By Greg Gulas
Area fans will get a jump on the football season tonight when players from Mahoning and Columbiana counties take on a team of Trumbull County all-stars in the Mahoning Valley Coaches Association’s 27th-annual Jack Arvin Classic at Girard’s Arrowhead Stadium.
“Before practices even begin, co-director Ron DeJulio and I address both teams in order to inform and educate them about the legacy of Jack Arvin,” said Jeff Bayuk, the MVCA’s co-director and former coach at Campbell, Hubbard and Canfield. “If Jack wasn’t an original organization member, then he was one of their earliest members and what he stood for, sportsmanship and fair play is what this game is all about.
“As heated as play can be at times, we make sure that both the players and coaches understand that it happens between the white lines and the whistles.”
Arvin was the head coach of Brookfield High for one season, coached at Stow for a season and spent 37 years as an assistant football coach and head track coach at Hubbard.
Larry Kempe, an assistant coach at Ursuline High, will serve as head coach of the Mahoning-Columbiana squad. McDonald head coach Dan Williams will lead the Trumbull County team.
Kempe will coach his son Paul, who is headed to Walsh University this fall to play for the Cavaliers while four Irish teammates, Jordan Markota, Jeff Podolsky, Michael Zappa and Pete Wearsch, will join Kempe on the Mahoning-Columbiana unit.
Each team will have nine practices before the game.
“The kids to this point have been absolutely great,” Kempe said. “Being from Girard and having coached at Girard High, and then being able to coach my son in his very last scholastic game at Arrowhead Stadium is really very special for both of us.”
Paul, the Irish quarterback who helped lead his team to a 41-3 mark and three consecutive state championships, will draw the starting assignment but will share time with East’s Shawn Haywood.
“Shawn [Haywood] will play the second series and everyone on the team will play either offensively, defensively or on special teams for the first three quarters,” Kempe said. “I did ask the team, however, if the game was close in the fourth quarter do we continue to play everyone or do we go for the win?
“They all responded to go for the win, so at that time we’ll go with those players that have had a hot hand.”
Williams and in addition to three of his Blue Devils stars, Nick and Justin Rota, and Chris Humphries, he will welcome players from Brookfield, Champion, Girard, Howland, Hubbard, LaBrae, Lakeview, Liberty, Mathews, Mineral Ridge, Newton Falls, Warren Harding and Warren JFK.
“This is a great experience for all of the kids,” said Williams, who will coach three of his own players, Nick and Justin Rota and Chris Humphries. “Rivals during the season, the players now find themselves on the same team and they are really coming together after just several practices.
“The area is well-represented with players from all divisions. You can tell that all have been coached really, really well throughout their high school careers because they pick up things very easily. We will be ready come Thursday night.”
Assisting Kempe will be John DeSantis, Chet Allen, Andrew Frasco, Michael Frasco, Brad Turnbull, Dom Cutrone, Matt Green and Kevin Cylar while Williams will be assisted by Tom Knight, Gary Carkido, Joe Celli, Bob Jones and Scott Murray.
Game time is 7 p.m. with tickets $6 and available at the gate the night of the game.
MVCA JACK ARVIN CLASSIC ROSTERS
The Mahoning Valley Coaches’ Association’s 27th annual Jack Arvin Classic will match many of the area’s top senior football players tonight at Arrowhead Stadium in Girard. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the gate. Here’s the rosters for this year’s game:
No.-Name (Ht., Wt.), High School, College
2-Lester Hughes (6-1, 175), Campbell Memorial, Undecided
3-Jermayne Brooks (6-0, 185), Struthers, Akron
3-Cam Patterson (6-0, 160), Austintown Fitch, YSU
4-Paul Kempe (6-1, 185), Ursuline, Walsh
4-Kevin McDonald (5-7, 165), Struthers, Akron
5-Seth McNally (5-9, 175), Leetonia, Military
5-John Rosati (6-2, 170), Western Reserve, Kent State
5-Mike Thomas (5-10, 180), East, YSU
7-Oshae Lawrence (5-9, 175), East, Kent State
8-Keil’n Thurston (6-1, 210), Ursuline, Snow J.C.
