Class C North Preview

8:13 PM, Aug 15, 2012   |    comments
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1) Fredonia
2) Cleveland Hill
3) Akron
4) Wilson
5) JFK
6) Gowanda

Top Players:
Zach Buckley, Fredonia
Khaliq Satcher, JFK
Austin Mietz, Akron
Jonathan Thomas, Cleveland Hill
Justin Slango, Wilson
Brennan Gieger, Gowanda


Fredonia Hillbillies

Head Coach: Bob Ball (61-45-0, 12 years)
Assistant Coaches: Greg Betts, Mike Marshal, Kyle Yelich
2011 Varsity Record: 8-1-0
Starters Returning: Offense 6 Defense 6
Key Players: Zach Buckley, Nick Nocek, Weston Ley, Jude Gardiner, Tyler Cassidy, Tory Grupa, Chris Saden, Brett Seekings, Zack Gloff, Jon Hannah, Trent Thompson
Key Losses: Connor Farnham, Dylan Cassidy
2011 JV Record: 6-2-0

Hillbillies return 6 starters on both sides of the ball. Have posted an 18-3 record in the past two seasons, including a Far West Title in 2010. Offense to be sparked by QB Trent Thompson, Weston Ley, Tyler Cassidy, and Jude Gardner. Defense will be a strength, led by All-WNY candidate Zach Buckley, Gardner, and Cassidy. The line will be anchored by All-WNY candidate and 3 year starter, Nick Nocek, along with Chris Saden, Brett Seekings, and Zack Gloff. Talent from 6-2-0 JV squard will also help Coach Bob Ball, who is one of the area's top coaches. Look for Fredonia to compete for league, sectional and even state titles.

Cleveland Hill Golden Eagles

Head Coach: Glen Graham (52-23-0, 9 years)
Assistant Coaches: Chad Kuras, Dennis Mason
2011 Varsity Record: 8-2-0
Starters Returning: Offense 6 Defense 5
Key Players: Brandon Thomas, Jonathan Thomas, Josh White, Tony Horton, Andre Krajewski, Jacob Radlich, Kyle Lort, Ramello Peterson, Andrew Krajewski
Key Losses: Daryl Spencer, Brandon Davis, Devonte Davis
2011 JV Record: 8-0-0

Golden Eagles have recorded a 14-5 Varsity and 15-1 JV record in the past two seasons. Cleveland Hill looks to bounce back from their loss to Southwestern in the Sectional Championship in 2011. Coach Glen Graham returns 11 starters from last year's 8-2-0 squad, which will be led by All-WNY candidates Jonathan Thomas and Brandon Thomas. Jonathan will be called upon to anchor the defense, while Brandon will get the carries on the ground to spark the offense. Jacob Radlich will take over at QB for Daryl Spencer. Look for the Golden Eagles to be in contention for league and sectional championships again. A week 5 matchup at Fredonia should determine the League Championship.

Akron Tigers

Head Coach: Michael Dean (6-12-0, 2 years)
Assistant Coaches: Justin Getung, Andy Clouse
2011 Varsity Record: 5-4-0
Starters Returning: Offense 5 Defense 5
Key Players: Austin Mietz, Connor Ladd, Austin Lauricella, Connor Meier
Key Losses: Joe Keller, Chris Reinhard

Tigers played outstanding ball in last year's playoffs, and return 10 starters from 2011. Coach Michael Dean has All-WNY candidates in Austin Mietz and Connor Ladd, who will be called on to lead the offense and defense respectively. Will complete for a consecutive playoff berth.

Wilson Lakemen

Head Coach: Bill Atlas (20-25-0, 5 years)
Assistant Coaches: Jeff Murphy, Al Scarpine
2011 Varsity Record: 2-7-0
Starters Returning: Offense 6 Defense 8
Key Players: Justin Slango, Tyler Thilk, Geoff Lort, Steve Szuba, Nick Bell, Kevin Daunce, Mike Burt, Tim Walch
Key Losses: Pat Walch, Cam Sidote
2011 JV Record: 0-6-0

Lakemen look to rebound from last year's 2 win season. Tim Walch takes over at QB and will be tasked with sparking the offense, headed by Justin Slango, Nick Bell and Tayler Thilk. Line to be anchored by Steve Szuba, while defense will be keyed by Slango and Walch. Look for Wilson to compete for a final playoff berth with JFK and Gowanda, and increase their numbers in the win column in 2012.

JFK Bears

Head Coach: Mark Ostempowski & Jeff Sabatino (26-35-0, 7 years)
Assistant Coaches: Andrew Grinnen
2011 Varsity Record: 5-4-0
Starters Returning: Offense 3 Defense 4
Key Players: Khaliq Satcher, Joey Burkowski, Nick Anderson, Christian Klyzcek, Anthony Fenney
Key Losses: Kenny Minorczyk, Jason Christ, Ryan Ball

Bears look to build upon 2011's 5-4-0 winning season, and return 7 starters to the front. Coach Mark Ostempowski has an All-WNY candidate in Khaliq Satcher, a true student-athlete, and quality starters in Nick Anderson and Anthony Feeney. Could be a tough year for the Bears as they graduated 18 seniors. Look for JFK to be competitive however, and compete for a playoff berth.

