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Schools announce new football coaches

Three area schools announced this week that they had filled their varsity football head coaching position.

Boardman named Seth Antram, Valley Christian chose Andy Hake and Champion hired Tom Conrad.

Antram replaces Joe Ignazio who headed the Spartans’ program for eight seasons.

“I’m excited to join the Boardman School District and community, and I look forward to helping our student athletes succeed both on the field and in the classroom,” Antram said.

The new Spartan coach has worked in education for the last 12 years. Antram has coached at Chaney High School and was an assistant for three years at Youngstown State.

“We believe Coach Antram will continue to build on the strong tradition of excellence in our football program with his great work ethic and attention to detail,” athletic direcetor Marco Marinucci said.

He also said that Antram had many well-respected coaches within the area recommend the new coach for the position. More than 40 applicants vied for the Boardman position.

Antram is a 2002 graduate of Crestview High School where he played quarterback and wide receiver. In 2008, he obtained a degree in physical education.

Hake brings more than 11 years of varsity head coaching experience to Valley Christian, but it was his departure from Western Reserve that was noteworthy.

He was placed on leave in January 2020 for allegedly vaping THC in a school restroom. He has since been charged with possession of marijuana, though no court date has been set yet.

According to a news release from Valley Christian, Hake entered and completed a five-month program at the Neil Kennedy Treatment Center.

Mike Pecchia, president of Valley Christian, said school officials gave plenty of consideration to the hire.

“Redemption is the centerpiece of Christianity and a core tenet of Valley Christian Schools as we strive to transform the lives of our students through our guiding values of Love More, Expect More, and Be More,” Pecchia said. “After hours of meeting and talking with Andy and completing a thorough due diligence process, we believe that Andy’s redemption story — along with his obvious passion, energy, and vast football knowledge and experience — make him the right fit for our student-athletes on the football field.”

Hake’s Western Reserve teams won seven league titles and made nine playoff appearances in his 11 seasons there, with two regional titles. The Blue Devils had an overall record of 104-25.

Conrad, a Champion graduate, has three years of experience as a head coach at Chalker, with a record of 10-19 after serving as an assistant at Champion. Conrad returned to the Golden Flashes’ staff last fall.

Superintendent John Grabowski said the board of education felt that Conrad would be good for the position and wanted to get him hired in time to prepare for next season.

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