Coaches hit milestones
Brian Hoffman began his coaching stint at Hubbard High in 2007. The same year, Sean Guerriero took over the Springfield High program.
On Friday night, both Hoffman and Guerriero achieved coaching milestones in their 15th seasons at their respective schools.
Hubbard’s 46-7 win over Jefferson was Hoffman’s 120th victory with the Eagles. He is now tied with Jeff Bayuk as the winningest coach in Hubbard history.
Springfield defeated McDonald 49-7, giving Guerriero his 100th career victory with the Tigers.
Bayuk coached for 16 years at Hubbard, where he compiled a 120-46 record. He stepped down at the end of the 2006 season, and Hoffman filled the void.
Hoffman’s current record at Hubbard is nearly identical to Bayuk’s. Hoffman is 120-43 with the Eagles.
Under Hoffman, Hubbard has never experienced a losing season. The streak is already guaranteed to continue this year as the Eagles own a 6-0 record. It’s also almost a virtual lock that Hoffman will guide the school to another playoff appearance this fall, which would be the 12th under his watch.
Prior to Bayuk’s arrival in 1991, the previous eight coaches at Hubbard combined to tally 103 victories.
Guerriero now owns a 100-57 record at Springfield. After starting out 15-25, his teams are 85-32 in their last 117 games. Since the midway point of the 2017 season Springfield owns an overall record of 44-4. During the span the Tigers are 35-2 in the regular season, with a 9-2 playoff record.
Last season, Springfield became just the second Mahoning Valley public school to reach the state finals in back-to-back years.
From 2013 to 2020, Valley Christian did not experience a winning season. Six times during the eight year span, the Eagles won two or fewer games, including both 2019 (2-8) and 2020 (2-6).
Under first-year coach Andy Hake, the Eagles are soaring in 2021.
Valley Christian (4-1) has already matched its win total of ’19 and ’20 combined. Prior to this year, the Eagles scored 30 or more points just once in their last 23 games. Through five games this year they are averaging 34.4 points per game.
“Our kids really bought into what we wanted to bring to this program,” said coach Andy Hake. “It took a little bit of time, it took some patience but these kids warmed up to what I demand from players. They want to be coached hard. They want to learn.
“I believe, and they believe we can be a real threat in our region. There are some great teams in our region and we want to be involved in the conversation when it comes to discussing those top teams.”
Valley Christian’s lone loss was a setback to LaBrae. It has since won three straight.
“We knew we had the athletes here, we just needed to mold these athletes into a group of leaders,” Hake said.
Hake noted that team policy requires a player who is flagged for a personal foul to sit out a quarter of play. Senior tailback Cameron Davenport was forced to miss a quarter in Friday’s 34-14 win over Leetonia.
“Cameron’s response to the situation showed incredible leadership and maturity,” Hake said. “His leadership and guidance toward his teammates is as valuable as his play on the field.”
“Cameron and others have embraced the role of leaders. Early on getting these kids to buy into the team concept was a concern. Now, it’s one of our huge assets. I truly believe we have turned the corner.”
WINLESS AND IN?
With the expansion of the playoffs to 16 schools in each region, the possibility exists that an 0-10 team will qualify for this year’s tournament.
Division I, region 1 includes 17 schools. Currently two of those schools – Euclid and Lorain – are 0-6. Euclid’s remaining schedule includes dates with Massillon (4-2), Strongsville (4-2), Solon (2-4) and Mentor (3-3). Lorain must face Medina (6-0) but its other three opponents all currently have losing records.
Should both Euclid and Lorain finish 0-10, the team whose opponents earned the most victories would qualify for the playoffs.
Euclid currently owns the upper hand in the tie-breaking scenario. It has lost to six opponents who currently are a combined 31-5, including three 6-0 teams (Aurora, Hudson, Medina). Lorain’s losses have come against opponents who are a combined 22-13.
In Division I, region 4 both Lebanon (0-5) and Cincinnati Oak Hills (0-6) have yet to win a game in the 17-team region.