Tiger senior quarterback Aaron Macer should put up nice numbers in the spread offense this year and junior running back London Carter can be a breakaway runner. Senior linebacker Nico Gagne-Cross, senior offensive and defensive lineman Brett Gulosh, sophomore running back John Barton and junior offensive and defensive lineman Willie Williams are big-time players.
Hudson coach Tom Narducci says the Explorers are rebuilding after a ton of experienced players graduated, including outstanding quarterback Richie Piekarski. The line is the strong point of the offense, with returnee Steve Nagy and Sean Hoover, Quaison Osborne and Will Elffers, who lettered as backups last season.
The most intriguing player is Ben Gedeon, who will be moved around on offense, from quarterback to running back to wide receiver. Senior running back and wide receiver Joey Studer has great speed and reliable senior kicker Mike Ulmer is 31-for-31 in extra point attempts.
New Stow coach Mark Nori has a lot of enthusiasm, more players out for the entire program, and experienced seniors to work with as he tries to get the Bulldogs back on the winning track.
The Stow offense starts with the dangerous seniors Duane Mitchell and versatile Mike Greenwell, who both can line up at quarterback. Mitchell also plays wide receiver and defensive back and Greenwell also plays running back and defensive back. Senior wide receiver/defensive back Kevin Herman, wide receiver/defensive back Cody Boggs (a transfer from St. Vincent-St. Mary), center Sam DiSanto and offensive lineman/linebacker Nick Conrad are looking forward to surprising a lot of opponents.
Progress has been slow for third-year Cuyahoga Falls coach Mike Miller but the Black Tigers hope to finally have a winning season to break the losing stigma. The spread offense relies on both seniors Tim Bridenthal and Adam Gammell, who have been battling to get time at quarterback; running back/linebacker Chris Pollard; wide receiver/defensive back Tyler Hobany; and senior offensive linemen Sam Miihlbach and Kevin Pask.
The Valley Division of the NOC has become one of the toughest in Northeast Ohio.
Nordonia finally gutted old Boliantz Stadium and built the new Boliantz Stadium a few hundred feet north of the old site right behind the high school. The new Boliantz is a turf field, which should help minimize the rash of injuries that plagued the Knights last season.
Coach Al Huge says that the injuries produced one blessing — a lot of playing time for younger players. Running back John Spooney graduated after gutting out an injury-plagued season.
Experience should help quarterback Zack Lewis, running backs Donnie Eatmon and Paul Ward, tight end/linebacker Jay Velez, and kicker Justin Politi, all seniors. Seniors Brandyn Clark and wide receiver/safety Donovan Carter appear ready to have big seasons.
New Medina coach Larry Laird comes in with the handicap of pay-for-play — to the tune of $660 per sport with no cap. Junior tight end Ken Kaminski has committed to playing basketball for Tom Izzo at Michigan State. The Bees also got a boost when junior free safety Ben Cunningham transferred from St. Edward.
Senior Justin Letts will move into the quarterback slot, though junior Mason Schreck (6-6, 220 pounds) appears ready to start, too. Senior running back Jason Suggs and offensive tackle Joe Hans, both seniors, hope to get the offense far more points this season.
Despite the graduation of starting quarterback Jake Voigt and tight end/defensive end Keith Baldwin (Ohio State), Solon is the heavy favorite to win the division. Quarterback/defensive back Chris Humphrey, running back/defensive back Kyle Hammonds, junior defensive tackle Nathan-el Hoff, junior linebacker Nick Davidson and senior guards Sam Camiener and David Corrigan are the top returners. Former Canton McKinley and Warren Harding coach Thom McDaniels is the Comets' offensive coordinator.
New Brunswick coach Larry Beal, brother-in-law of Twinsburg coach Mark Solis, hopes to win over support from the Blue Devil faithful who are reportedly angry that none of former coach Rich Nowak's assistants was hired to replace the longtime head coach and most moved to Holy Name, where Nowak is offensive coordinator under his former assistant and new Green Wave coach Mark Pinzone.