BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – In early January, Seth Antram was named Boardman’s head football coach. Antram spent the past three years running Chaney’s offense as the Cowboys’ coordinator. In the past, he’s worked at Youngstown State, Crestview and at a high school in North Carolina (Jacksonville). Now he takes over the Spartans.
“I’m really excited to be here at Boardman,” Antram said. “There was a great foundation set here by the previous staff and we’re working hard to build upon that. The kids have been great, they’re working hard and our numbers have been really good in the weight room. The kids are buying into what we’re trying to do here and that makes it even more exciting for us.”
Last year in the post-season, Boardman earned its first home playoff win in over a century before falling to Painesville Riverside (39-28) the following week.
In their four losses last fall, Boardman was outscored by an average of 22.1 points per game against four teams that finished with a winning record. In their four wins, they outscored their opponents by a little more than 32 points per contest (32.2).
Boardman opens the season with a home matchup with Cardinal Mooney August 20.
2020 Record: 4-4
Coach: Seth Antram, 1st season
Previewing Boardman’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 28.5 (23rd in area)
Returning Starters: 8
Key Returnees: Anthony Hightower, SR/WR; Cortland Love, SR/OL; Aidan Miller, SR/OL; Sean O’Horo, SR/RB; Joe Sferra, SR/OL; Terence Thomas, SR/QB-WR; Cam Thompson, SR/WR; Jason Triveri, SR/QB
Key Losses: Nick Winsen, OL
Name to watch for: Cam Thompson, WR
Jason Triveri and Terence Thomas are both in the running for time at quarterback this season. Triveri completed 48.7% on his 76 throws (37 completions) for 632 yards and 8 touchdowns. Thomas, future Purdue Boilermaker, connected on 26 of 61 passes (42.6%) for 380 yards and 5 touchdown strikes. Nico Holzschuh will also look to add depth at the position in 2021.
“We return a lot of skill guys coming back this season,” Antram said. “We’re looking for Cam Thompson (16 catches, 411 yards, 5 TDs), Anthony Hightower (11 catches, 172 yards), Kejuan Robinson, Brayden Joseph-Robinson, Sean O’Horo (662 rushing yards, 63 yards receiving) and Fernando Ortiz (276 yards rushing) to be productive for us. They’ve all been working hard this offseason.”
Boardman has not had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2011 (Devin Campbell, 1,285 yards).
“The offensive line has been a point of emphasis this off-season and they’re progressing well,” Antram said. “That group of guys are really buying into the weight room and working together as a unit. They get along and push each other hard. Joe Sferra is back and stands out based on the numbers he’s been putting up in the weight room. Cortland Love and Aidan Miller are both back and started last season. Tyler Terlesky and Kyle Barnett are two more guys that have really been working hard for us and are looking to contribute on the line.”
Previewing Boardman’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 23.8 (T-30th in area)
Returning Starters: 8
Key Returnees: Stephen Conti, SR/DB; Anthony Hightower, SR/DB; Brayden Joseph-Robinson, SR/DB; Cortland Love, SR/DL; Sean O’Horo, SR/LB; Joe Sferra, SR/DL; Blaine Strines, SR/LB; Terence Thomas, SR/DB
Key Losses: Richard Evans, LB; Jake Powell, DL; Nick Winsen, DL
Name to watch for: Anthony Hightower, DB
The Spartans return five of their eight top tacklers from a year ago, which includes linebackers Sean O’Horo (team-high 64 tackles) and Blaine Strines (38 tackles) to go along with defensive backs Stephen Conti (58 tackles), Anthony Hightower (4 INTs) and Brayden Joseph-Robinson (44 tackles).
“There’s a number of guys returning defensively,” Antram said. “I believe the strength right now is our secondary, with five guys returning there.”
O’Horo, Hightower and Strines are all returning as three-year starters.
“Jared Mahood (a junior linebacker) has really been impressive in the weight room,” Antram said. “We look forward to seeing what he can do this summer and fall. Four other guys that we expect to step up on the defensive side of the ball are Fernando Ortiz, Caleb French, Ashton LaBelle and Cam Thompson.”
Junior Carson Essad will be welcomed back as the team’s punter and kicker this fall as well.
Aug. 20 – Mooney
Aug. 27 – at Chaney
Sept. 3 – at Jackson
Sept. 10 – Howland
Sept. 17 – East
Sept. 24 – at Benedictine
Oct. 1 – at Warren Harding
Oct. 8 – at Ursuline
Oct. 15 – Fitch
Oct. 22 – Canfield