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Published: Thursday, 8/26/2004

NLL: Southview top pick

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Duplicating last season's regular-season campaign would be perfect for longtime Southview coach Jim Mayzes.

The Cougars marched through the regular season to post the school's first 10-0 record, including a 7-0 mark in the Northern Lakes League to claim the championship.

"The school has been around for 30 years and has done it only once," Mayzes said. "But I think we have that kind of potential. We're a contender no doubt it."

Southview is the clear favorite to finish on top according to the league coaches.

Mayzes has never worked with a group that has had more speed.

"This is the fastest team I've ever seen in our league or have played against," Mayzes said. "It's nice to have speed but you still have to make plays."

The Cougars' 24 returning lettermen are reason enough to have the rest of the NLL coaches thinking Southview is the team to beat. Waldie, an All-Ohio wide receiver, along with the Campbell twins and Thompson, lead the talented and swift group.

The Cougars, led last fall by quarterback Kelley Rowe, were an offensive juggernaut with their spread offense. The loss of Rowe, Blade player of the year, to graduation presents a dilemma of finding a quarterback. Andrew Skeels and Scott Stansley have been dueling it out during two-a-days.

Here's a look at the teams in predicted order of finish:

SOUTHVIEW

Coach: Jim Mayzes, 11th year

Last season: 11-1, 7-0 NLL

Returning letter winners: 24

Returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense

Schemes: Spread offense, multiple defense

Key players: Seniors Aaron Waldie, 5-11, 165, WR-DB; Michael Campbell, 5-9, 155, WR-DB; Malcolm Campbell, 5-9, 165, WR-DB; Eric Thompson, 5-7, 165, RB-DB; Sean Shadix, 6-0, 250, OL-DL, John Michael Smith, 5-11, 180, RB-LB.

Juniors Andrew Skeels, 6-0, 175, QB; Scott Stansley, 6-0, 190, QB. sophomores Chad Valdez, 5-11, 230, OL-LB; Kwesi Kankam, 5-9, 155, RB-DB.

Outlook: The Cougars could possibly be an all-around better team than last season. "This is the fastest team I've ever seen in our league or any team we've played against," Mayzes said. "It's nice to have speed, but you still have to make plays."

ANTHONY WAYNE

Coach: Craig Smith, 8th year

Last season: 7-4, 5-2 NLL

Returning letter winners: 8

Returning starters: 3 offense, 5 defense

Schemes: Multiple offense, multiple defense

Key players: Seniors Jake Vin

cent, 6-1, 285, OT; Dean Phillips, 6-3, 235, OT; Kevin Chelluci, 6-3, 210, DE; Trent Meier, 6-0, 205, LB; Tim Babcock, 5-10, 185, NG. Juniors Anthony Martinez, 6-3, 230, DE; Matt Lingo, 5-10, 180, S; T.J. Bridges, 6-1, 195, OG. Sophomore Alex Keyer, 6-1, 180, QB.

Outlook: The Generals consistently have contended for the league's top prize in recent years only to end up falling short of the goal. They finished tied for second with Maumee a year ago. Can they get over the hump this year? If

so, it will come about with basically a new cast of characters. "We've graduated a lot of seniors so we're a little bit inexperienced this season," Smith said. AW's strength and inexperience appears to rest on offensive and defensive lines led by Vincent, Phillips and Babcock.

NORTHVIEW

Coach: Eric Keller, 8th year

Last season: 2-8, 2-5 NLL

Returning letter winners: 16

Returning starters: 5 offense, 5 defense

Schemes: Multiple offense, 5-2 defense

Key players: Seniors James Reed, 6-0, 175, LB; Matt Bergfeld, 6-1, 200; DT; Eric Bergfeld, 6-1, 200, C. Juniors Mike Schneider, 5-8, 165, QB; Branden Stansley, 5-8, 160, CB; Jon Templin, 5-9, 220, OG.

Outlook: Expectations are high for a Wildcats team seen as one of the most experienced and improved groups competing in the NLL. The experience of Schneider, who was a nine-game starter at QB last season, and Reed, who led the 2003 team in tackles with 125, give the Wildcats solid leadership on both sides of the football. "We have a small but motivated senior class," Keller said. "There's good leadership there. We return 25 juniors who will make an impact on our team.

MAUMEE

Coach: John Boles, 7th season

Last season: 9-3, 5-2 NLL

Returning letter winners: 5

Returning starters: 1 offense, 4 defense

Schemes: Multiple offense, multiple defense

Key players: Seniors Joe Incorvaia, 5-9, 180, RB; Brad Goatley, 6-2, 220, LB; Corey DeWitt, 6-4, 205, DE; Alex Junga, 5-10, 175, CB; Corey Gladieux, 6-0, 200, TE-DE; Bill Metcalf, 6-3, Rich Lynch, 6-0, 265, OT. Junior Jake Causer, 6-3, 185, QB-WR.

