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HS Football Notebook: Hubbard maintains consistency

The Hubbard High football program — and Eagles coach Brian Hoffman — continue to build on an already-historic run.

On Friday, Hubbard defeated Lakeview 22-0 to lift its record to 5-2. The win guaranteed the Eagles a .500 or better record while strengthening their playoff chances.

Hubbard has now reeled off 24 consecutive non-losing seasons, a Trumbull County record. Hoffman has been at the helm since 2007. His 16 straight years without a losing season is also a Trumbull County individual coaching record.

Jeff Bayuk coached Hubbard during the first eight years of the streak.

Hoffman’s streak of non-losing seasons actually dates back to 2005. Prior to taking over the Hubbard program, Hoffman put together back-to-back winning seasons at West Middlesex (PA), including a 15-1 campaign that ended in the PIAA Class A state title game.

“Brian is a great guy and a great coach who really cares about his players,” said Hubbard assistant coach Ron Fox. “He gets these kids to play as a team, year after year he gets the kids to believe in the system.”

“We came in and took over a program that Jeff (Bayuk) built up, and we’ve just been trying to add to it. Jeff did a tremendous job of rejuvenating this program. Brian had big shoes to fill.”

Fox has been a part of Hoffman’s staff since his days at West Middlesex.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t coach with anyone else,” Fox said. “I’ve actually been asked to join other programs, but I have no intention of leaving Brian.”

“Brian is so good with the kids. If he yells at a player for doing something wrong, he’s going to go over to that player, give him a hug and explain what he did wrong. And he is so humble. With Brian, it’s never been about personal achievements. It’s all about the Hubbard program.”

AERIAL ATTACK

Area quarterbacks continued to shine bright in the spotlight over the weekend.

West Branch defeated Marlington 53-16 thanks to the arm and legs of Dru DeShields. The senior quarterback completed 16-of-20 passes (two TDs) for 165 yards. He also rushed for 110 yards and a score on just eight carries.

Billy Skripac led South Range to its seventh straight win, this time a 55-0 victory over Niles. Skripac completed all six of his pass attempts, totaling 217 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 49 yards on just two carries, including a 40-yard touchdown run.

United’s Luke Courtney threw for 319 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 42-6 win over East Palestine. Courtney also scored a rushing touchdown, accumulating 56 yards on the ground on six carries.

Lowellville’s Vinny Ballone continues to lead the nation with 39 touchdown passes. This past Friday, Ballone completed 13-of-14 passes (four touchdowns) for 211 yards. Ballone connected to nine different receivers.

Over the weekend DeShields, Skripac, Courtney and Ballone combined to complete 51 of 63 pass attempts.

SIDELINE NOTES

Warren John F. Kennedy will be idle this week after having its scheduled game against St. Thomas Aquinas canceled. Aquinas, which also canceled last Friday’s game against Ravenna Southeast, cites a lack of numbers as the reason for the cancellations. Aquinas also canceled last year’s scheduled game against JFK. Aquinas is scheduled to play Mogadore (6-0) in week nine…..Four area teams remain perfect (7-0) entering the eighth week of the season. South Range, Lowellville, Valley Christian and Southern (all 7-0) are among the 40 teams statewide which are undefeated. Of those, 37 own 7-0 records while another three are 6-0. Valley Christian visits Southern on Friday…..Badin (7-0) is the lone undefeated school in Division III, while Division V includes 13 undefeated teams…..Statewide, 61 schools are seeking their first win of the season. Among them are Sebring, Columbiana, LaBrae, Leetonia and Youngstown East…..19 area schools have clinched a playoff spot, while five area schools have officially been eliminated from the postseason.

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