Beaver Local has lots to replace; seeking winning campaign


Coach Mike McKenzie begins his 3rd season at the helm of Beaver Local football

Beavers have posted a winning record over the last 5 years (26-24)

LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – In recent memory, the Beavers have posted a winning percentage of 52% (26-24) over the last 5 years. The previous 5 (2009-13) were not as successful as they went 7-43 (14%). Still, a playoff appearance has eluded the program since 2005. Coach McKenzie states, “We need to embrace the process of getting better every single day. That will enable us to put our best possible team on the field.”

The Beavers have added four teams to their schedule – LaBrae, Kenmore-Garfield, Minerva and Liberty. LaBrae (10-2) and Liberty (7-3) both had winning seasons as they combined for a 17-5 record. The Golden Rams (1-9) and the Lions (0-10) both had sub-par years in 2018 as they tallied a 1-19 mark together.

Beaver Local Beavers
Head Coach: Mike McKenzie, 3rd season (11-9)
2018 record: 4-6
Five Key Points
1.In their 4 wins last year, the defense held the opposition to an average of 11.3 points per game. In their 6 losses, they permitted an average of 35 points.
2.Beavers are seeking their another season opening win. That would be 4 straight. The last such streak happened in much of the 2000s when Beaver Local won 9 consecutive lid lifters from 2000 to 2008.
3.Eleven of the last 13 years, Beaver Local has been outscored on average (each year but 2014 & 2017).
4.The Beavers have had just 2 winning seasons (2014, 2017) over the past 12 years.
5.Beaver Local’s last playoff win came in 2003 when they toppled Gallia Academy (38-13) in the playoff opener at home.

Returning Starters: 5
Scoring Offense: 16.4 (40th in Area)
…The offense took a hit with the graduation of the likes of lineman Jared Wright as well as two of their top playmakers in running back Garrett Givens (806 yards, 11 TDs) and Donovan Garcia. Givens ran for over 300-yards in the season finale win over Oak Glen. Garcia opened the year with a 3-touchdown day versus Wellsville. Each of their quarterbacks – who split time a year ago – senior Ethan Lewis and junior Tanner Johnston both return.

“We need our line to develop quickly,” states McKenzie. “They’ll be very inexperienced. Our skill players need to take a step forward and carry the load early on.” A year ago, the offense took a step back as they averaged 16.4 points per game compared to the 2017 group which averaged 35 points per contest.

Returning Starters: 6
Scoring Defense: 24.9 (34th in Area)
…Linebackers Garrett Givens (101 tackles, 12 TFL, 3 QB sacks, 3 forced fumbles), Hunter Saltsman and Christian Lerussi have graduated as has defensive back Donovan Garcia.

“We have to be confident in our assignments,” stresses McKenzie. “We must attack. We have a young (group) of linebackers that will need to grow quickly.” The defense has not had a season where they held the opposition to less than 20-points per game since 2005 (16.1).

Aug. 30 – LaBrae
Sept. 6 – Kenmore-Garfield
Sept. 13 – at Minerva
Sept. 20 – East Liverpool
Sept. 27 – Edison
Oct. 5 – at Bellaire
Oct. 11 – at Buckeye Local
Oct. 18 – at Indian Creek
Oct. 25 – Martins Ferry
Nov. 1 – Liberty

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