Boys basketball | District capsule previews



Conference: Federal League

2011-12 record: 4-18

Coach: Pat Birch, first season

Projected starters: Michael Duda, senior, 5-10; Reggie Jones, senior, 6-0; Dylan Bosela, senior, 6-4; Jamar Steverson, senior, 6-3; Austin Downie, senior, 6-5.

Other players: Sam Mathey, junior, 5-11; Ryan McKeown, junior, 6-3; Paul Benson, junior, 5-9; Brannan Williams, junior, 5-9; Curtis Moses, senior, 5-11.

Outlook: The starting lineup is all seniors and the Spartans will rely on them for much-needed leadership. New head coach, Pat Birch, wants to see a more disciplined group after he spent four years as an assistant.

League projection: Birch lists Jackson, McKinley and Perry as the top 3 Federal League teams.



Conference: North Coast League

2011-12 record: 8-16

Coach: Shawn Pompella, fifth season, 67-48

Projected starters: Dominic Naples, senior, 5-11; John Hilty, senior, 6-3; Preston Caparanis, sophomore, 5-10; A.J. Grant, sophomore, 6-4; Luke Keck, sophomore, 6-1.

Other players: Michael Prokop, junior, 6-0; Willie Stevenson, sophomore, 6-1.

Outlook: The Eagles sport solid guard play and will start three sophomore. They youth movement will pay off down the road, but the hard-working group can compete now.

League projection: Villa Angela St. Jospeh, St. Peter Chanel and Cleveland Central Catholic are the top team, Pompella says.



Conference: Lake Erie League

2011-12 record: 21-4

Coach: Andy Vlajkovich, first season

Projected starters: Mik’quan Dorsey, senior, 6-2; Gregory Jackson, senior, 5-10; O’sha Jackson, senior, 6-1; Anthony Bell, senior, 6-2; King Garner, junior, 6-1;

Other players: Free Stubbs, senior, 6-3; Tommy Perry, junior, 6-0; Tyron Howard, junior, 6-3; Jajwoin Hughes, junior, 5-8; Jautice McDonald, junior, 6-1; DreVatne Baldride, sophomore, 5-10; Shondell Jackson, sophomore, 6-3; Jarelle Johnson, sophomore, 6-0.

Outlook: Coming off a district championship, the Raiders have to rebuild with a new coach and lineup. Chemistry and toughness needs to develop during the early parts of the season. Interior defense and rebounding need to improve.

League projection: Cleveland Heights is the league favorite, Vlajkovich says, but it’s a toss up with every team having a chance to compete.




Conference: Northeast Buckeye Conference

2011-12 record: 9-13

Coach: Rich Hart, third season, 19-25

Projected starters: Brendan Webb, senior, 5-10; Ryan Bush, senior, 6-1; Zach Econoumous, senior, 6-3; Max Wolfgang, junior, 6-6; Anthony Shivers, senior, 6-6.

Other players: Mike Madison, senior, 5-10; Braydan Myers, senior, 6-5; Austin Frank, senior, 6-0; Zach Wukotich, senior, 6-3; Brooks Bezon, senior, 5-10.

Outlook: Salem has more depth and experience than in years past. It lost many close games, a year ago, and hopes to stay strong down the strecth to make those wins, this year.

League projection: Hart lists defending champion, Alliance, as the league’s top team. Marlington is second.


Conference: Northeast Buckeye Conference

2011-12 record: 10-11

Coach: Lou Sellaroli, seventh season, 61-68

Projected starters: Drake Lohnes, senior, 5-8; Jake Griffith, senior, 6-7; Beau Taylor, senior, 5-10, Kip DeShields, sophomore, 6-5; Zack Mucklo, senior, 6-4.

Other players: Troy James, senior, 6-0; Mark Schwingle, senior, 6-2; Matt Edie, senior, 6-0; Kolton Kitzmiller, junior, 5-9; Dustin Greenwalt, junior, 5-10; Lucas Austin, junior, 6-0; Jake Evanhoff, junior, 6-1; Luke Wallbrown, junior, 6-1; Matt Meiter, sophomore, 6-1; Jerian Thomas, sophomore, 5-11.

Outlook: The Warriors boast one of the biggest teams in the area with five players at least 6-foot-2. A strong returning core and talented youngsters will make an impact, together.

League projection: The league will be strong, once again,” Sellaroli said.




Conference: NAC

2011-12 record: 4-17

Coach: Chris Mott, fourth season, 15-48

Projected starters: Jason Lipps, senior, 6-2; Matt Kraml, senior, 5-8; Curtis McKnight, senior, 5-10; Colton Kellogg, junior, 6-2; Brandon Bates, junior, 5-11.

Other players: Joe Gorospe, sophomore, 5-10; Daniel Shuttleworth, sophomore, 6-0; Cody Marshall, junior, 6-0; Rich Roscoe, junior, 5-9; Vince Mathia, junior, 6-3; Clay Miller, sophomore, 6-0.

Outlook: Although Badger is not a big team, the overall length of players makes it hard for opponents to match up well. It is a solid rebounding team with experience at the guard positions.

League projection: Coach Mott believes Pymatuning Valley and Bristol will be the league’s top teams.


Conference: NAC

2011-12 record: 12-9

Coach: Craig Giesy, second season, 12-9

Projected starters: Chad Oliver, senior, 6-0; Brandon Lee, junior, 6-0; Alex Jones, freshman, 5-11; Zeth Tomasiak, sophomore, 5-7; Zak Dibell, senior, 6-3.

Other players: Gary Hopson, junior, 6-1; Johnny Simcox, junior, 5-8; Logan Koeth, sophomore, 6-2; Aaron Wiebe, junior, 5-9; Aaron Williams, sophomore, 5-11.

Outlook: Speed and quickness are Bristol’s best attributes. Chad Oliver is a sold, all-around player to lead a deep team. Witha year under his belt, Craig Giesy has built a team-first mentality the program is buying into.

League projection: Without listing his own squad, Giesy has Pymatuning Valley, Maplewood and Lordstown in the upper listing of the league.


Conference: NAC

2011-12 record: 8-14

Coach: Brent Villella, second season, 8-14

Projected starters: Jake Jones, junior, 5-11; Louis Liming, junior, 5-8; Steven Gill, junior, 6-4; Nick Johnson, junior, 6-3; Hunter King, junior, 6-0.

Other players: Prestin Sutton, Dustin Hajnosz, sophomore, 6-0; Mike Rendziniak, freshman, 5-9; Jiryes Rafidi, freshman, 5-7.

Outlook: Lordstown returns four starters and they’re all juniors. It’ll look to bounce back after a tough year.

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