WELLSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – The Tigers opened the 2019 campaign with a 5-1 mark (only loss was a 6-point loss to Malvern) but faded to lose each of their last four contests by a combined score of 193-45. Despite the way the season ended, it was a major improvement over the year prior how Wellsville won just two games.
The Tigers return three All-League First or Second-Team players (Caden Weekley, Valen Kryston, Troy Carter) to a mix of 14 returning starters. Wellsville has their eyes set on a playoff push this fall.
2019 Record: 5-5 (3-3), T-3rd place in EOAC
Head Coach: Rob Ramsey, 4th season (10-20)
Scoring Offense: 30.4 (14th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 28.7 (42nd in Area)
What you need to know about Wellsville’s offense
-The Tigers return four starters along the line (Corbin Hall, Tyler Stanley, Austin Giralico, Caden Weekley) and their standout quarterback Troy Carter. Their senior signal caller completed 53.6% of his 153 passes for 1075 yards and 9 touchdown strikes. A few of Carter’s favorite targets return in Valen Kryston (184 receiving yards), Garrett Kryston and Isaiah Greathouse (17 catches, 151 yards; 282 rushing yards). However, the loss of their standout receiver Darien Suggs – who caught 24 passes for 451 yards and 6 scores a year ago – will be difficult to replace. Also, the Tigers must fill the void at running back where they lost Jason Tice (542 yards) and Justin Sarge (292 yards) to graduation as well.
“We need our seniors and returning letter men to get the younger kids up to speed with our system,” indicated Ramsey. “Our senior quarterback Troy and new offensive coordinator Shawn Carter will have to bring the team together. We have a lot of experience across the front line. They’ll have to protect Troy and open up running lanes for our backs.”
Also, Wellsville’s kicker Casey LeMasters will be back
What you need to know about Wellsville’s defense
-First-Team All-EOAC linebacker Caden Weekley returns for his senior year. Weekley led the team in tackles a year ago with 85. Up front, Tyler Stanley and Austin Giralico (30 tackles, 2 QB sacks) will be in the fold for the Tigers at the line of scrimmage. Wellsville returns three defensive backs – Valen Kryston (19 tackles), Garrett Kryston and sophomore Isaiah Greathouse (25 tackles).
The Tigers lost a pair of First-Team All-League defenders in defensive end Draven Crow (6 QB sacks) and their shutdown DB Darien Suggs (7 INTs).
“The defense has to be aggressive,” coach Ramsey states. “We need to sure up our tackling. New defensive coordinator Jon Carter will have a strong leader in Caden Weekley and several returnees – who we see as aggressive players and like to attack the ball(carrier).”
Wellsville’s Key Player(s)
-Senior QB Troy Carter was a Second-Team All-League selection a year ago. “He’ll have to lead our offense,” says Ramsey. “He’ll have some returners but the offensive line has to carry the load with four starters back.”
Aug. 28 – Toronto
Sept. 4 -at Edison
Sept. 11 – at Lowellville
Sept. 18 – Leetonia
Sept. 25 – Lisbon
Oct. 2 – at East Palestine
Oct. 9 – United
Oct. 16 – Columbiana
Oct. 23 – at Southern
Oct. 30 – at East Liverpool
The Big game on the schedule
August 28 – vs. Toronto
…Wellsville opened last year with an impressive 26-15 win at Toronto (a team who advanced to the post-season in 2019). This year, they’ll get the Red Knights at home in an encounter between former league-rivals. Interesting to see how Troy Carter and company do within the new system perform without a few key contributors.