Can Girard piggy back off of last year’s success without strong senior class?

Sports

Indians won 23 games over the last 2 seasons

Girard will look to begin life without Mark Waid this fall

GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Girard’s run to the state title game last fall brought back lots of fond memories of the school’s 1993 basketball championship. The community and school came together, once again, displaying the same pride and excitement which each team brought to the town within the last 25 years.

Gone are the names which became so synonymous with the program’s winning culture. Coach Pat Pearson must now replace 18 seniors. Pearson has seen his team advance to the playoffs in 3 of his 5 years at the helm. This season, without many starters, Girard will open against a pair of new opponents – East Palestine and West Branch – before beginning the Northeast 8 Conference schedule in week 4.

Can the Indians get back to the playoffs for a third consecutive year? Something which has not been done in school history.

Girard Indians
Head Coach: Pat Pearson, 6th season (36-22)
2018 record (AAC Blue): 13-2 (6-0), 1st place
Five Key Points
1.Last year, Pat Pearson became the all-time leader in playoff wins among head coaches at Girard with 5. He surpassed his former coach Bud McSuley with 4.
2.Over the last 2 seasons (2017-18), the Indians have won more games (23) than they had in any 2 seasons before. Old record was 20 in 2008 & 2009.
3.Girard is after the 3rd straight season opening win this August 30 against East Palestine. The last time, the Indians opened the season with 3 straight wins was in 2004 when they had won 4 in a row from 2000 to 2004.
4.Indians have won 9 of their last 10 home games
5.Over the last 11 years (2008-18), Girard has averaged over 32-points per season 7 times.

Offense
Scoring Offense: 44.3 (4th in Area)
Rushing Offense: 188.6
Passing Offense: 296.2
Total Offense: 484.8
…The Indians’ 4-year starter at quarterback Mark Waid leaves behind huge shoes to fill. Waid threw for well over 11,000-yards (11,658), tossing 117 touchdowns as well as rushing over 1,000-yards in each of the past two seasons and scoring 66 times on the ground throughout his career. Not to mention, he was the All-American Conference Blue Tier’s Player of the Year as a sophomore, junior and senior. No one excepts a player to step in and duplicate what Waid did – however – there is a lot of room for competition this summer after the graduation of such a remarkable senior class this past spring. That includes at quarterback where Drew DelGarbino (junior) and Jimmy Jones (senior) will receive opportunities this summer.

The Indians’ outstanding receiver Nick Malito returns for his senior season. On June 20, Malito gave his verbal commitment to Toledo to join the Rockets in 2020. Last year, Nick caught 53 passes for an average of 24.8 yards per reception (1313 yards) and 15 touchdowns. Up front, senior Haeden Gump is back to anchor the line.

Defense
Scoring Defense: 20.1 (22nd in Area)
…Girard’s defensive unit lost four First-Team All-League performers which included their top five tacklers. The defense must replace defensive linemen (Jack DelGarbino – 144 tackles, 31 TFL; Anthony Pratt – 5 QB sacks) and linebackers (Jamil Bannister – 119 tackles, 6.5 QB sacks; Marco Donatelli – 108 tackles, 4.5 QB sacks; Daryl Smith Jr. – 72 tackles, 13 TFL) as well as defensive backs Aidan Warga (110 tackles) and Terrance Davis (5 INTs).

Over the last 2 seasons, Girard’s defense has held the opposition to an average of 17.9 points in 2017 and 20.1 points in 2018. Those are the lowest figures that the Indians have held their foes to since the 2008 to 2011 seasons (2008: 15.6; 2009: 11.0; 2010: 17.5; 2011: 16.7).

Schedule
Aug. 30 – at East Palestine
Sept. 6 – West Branch
Sept. 14 – at Warren JFK
Sept. 20 – Lakeview
Sept. 27 – at South Range
Oct. 4 – Poland
Oct. 11 – at Hubbard
Oct. 18 – Struthers
Oct. 25 – Jefferson
Nov. 1 – at Niles

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