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Football Preview 2017

Krol Ready to Tackle Challenge at Bridgeport

By KIM NORTH BRIDGEPORT — For the third time in the last four seasons, Bridgeport has a new head football coach. Gary Krol was hired when Zack Melton resigned after last season following a two-year stint. Melton had replaced Rudy Vavrock who brought the program back to prominence. Krol ...

Plan of Attack: How A Coach Prepares

By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer NEW YORK — A big dry erase board hangs on the wall of one side of the meeting room. It has rows and rows of numbers and words handwritten in blue marker that only make sense to someone who speaks the language of football. On the opposite wall ...

Oak Glen Is Looking to Go 1-0 Every Week

By JOE CATULLO NEW CUMBERLAND — Even with 10 seniors on Oak Glen’s roster for the upcoming season, the Golden Bears are starting fresh on and off the field. After an underachieving 2-8 record a season ago, second-year head coach Ted Arneault knows this year will be a challenge early on. ...

Rebels Mark 1st Year in OVAC

By TRACY WATSON COLUMBIANA — As one of the newest members of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference, Crestview brings a huge football tradition to the conference, however, veteran coach Paul Cusick’s Rebels are also coming off a rare down season. Cusick enters his 19th season at the school ...

Conotton Valley Seeks New Culture

By TRACY WATSON BOWERSTON — There have been plenty of things missing in the Conotton Valley football program through the years - mainly pride, enthusiasm and numbers. That could all be changing heading into the 2017 season under first-year Coach Brant Gardner and his crew. First off, the ...

Creek Looks to Continue Its Winning Ways

By BUBBA KAPRAL WINTERSVILLE — Andrew Connor has created a culture of winning at Indian Creek — and doing so in class fashion. The Steubenville Central product embarks on his 15th year at the Redskins’ helm fresh off another successful campaign, one in which Creek posted a sparkling ...

SCC’s Daley: We Have Size, Speed and Skill

By ED LOOMAN STEUBENVILLE — Steve Daley likes what he sees when he looks at his 2017 Steubenville Catholic team. Truth be told, however, he’d like to see a few more players wearing the Royal Blue and Gold. Daley is entering his seventh season at the helm. His 2016 team went 5-5, ...

Filberto, Weir Look to Reload, Not Rebuild

By RALPH COX WEIRTON — It is easy to think that when a high school football team loses 13 players — a couple of them all-staters — that the following year will involve rebuilding. With 15 returning lettermen, veteran Weir coach Tony Filberto is looking to reload rather than rebuild. ...

Cambridge Look to Make Playoffs Trip

By BUBBA KAPRAL CAMBRIDGE — It was a season to remember for Cambridge. The Bobcats punched their ticket into the 2016 OHSAA playoffs for the initial time during the Kevin Gunn Era. The Bobcats did so by posting a 7-3 record against a punishing schedule. Many players from that special ...

Experienced Group Returns for Madonna

By RALPH COX WEIRTON — There is some bad news to go along with the good news regarding Madonna. Bad news is that the 2-8 season of 2016 isn’t exactly what coach Darrin Hicks envisioned. Good news is this year starts out with 17 lettermen and 14 returners that got starting time last ...

Allen Takes Over at Barnesville for Johnson

By KIM NORTH BARNESVILLE — Usually it takes a season or two for a new head coach to transition his systems into a new program. That is not the case for Blake Allen who was elevated from offensive coordinator to head coach at Barnesville following the resignation of Matt Johnson after last ...

East Liverpool Looking to Put Plenty of Points Up

By TRACY WATSON EAST LIVERPOOL — A total of 26 letterwinners, including six starters on both sides of the football return at East Liverpool for the 2017 campaign as Coach Josh Ludwig attempts to get his Potters past the .500 mark. Entering the 120th year of football at the school, East ...

Herbert in for the Long Haul at Buckeye Local

By RICK DeLUCA YORKVILLE — There is no hiding the lackluster numbers on the football of the past few years at Buckeye Local. Included are a 2-38 record the past four years, a current losing streak that has reached 22 games and an exodus of some followers that may have given up ...

Union Local Will Be New at Skilled Positions

By KIM NORTH MORRISTOWN — Although Union Local was a senior-laden team that started 5-0 and fell just shy of a Division V state playoff berth in 2016, Bruce Stiles, entering his fifth season as the Jets’ pilot, doesn’t see much of a dropoff this season. Stiles saw 14 seniors graduate ...

McKenzie Takes Over as Coach at Beaver Local

By TRACY WATSON LISBON — After a season off from coaching, Mike McKenzie has found his whistle again after taking over the reins at Beaver Local High School. McKenzie, an assistant principal at Weir, was the offensive coordinator for the Red Riders from 2013-15 after a seven-year stint at ...

Frontier Will Be Loaded With Underclassmen

By MIKE MORRISON NEW MATAMORAS — With two-thirds of their roster made up of underclassmen, the Frontier Cougars will go to battle in 2017 with a young, yet battled tested squad. With seven seniors and three juniors on their roster, Frontier returns 10 sophomores who all saw playing time ...

Lumberjacks Looked Poised for Success

By BUBBA KAPRAL PINE GROVE — The Lumberjacks will be wielding a much sharper axe this fall. Injuries wreaked havoc with the Valley High football team last season. Head coach Logan Miller enters his second season brimming with optimism, and with good reason. Last year’s physical ...

Wildcats Look to Replace Major Offensive Weapons

By CODY TOMER PADEN CITY—Paden City only lost five seniors to graduation but two of them garnered the majority of the Wildcats’ yards a season ago and will be greatly missed. Quarterback Aaron Heasley and running back Hayden Hizer combined for more than 1,600 yards of offense throughout ...

What Can Cameron Do for an Encore?

By JOSH STROPE CAMERON — Last season was one for the ages for Cameron football. But that was then. This is a new team that is looking to take what was created in 2016 and build upon it this season. “We started with what we feel is a pretty experienced group so we feel like we have a ...

Isaly Looks to Lead River Back to Playoffs

By SETH STASKEY HANNIBAL — The bar has been raised at River. Now it’s simply a matter of sustaining the level at which the Pilots have played the last several years. Though the Pilots, who finished 10-0 last season before falling to Columbus Bishop Ready in the opening round of the ...