Gowanda Panthers

Head Coach: Sean Gabel (6-20-0, 3 years)
Assistant Coaches: Brian Denca, Chuck Ross, Rick Webber
2011 Varsity Record: 2-7-0
Starters Returning: Offense 5 Defense 5
Key Players: Brennan Gieger, Justin Grimm, Aaron Warrior, Nathan Draegerti, Walker Cygan, Jordan Young
Key Losses: Christian Francis, Nick Huffman, Martie Hastle
2011 JV Record: 4-4-0

Panthers have had a rough go of it in the past two season, winning only 3 games in that time. Coach Sean Gabel returns 5 starters on both sides of the ball, and will need great effort to help turn the tide and win more games. The line will be anchored by Justin Grimm, Nathan Draegert, and 6'4 335 lb. JR. Aaron Warrior. Offense to be led by FR. QB Jordan Young, Brennan Geiger, and Walker Cygan. Defense will be headed by Geiger, Cygan, and Draegerti. Could struggle again this season due to such a young squad.

Preseason All-League:
QB Tim Walch, Wilson
QB Austin Mietz, Akron
FB Josh White, Cleveland Hill
RB Brandon Thomas, Cleveland Hill
RB Tyler Cassidy, Fredonia
RB Walker Cygan, Gowanda
RB Anthony Feeney, JFK
WR Weston Ley, Fredonia
WR Nick Bell, Wilson
OL Chris Saden, Fredonia
OL Justin Grimm, Gowanda
OL Tory Grupa, Fredonia
OL Aaron Warrior, Gowanda
OL Steve Szuba, Wilson
RS Connor Meier, Akron
K Justin Slango, Wilson

DL Nick Nocek, Fredonia
DL Khaliq Satcher, JFK
DL Tony Horton, Cleveland Hill
DL Brett Seekings, Fredonia
LB Jonathan Thomas, Cleveland Hill
LB Zach Buckley, Fredonia
LB Connor Ladd, Akron
LB Brennan Geiger, Gowanda
LB Joey Burkowski, JFK
LB Jude Gardner, Fredonia
DB Justin Slango, Wilson
DB Trent Thompson, Fredonia
DB Jon Hannah, Fredonia
DB Taylor Thilk, Wilson

Best backfield: Cleveland Hill / Fredonia
Best offense: Fredonia
Best Defense: Fredonia
Sleeper: Akron

News and Notes:

  • Coach with most wins: Bob Ball 
  • Top Academic Achievers: Chris Saden, Fredonia & Steve Szuba, Wilson 
  • Strongest: Jonathan Thomas, Cleveland Hill 
  • Fastest: Brandon & Jonathan Thomas, Cleveland Hill 
  • Biggest: Aaron Warrior, Gonwanda 
  • Game changer: Austin Mietz, Akron 
  • Best Cheerleaders: Akron 
  • Top Complex: Akron 
  • Best Rusher: Brandon Thomas 
  • Top WR: Weston Ley, Fredonia 
  • Top Defensive Player: Zach Buckley, Fredonia 
  • Top Lineman: Nick Nocek, Fredonia 
  • Major Impact Player: Jonathan Thomas, Cleveland Hill 
  • Team with most Sectional Titles: Cleveland Hill 
  • Most Photogenic: Tim Walch, Wilson 
  • Best Comedian: Chad Kuras, Cleveland Hill 
  • Cleveland Hill JV have posted a 15-1 record past 2 seasons 
  • Fredonia Varsity is 18-3-0 in the past 2 seasons, including a sectional championship in 2010 
  • Triple Threat: Chris Saden, Brett Seekings, Nick Nocek, Fredonia 
  • Daryl Spencer and Devonte Davis, formerly of Cleveland Hill, play football at Cortland 
  • Trent Thompson and Weston Ley are competing for the QB position at Fredonia 
  • Wilson JV is 1-14 in the past 2 seasons 
  • Gowanda will have several underclassmen on Varsity 
  • Class Act: Fredonia Coach Staff 
  • JFK graduated 18 players from last year's team 
  • Must see game: Cleveland Hill @ Fredonia (Sep. 28) 
  • Most Loquacious: Greg Betts, Fredonia 
  • Unsung Player: Jude Gardner, Fredonia
  • Note: Akron never returned questionairres. 
  • Player you'll get to know: Tim Walch, Wilson 
  • Biggest Question: Who will replace Daryl Spencer at QB for Cleveland Hill?
  • Preseason Offensive Players of the Year: Brandon Thomas, Cleveland Hill and Austin Mietz, Akron
  • Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Zack Buckley, Fredonia
  • Forecast: Fredonia and Cleveland Hill matchup in week 5 will determine the League Title. Hillbillies are favored with an 18-3 record in the past two seasons.

Last Time in Sectional Championship:
Akron: Never
Cleveland Hill: 2011
Fredonia: 2010
Gowanda: 2002
JFK: 1986
Wilson: 1990

Last Time Won Sectional Championship:
Akron: Never
Cleveland Hill: 2007
Fredonia: 2010
Gowanda: 2002
JFK: 1986
Wilson: Never

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