Outlook: The Panthers appear to be in rebuilding mode. With only a handful of returning starters back from a team that seriously contended for a team title a year ago, Boles faces a tough coaching task. It could wind up

as one of the more challenging seasons of his tenure at Maumee. Perhaps the biggest part of the task is basically revamping the entire offense. "When you have to replace 10 starters on offense and seven on defense you have a lot of work to do," Boles said. Nonetheless, Incorvaia, Goatley, DeWitt and Junga are among the league's top players in their respective positions.

PERRYSBURG

Coach: Roger Frank, 8th year

Last season: 3-7, 2-5 NLL

Returning letter winners: 8

Returning starters: 2 offense, 4 defense

Schemes: Multiple offense, multiple defense

Key players: Seniors Drew Crabtree, 6-1, 240, LB; Tyler Smith, 6-0, 205, TE-LB; Chris Waggoner, 6-0, 180, DE. Juniors Ron Tisdale, 5-8, 175; Chase Muir, 5-9, 185, RB-DB-K.

Outlook: The Yellow Jackets look to turn around from a disappointing campaign in 2003. With fewer than 10 returning lettermen back from last season their work is clearly cut out for them. Tisdale's versatility will make plenty of defenses stay alert and focus on the Yellow Jackets' running attack.

"We only have eight seniors out of 63 players," Frank said. "We're very young and inexperienced." In order to contend in the NLL, the Yellow Jackets' underclassmen must grow up rather quickly.

ROSSFORD

Coach: Chris Werbylo, 2nd

season

Last season: 5-5, 3-4 NLL

Returning letter winners: 23

Returning starters: 6 offense, 7 defense

Schemes: Spread offense, 5-2 defense

Key players: Seniors Mark Vulch, 6-3, 290, OT-DT; Kevin Wagner 5-8, 155, TB-DB; Kevin Destazio, 5-7, 145, WR-DB; D.J. Semersky, 6-2, 253, OT-MLB; Teddy George, 6-0, 195, OG-DL. Junior Kurt Keller, 6-1, 230, RB-MLB.

Outlook: The Bulldogs have enough returning experience to contend in the NLL. They're as loaded with seasoned talent as anyone in the league. Destazio, who caught 21 passes for 349 yards last season, provides a go-to threat on offense for a team that returns more than half of its starters. Vulch is a three-year starter who will be called upon to lead the way on both sides of the football this fall. "We can be competitive with everybody on our schedule if we stay healthy," Werbylo said.

SPRINGFIELD

Coach: Phil DeMars, 6th year

Last season: 6-4, 3-4 NLL

Returning letter winners: 12

Returning starters: 1 offense, 3 defense

Schemes: Wing-T offense, 4-3 defense

Key players: Seniors Hans Vetter, 5-11, 190, QB-SS; Chris White, 5-9, 170, RB; Dee Alexander, 5-9, 160, RB; Cody Reitmeier, 6-0, 180, OG-DE; Marcus Mullins, 6-4, 265, DT; Andrew Tolson, 5-8, 175, LB. Junior Austin Galvin, 5-11, 185, LB.

Outlook: A Blue Devils team that returns only one starter on offense could end up as the surprise team. Vetter, a part-time starter at QB a year ago, has the most experience of anyone expected to see action on the offensive side. A full-time starter at strong safety as a junior, Vetter will be asked to utilize his all-around athleticism to direct the offense.

BOWLING GREEN

Coach: Jeff Cullen, 2nd year

Last season: 1-9, 1-6 NLL

Returning letter winners: 14

Returning starters: 4 offense, 5 defense

Schemes: Multiple offense, 5-2 defense

Key players: Seniors Josh Swiecicki, 6-1, 175, QB; Adam Metcalf, 6-2, 210, OL-DL; Matt Simon, 5-7, 150, DB; Ian Dunn, 6-1, 220, OL-DL. Juniors Ryan Hoehner, 6-3, 185, WR; Tom Rodriguez, 6-1, 175, TB-FS.

Outlook: Optimism for a better 2004 than a 2003 exists at Bowling Green. The Bobcats believe they're better than the group that registered only one victory during Cullen's first year as head coach.

"We're overall faster than we have been," Cullen said. "Last year we had a small senior class and not too much experience. We're looking for a better start right away."

Swiecicki, who has shown promise running with the football, as well as throwing it, is being asked to direct a Bobcats attack that will work out of the shotgun.



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