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Area teams leaning on defense in playoffs | News, Sports, Jobs

The outdated adage “defense wins championships” proved to be true this previous weekend for regional teams who’ve clinched regional titles.

Canfield, South Range and Warren John F. Kennedy — all of whom are in state semifinals on the OHSAA soccer match this weekend — have successes in massive half because of their defenses.

Canfield has averaged simply 11.4 factors per recreation this 12 months. JFK is dropping simply 10.6 factors per recreation, whereas South Range has dropped simply 123 factors (8.8 ppg) in 14 video games.

Canfield coach Mike Pavlansky mentioned it is no shock that defensively-oriented teams have thrived all through the match.

“Without a doubt, defense wins championships,” Pavlansky mentioned. “If you don’t play great defense this time of year, things aren’t going to work out for you.”

“Look who’s left, (Kennedy coach) Dom (Prologo) and (South Range coach) Dan (Yeagley) have always stressed the importance of defense, it’s been the calling card for these two guys,” added Pavlansky added. “Our defense has been excellent all year. They make big games at the right time. A strong and consistent defense will keep you in games.”

Pavlansky famous that in the Seventies, the wishbone offense and triple choice “gave defense coordinators fits until they caught up.” The I-Formation and the Wing-T did the identical. More lately, the unfold and run-pass choice led to record-breaking offensive numbers. These numbers have leveled off considerably in latest seasons.

“Everything is cyclical,” Pavlansky mentioned. “It is always about something new being created on one side and the other side having to catch up. The successful teams are usually the ones that make defensive adjustments and are fundamentally healthy on their side of the ball.”


In the primary 50 years of the match, a complete of 21 Mahoning Valley colleges competed in 69 state semifinals.

Overall, the area’s teams are tied 43-26 in the semifinals.

Trumbull County was very profitable with a 15-4 file. Three of these losses have been suffered by JFK, however the Eagles have been additionally victorious in six semifinal video games. McDonald (2-1) suffered the opposite setback in Trumbull County.

Warren G. Harding (3-0), Warren Western Reserve (2-0), Girard (1-0), and Brookfield (1-0) all made the state championship recreation after they performed in the semifinals.

Mahoning County colleges are 26-22 total in the Final Four. Twenty-seven of these 48 appearances have been by Mooney (12-5) and Ursuline (6-4).

In Columbiana County, Wellsville and Lisbon every made the state finals in their solely appearances in the Final Four.


This month marks 50 years for the reason that Ohio High School Athletic Association held its first ever soccer match.

In reality, it was precisely 50 years in the past in the present day that Warren Western Reserve received the varsity’s first-ever main state playoff championship.

On November 25, 1972, Warren Western Reserve Cincinnati defeated Princeton 37-6 in the Class AAA state title recreation performed in entrance of 15,565 followers on the Akron Rubber Bowl.

WWR led 12-6 in opposition to Princeton on the finish of the third quarter, however the Raiders beat the Vikings 25-0 in the fourth interval and clinched the championship.

Senior operating again Mike Spiva rushed for 3 touchdowns in the ultimate quarter.

“It was an incredible era of football at Warren,” mentioned Spiva. “There was a four-year run the place Warren dominated soccer. It was a magical time. We performed in entrance of 10,000 followers each week. The entire metropolis gathered round our teams. Playing the Rubber Bowl wasn’t intimidating as a result of we confronted that form of ambiance each week.”

Spiva, who now resides in Georgia, mentioned the championship season was the fruits of a years-long dedication of gamers.

“Most of the players on this team we’ve played together since we were 12,” mentioned Spiva. “It was always our goal to win a championship. There was a great bond, and in fact that bond still exists today.”

Pat Guliano served because the 1972 WWR freshman coach. He spent the weekends scouting out future opponents or doable playoff opponents. Guliano recalled a weekend when he drove to Columbus on a Friday evening to discover Grove City. The subsequent day he was in Toledo for a lunchtime kickoff with Toledo Central Catholic. Later that evening he was in Cleveland for a Cleveland St. Joe’s recreation.

“The attention to detail was something else, there was incredible dedication from the players and coaches,” mentioned Guliano.

Guliano is fast to level out that the Raiders’ 1972 success did not finish on the highschool gridiron.

“So many of these players have played in college and even in the pros,” Guliano mentioned. “More impressively, about 19 of the 25 seniors earned college degrees. It was really a very special group.”

Ironically, precisely 18 years later – on November 25, 1990 – Warren G. Harding defeated Princeton 28-21 to safe the Division I state championship.


Thanksgiving Day follow is starting to turn into a practice for the Warren John F. Kennedy Eagles.

For a 3rd straight 12 months, Kennedy held Thanksgiving Day morning follow in preparation for an look in the state semifinals. Kennedy performs Newark Catholic at Red Rider Stadium in Orrville on Saturday.

“This is a special day, it’s a day and a workout these kids dream of, and it’s a Thanksgiving they will always remember,” mentioned JFK coach Dom Prologo. “Most coaches and gamers at this stage dream of working towards on Thanksgiving. Our kids know they’re blessed to be a part of an elite group.”

Numerous Kennedy alumni and former gamers attended the train. Prologo mentioned he burdened to his gamers the significance of having fun with the second whereas staying targeted on the duty at hand.

“You want the kids to focus on the task at hand, you want them to wear blinders and understand that this is important practice, no different than any other Thursday when we’re preparing for a Saturday game,” Prologo mentioned . “But at the same time it is something special. You have earned the right to step back and enjoy the moment.”

Thursday was Prologo’s fifth Thanksgiving Day follow. He attended Thanksgiving Day follow in 2005 whereas he was an assistant coach at Canfield. He was additionally on the JFK crew in 2016 when the Eagles received a state title.

“My wife has gotten used to timing our Thanksgiving dinner around practice,” Prologo mentioned. “Seriously, it is an honor. We do not take these moments as a right.”


Cardinal Mooney 17 (12-5)

Ursuline 10 (6-4)

Warren JFK tenth (6-3)

Warren G Harding 3 (3-0)

McDonald 3 (2-1)

Springfield 3 (2-1)

Poland 3 (1-2)

South Row third (0-2)

Warren Western Reserve 2 (2-0)

West Branch 2 (1-1)

Board 2 (1-1)

Campbell 2 (1-1)

Canfield 2nd (1-0)

Austintown Fitch 2 (0-2)

Berlin Mitte West Reserve 2 (0-2)

Girard 1 (1-0)

Brookfield 1 (1-0)

Wellsville 1 (1-0)

Lisbon 1 (1-0)

Youngstown Chaney 1 (1-0)

Youngstown Rayen 1 (0-1)

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