LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – Not too long ago, Beaver Local had lost 44 of 51 games between 2009 to week 1 of 2014. The Beavers had posted a winning percentage of 13.7% (7-44) during that time frame. Since then, over the past 6 years, the Beavers have had just two sub-500 years (both at 4-6) and have posted winning records in two seasons (2014: 6-4; 2017: 7-3). Now, Beaver Local is looking for more in their abbreviated 2020 season.
The Beavers last trip to the post-season came in 2005 when they were finishing up a 4-year playoff run (2002-05). Coach McKenzie appears to have a roster which could make some noise this year.
2019 Record: 5-5
Head Coach: Mike McKenzie, 4th season (16-14)
Scoring Offense: 22.8 (33rd in Area)
Scoring Defense: 24.5 (33rd in Area)
What you need to know about Beaver Local’s offense
-In 2019, the Beavers scored an average of 38.4 points in their five victories. However, in their five losses, they were able to average just 7.2 points (scoring 8 points once).
The offensive line returns three starters including a pair of All-County First-Team selections – a year ago – in Payne Allen and Tommy Warrick. Tanner Johnston is back as a third-year starter. Johnston was used at multiple positions last year including quarterback as he split time with Ethan Lewis. Devon Salsberry returns after enjoying much success on the wrestling mat this past winter. The Beavers welcome back a number of receivers led by Logan Krulik, Dylan Moore, Dorian Jackson, James Monte and Caleb White.
What you need to know about Beaver Local’s defense
-In the second half of the season, the Beavers were pitted against a couple of formidable foes in Bellaire (playoff team), Indian Creek (won a playoff game) and Martins Ferry (winning record). They were toppled by a combined score of 112-21. In their other 7 games, the defense allowed just one opponent to score 24-points or more (East Liverpool, 26).
The defensive line lost a ton to graduation but brings back Payne Allen – a 2-year starter up front. The linebackers are led by junior Nate Sprouse, Wyatt Loy (who had a pivotal interception in last year’s season opening win against LaBrae), Andy Latshaw and Alex Latshaw. Tanner Johnston and Devon Salsberry will man the corner back positions while Dylan Moore and Dorian Jackson both return as the team’s safeties.
Beaver Local’s Key Player(s)
-Senior, Tanner Johnston
…Number 14 did it all last year by playing at such a high level – running the ball as well as throwing it. This year, he’ll be asked to do more of the same. Without the likes of Ethan Lewis, Jacob Kane and Daniel Wirth – the Beavers must get contributions out of their returnees including Johnston.
2020 Revised Schedule
Aug. 28 – at East Liverpool
Sept. 4 – at Barnesville
Sept. 11 – Indian Creek
Sept. 18 – Minerva
Sept. 25 – at Edison
Oct. 2 – Bellaire