The Mogadore football team finished a perfect 10-0 regular season this past Friday and is ready for its 26th state playoff appearance this weekend.

The state playoffs started in 1972, and the Wildcats have been a regular in the postseason.

No. 8-seed Steubenville Catholic Central (6-4) will meet top-seeded Mogadore in a Division VI, Region 21 game at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.

A total of 21 area schools will have a football game this weekend.

Wildcats coach Matt Adorni praises the play of senior running back Gary Strain, who has been consistent as the go-to player on offense.

Junior Anthony Ricci is a solid quarterback. Seniors Kasey Beard and Austin Pierce are the primary receivers. Senior center Sam Graska and senior tackle Joe Callihan anchor the offensive line.

Defensively, the Wildcats have held opponents at bay behind the play of senior end Scot Hower, junior linebacker Bryce Huth and seniors Pierce and Jake Cramer in the secondary.

Undefeated Norwayne

Norwayne is also 10-0 entering a Division IV, Region 13 first-round playoff matchup with Northwestern (8-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cloverleaf.

The Bobcats are the defending Division IV state champions and will be confident after beating the Huskies 64-0 last week.

Coach Joe Harbour has guided Norwayne to 16 wins in a row and 24 wins in its past 25 games.

Senior Jon Zimmerly is a standout running back and defensive end for Norwayne, and junior Joe Dreher is efficient at quarterback.

Seniors Richie Smith and Mitch Knieriem are both solid wide receivers and defensive backs.

Other impact Bobcats players are Kaleb Harris, Brady Berger, Chad Reed, Kollin Moore, Caleb Barb, Devin Sickle, Zack Weinman, Cody Scruggs, Lane Brown and Markeece Hildreth.

Veteran coaches

When Ellet and Kent Roosevelt meet Friday night at Dix Stadium at Kent State for a Division II, Region 5 state football playoff game, they will be doing so with experienced coaches.

Joe Yost is in his 34th season as Ellet’s coach and John Nemec is in his 28th season as Roosevelt’s coach. Nemec has 32 seasons overall in his career.

Both coaches have more than 200 career victories.

Yost said assistants John Sarver and Bill Lehman have been coaching alongside him since 1979 when he took over as head coach, and assistant Chuck Shuman has been on board since 1981.

Bob Clark, Brian Geer and Steve Hague have also been with Yost for a majority of his tenure. Yost’s brothers Gary, Jim, Bob and Randy are also affiliated with the program in a variety of roles that include video and statistics.

“It is really a family affair with our coaching staff,” Yost said. “We have a staff that offers a lot of support to me and everyone gives valuable advice. Guys will step up and tell me if I am doing something stupid. None of these guys are yes guys. Everyone comes to work and talks about ways to improve. It’s one of the greatest privileges to coach with these guys who are so dedicated to this program.”

Sarver’s wife, Janis Sarver, is in her 32nd year as Ellet’s cheerleading advisor.

Orange rally

Ellet is hosting a “Community Pep Rally” at 6:30 tonight in the high school gymnasium. There will also be a meet and greet with the players afterward for pictures and autographs with the community.

Tickets for the game remain on sale and are $7 in advance for students and adults and $9 at the gate Friday. Tickets can be purchased at the school until 4 p.m. today and Friday, at the rally and at A Winner’s Choice, a sporting goods store located at 2216 E. Market St.

Irish scholars

The St. Vincent-St. Mary girls and boys cross country teams are more than just state qualifiers as runners.

Irish coach Dan Lancianese said each team earned Academic All-Ohio team honors for their collective achievements academically.

“The team is a big group of kids that are really dedicated to their class work and working hard in training,” Lancianese said.

The Irish girls have a team grade-point average of 3.79 and the boys are at 3.4

“Most of us are in a lot of AP and honors classes,” Irish senior Amanda Sollenberger said. “There is a lot of studying, but that is part of being on this team. It is a tradition that we want to keep going. The seniors passed it down to us and we have passed it along to the girls that are younger than us.”

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or Read the high school blog at Follow him on Twitter at and on Facebook at