and Medina junior Nathaniel Justice.
Gate D will open at 11:30 a.m.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.