The Raiders had a very uncharacteristic season in 2009, going 2-8 and missing the playoffs for the first time in years. Head coach Dan Yeagley (133 wins in his first 14 seasons) has 23 lettermen returning, including five starters on offense and seven on defense. South Range utilizes the Wing T on offense and the 50 on defense. Yeagley said his young players will need to mature quickly because he expects a rugged competition for the Inter Tri-County League Tier One crown. Yeagley said that most of last year’s top Tier One teams are returning seven-to-nine starters on each side of the ball. He expects Crestview, Mineral Ridge and Columbiana to be the early favorites. QB David Buzzacco will make his first start this year but he’ll have experience with him in the backfield with Phillip Arsuffi and Floyd Kenney. John Pifer, Robby Grahovac, Nathan Simmons and Ron Lodge will anchor the line. Returning on defense are Nathan Ruiz and Christian Bowden on the line, Grahovac and Adam Shuntich at linebacker and Arsuffi, Buzzacco and Kenney in the secondary. Ethan Witmer returns as placekicker while Arsuffi will handle punting. Yeagley said the Raiders will be challenged early by playing Warren JFK, Campbell and Garfield Heights Trinity before opening league play with Columbiana and Mineral Ridge.
QUOTE Throughout the 2009 season, we played a lot of different players. Many of our players had a chance to start at least one game during the season because of injuries and trying to find the right combination. However, we have to mature quickly because of a very tough non- league schedule and a very tough league.” Dan Yeagley, coach