Poland’s largest class of football signees announce commitments
By Greg Gulas
Six Poland football standouts inked national letters-of-intent Wednesday at the Poland Public Library.
Two players, Mike Diaz and Jonah Spencer, affixed their names to Youngstown State’s offer as preferred walk-ons and will play for head coach Bo Pelini’s Penguins beginning this fall.
“The leadership of this group has been absolutely remarkable. I could go on-and-on about the many selfless acts they did over the past three in the name of the team,” Bulldogs head coach Ryan Williams said. “With them, it has been all about the team and learning how to lead. They’ve matured to the point to where they are now prepared to perform at the next level, both in the classroom and on the field.”
In addition to Diaz and Spencer, the other Division I commit is Dante Ruozzo, a preferred walk-on for Ohio University.
Drew Davies (Ashland University), Cole Lavorini (Baldwin Wallace) and Nick Sabrin (Notre Dame College) round out the program’s largest class of signees.
Diaz was a slot-punt returner for the Bulldogs and plans on majoring in engineering with an emphasis on construction management.
“I have always been a fan of YSU. While growing up, I went to all of their games and love the program’s great tradition,” Diaz said. “Coach Williams has always done what’s best for all us and the team, all the while preparing us for the next level. The Poland tradition is to do things the right way and YSU’s tradition is the very same.”
A tailback, Spencer was recruited as an athlete by the Penguins and plans to major in public relations, hoping to remain in sports is come capacity after receiving his degree.
“I had some other offers, but wanted to play at the Division I level and to me, coach Pelini is an unbelievable head coach and person,” Spencer said. “His mentality, heart and will to win made it tough for me to pass up this offer. Plus, I have a very big family and the fact they will get to see me play was also a deciding factor.”
The Bulldogs were 8-3 a season ago and made the playoffs after a year’s absence. This group graduates with two overall playoff appearances during their scholastic careers.
A tight end, Ruozzo looks to major in marketing for the Bobcats.
“Coach [Frank] Solich has built a solid program with the Bobcats and I am looking forward to my next four years at Ohio U,” he said. “Coach Williams has had my back from the very first day and really helped me with the recruitment process. He’s helped me grow, both as a player and person and for that I am most grateful.”
Davies, an offensive tackle, is expected to major in business for the Eagles.
“The fact that they have a five-year business program and I can graduate with my MBA was just too good to pass up,” Davies said. “We only had about two weeks of communication prior to my visit, but once I stepped foot on campus I was blown away. The coaches, staff, facilities and players were all so much more than I expected.”
Lavorini earned three letters as an outside linebacker and was impressed with new Yellow Jackets head coach, Jim Hilvert.
“Coach Hilvert led B-W to a 6-4 mark in his first season at the helm and has laid a solid foundation,” Lavorini said. “I want to be a part of their turnaround. I visited campus four or five times and each time when I returned home, I found something new and exciting about my experience.”
For Sabrin, an offensive tackle who hopes to major in business administration, it was Notre Dame College all along.
“I felt like they really wanted me and I want to play for someone that wants me,” he noted. “I visited back in October, went to a game and that sealed the deal. Poland High School has prepared me for the next level, not just in sports but life as well.”