PATRICIA LARROW/LARROW PHOTOGRAPHY Enlarge
Team photo from left:
Row 1: Lamar Mitchell, Jared Dutra, Dominic Partida, Bailey Dominique, Austin Laderach, Josh Bellestri, Austin Penn
Row 2: Joey Richardson, Mike Malak, Jordan Mendoza, Bobby Livernois, Sean Strickler, Kyle Karns, Tyler Simmons, Noah Steinman
Row 3: Assistant coach Matt Lukshaitis, Assistant coach Kevin Skaggs, Kyle Himbaugh, Devin Myers, Nick Hahn, Jeff Banachowski, Cory Bitz, Steven Ray, Austin Owens, head coach Manuel Billegas
ABOUT THE TEAM:
Coach: Manuel Billegas, first season
Last season: 2-7, 2-5 Lenawee County Athletic Association
Returning letter winners: 6
Returning starters: Offense 3, defense 4
Top players: Seniors Jeff Banachowski, 6-1, 175, QB-PK-PU; Corey Bicks, 6-0, 180, C-DT; Mike Malak, 5-11, 175, DB. Junior Austin Laderach, 5-11, 180, TB.
Outlook: Billegas takes over after serving as interim coach last season when Mike Duffey abruptly resigned after the first two games.
The Eagles have 23 players including eight seniors and six returning letter winners.
Billegas said many of the younger players gained experience on the junior varsity team, and that he is focusing on helping them transition to varsity.
“I want to continue what we had last year,” Billegas said. “Just staying positive and working hard every day to get better in every facet of the game.”
Erie Mason’s primary focus on offense is its ground game.
“We need to improve on running the football,” Billegas said. “Our running backs are fast and I think our line is much improved from last year, so we’re going to try to run the ball more.”
Billegas said his team’s goal comes down to the bottom line.
“We want to go out every day, work hard in practice and be competitive,” Billegas said.
ERIE MASON SCHEDULE
Sep. 6-at Whiteford
Sep. 20-at Ida
Oct. 4-at Columbia Central
Oct. 25-at Onsted