9-Shawn Haywood (5-10, 190), East, ASA
10-Jordan Markota (6-2, 215), Ursuline, YSU
11-Shane Stevens (6-1, 185), Austintown Fitch, Lake Erie
20-Antoine Cox (5-11, 200), Austintown Fitch, YSU
21-Ed Newhouse (6-0, 180), Western Reserve, Military
21-Bruce Reed (5-9, 185), Austintown Fitch, Lake Erie
23-Dom Thomas (5-10, 185), Chaney, YSU
33-Jeff Podolsky (5-8, 170), Ursuline, Ohio Northern
33-Carmen Tarantino (5-10, 200), Boardman, Mount Union
40-Clay Cooper (5-9, 200), Poland, YSU
40-Matt Richards (5-7, 140), United, Kent State
54-Justin Kasner (5-8, 205), Jackson Milton, YSU
56-Nick Sebastian (5-11, 260), Poland, Hiram
57-Michael Zappa (6-0, 215), Ursuline, Cincinnati
58-Austin Main (6-0, 215), Boardman, YSU
58-Mike Semach (5-11, 250), Springfield, Slippery Rock
58-Pete Wearsch (6-2, 245), Ursuline, Walsh
72-Nick Ramsey (6-2, 240), Springfield, Akron
75-David Guidos (5-11, 265), Campbell Memorial, Waynesburg
83-Richard Bledsoe (6-1, 175), Campbell Memorial, Iowa Western
89-Anthony Gelonese (6-0, 195), Canfield, Mt. Union
Coaches: Larry Kempe, John DeSantis, Chet Allen, Andrew Frasco, Brad Turnbull, Dom Cutrone.
No.-Name (Ht., Wt.), High School, College
1-Danny Duvall (5-11, 190), Hubbard, Robert Morris
1-Denny Sulick (5-9, 175), Brookfield, Heidelberg
3-Mikhail Seawood (6-1, 240), Warren Harding, undecided
4-DeVonte West (6-1, 165), Warren Harding, Walsh
5-Blake Robinson (5-11, 190), Niles, undecided
5-Wade Pruett (5-8, 190), Mathews, undecided
6-Mike Lopuchovsky (6-1, 190), Hubbard, Ohio State
7-Toma Leveto (5-8, 160), Lakeview, Edinboro
10-Andrew Sekela (6-1, 185), LaBrae, Kent State
10-Justin Rota (6-0, 170), McDonald, YSU
11-Carl Broadbent (5-10, 170), Warren JFK, undecided
13-K’von Williams (6-2, 175), Warren Harding, Walsh
18-Bryan Daugherty (5-10, 175), Girard, Wooster
24-Andy Davis (5-10, 175), Howland, undecided
25-Nick Rota (6-0, 170), McDonald, YSU
27-Kyle Richey (6-0, 215), Girard, Waynesburg
32-James Rasey (5-7, 190), Champion, Akron
33-Evan McBride (5-10, 180), Warren JFK, undecided
35-Nate Marisco (5-11, 235), Warren Harding, Lake Erie
42-Blake Novotny (6-2, 225), Hubbard, YSU
53-Aaron Stubbs (5-10, 205), LaBrae, Wash. & Jeff.
53-Andrew Hover (5-11, 246), Hubbard, Kent State
57-Chris Humphries (6-2, 195), McDonald, Hiram
62-Stephen Yanovich (6-2, 290), Newton Falls, St. Francis
65-Don De Arment (6-1, 260), Howland, Westminster
66-Chuck Sayer (5-11, 220), Howland, Westminster
67-Luca Markulin (6-5, 250), Liberty, Gannon
72-Billy Rentz (6-1, 265), Hubbard, Westminster
74-Bryce Grimm (6-4, 310), Champion, YSU
76-Tyler Keeley (5-10, 220), Mineral Ridge, undecided
88-Justin Misterka (6-2, 190), Lakeview, Wash. & Jeff.
Coaches: Dan Williams, Tom Knight, Gary Carkido, Joe Celli, Bob Jones, Scott Murray