GARRETTSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – The G-Men will begin year #1 in the MVAC this season after moving over from the Portage Trail Conference.
Coach Mike Moser knows it’ll be challenging, “We’re excited to compete against so many quality teams in this league. We know we’ll have to be at our very best week-in and week-out. We’re familiar with some of them. Crestview, LaBrae, Brookfield – to name a few – are very good programs. We expect to work hard and compete.”
Since Moser took over the reigns as the head football coach at Garfield, the G-Men have finished with a non-losing record in six of the last 8 seasons. In their last two, Garfield has posted an 18-3 mark.
Last year, the G-Men defeated Warren JFK (27-21) and Mogadore (28-21) in back-to-back weeks. Garfield finished 6-1 against teams who finished with a winning record. Crestview upsets undefeated Garfield in post-season.
The G-Men are expected to return 20 letter winners from last year’s 9-1 team.
2020 Record: 9-1
Coach: Mike Moser, 9th season (52-31)
Previewing Garfield’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 31.4 (14th in Area)
Returning Starters: 7
Key Returnees: Anthony Demma, SR/RB; Riley LaPorte, SR/OL; Austin Roman, SR/OL; Ryan Stoller, SR/RB; Brody Swigonski, SR/QB; Payton Yancey, SR/OL
Key Losses: Austin Lysiak, RB
Name to watch for: Anthony Demma, RB
“Offensively, we return a lot of weapons,” indicates Moser. “We have many guys who are capable of doing some things with the ball in their hands. We really like our depth at running back with Anthony Demma, Ryan Stoller, Jesse Grace and Keegan Sell. Brody Swigonski is a proven winner at quarterback. They’re focused on putting in a great off-season and getting better.”
Demma averaged 7.7 yards on 169 rushes a year ago (1309 yards). He also led the team with 21 receptions (327 yards). Number 25 scored 16 touchdowns on offense (13 rushing, 3 receiving).
Brody Swigonski threw for 883 yards and 9 touchdowns as a junior. He also tossed just 2 interceptions on 112 pass attempts.
“We’re led by three outstanding linemen upfront in Riley LaPorte, Austin Roman and Payton Yancey,” Moser says. “Competition at the other spots should make for an interesting camp with players like Noah Eggert, John Hundza, Lenny Veccia, Fred Rutherford, Austin Zarrelli, John Wiczen and Bryce Peska all working their way in.”
Previewing Garfield’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 19.3 (16th in Area)
Returning Starters: 7
Key Returnees: Anthony Demma, SR/DB; Jesse Grace, JR/LB; Jon Hundzsa, SR/LB; Riley LaPorte, SR/DL; Brody Swigonski, SR/DB
Key Losses: Noah Baker, DL; Jake Baczkowski, DB; Mike Baczkowski, DB; Aaron Craver, DL; Austin Lysiak, LB
Name to watch for: Jesse Grace, LB
“On defense, replacing players like the Baczkowski brothers (Mike and Jake) along with Aaron Craver (106 tackles), Noah Baker and Austin Lysiak will be a challenge both on-and-off the field,” points out coach Moser. “We played many guys on the defensive side of the ball last year, so we expect the new guys to pick things up quickly. Our defensive strength will be our overall team speed and athleticism. It’s a smart football group. We’re anxious to get to work with them.”
Junior linebacker Jesse Grace finished second on the team in tackles (105) a year ago. He also recorded 8 tackles for a loss. Brody Swigonski should stabilize the secondary after closing out 2020 with 78 tackles and a pair of interceptions.
2020 MVAC Grey Tier Standings
Brookfield – 5-1 (6-4)
Crestview – 4-1 (7-2)
LaBrae – 3-2 (6-4)
Champion – 2-2 (2-3)
Memorial – 2-3 (2-5)
Liberty – 1-5 (1-6)
Newton Falls – 0-3 (1-6)
Aug. 20 – at Cardinal
Aug. 27 – Lakeview
Sept. 3 – at Warren JFK
Sept. 10 – LaBrae
Sept. 17 – Newton Falls
Sept. 24 – Champion
Oct. 1 – at Campbell Memorial
Oct. 8 – Crestview
Oct. 15 – at Brookfield
Oct. 22 – at Liberty