CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – The Canfield football team narrowly missed out on a third straight trip to the playoffs last year.
“7-3 is a really good record for the schedule we played, but it wasn’t good enough,” said Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky.
This season, the Cards return with high hopes and great numbers. They have 63 kids out for football and a roster that includes 21 seniors.
“Confidence-wise, everybody wants to win,” said Canfield senior Chris Sammarone. “Even in the off-season, all we talk about is just Week 1, Week 2, going game-by-game and just having more focus. The confidence level is through the roof right now. We’re just going to play hard every game.”
Sammarone will help provide the muscle this season. He’s a three-year starter and a brute force on both sides of the ball.
“Chris is all football player,” Pavlansky said. “He’s a great kid, great leader, one of the hardest workers we’ve had around here. He’s got football common sense, physical kid and just loves the game, just loves being out here. You know his best days are when he’s here, around his buddies.”
“You don’t get to pound somebody every day, get to beat on somebody, just wear physicality and that’s what I look forward to — coming here, having fun with the guys,” Sammarone said. “It’s just exciting. Once we get the pads on tomorrow, it’s going to be even more fun because you can really lay into some people.”
The Cards will also start camp with a quarterback competition.
Ethan Fletcher returns for his senior season, after racking up more than 1,100 total yards last year. He’ll be challenged by fellow senior Jackson Crist and sophomore Brock Lowery.
Whoever wins the job will take center stage in one of the most anticipated games of the 2020 season when Canfield travels to Poland in Week 1.
“Absolutely. It’s great to have them back on the schedule,” Pavlansky said. “Obviously, we’d like to have them in the Week 10 rivalry spot but it’s not there. We’re fortunate and grateful that we get to play them in Week 1 and looking forward to that one over there.”
“It’s going to be exciting,” Sammarone said. “I think it’s going to be a great game if we have the opportunity to play. Lot of respect for those guys. We’ve just been preparing, even from lifting in December, getting ready for Week 1 against our rivals. Just really excited to play a game against them.”