CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – On March 8, the Lakeview school board approved the hiring of Sam Bellino as the head football coach. Bellino spent the last eight seasons serving as an assistant at Hubbard, last 5 as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator.
The Hubbard alum (class of 2009) replaces Tom Pavlansky, who spent 22 seasons at the helm of Bulldog football.
“After being around the program for a couple months,” says coach Bellino. “we fully expect to be in a bunch of close games and preparing for week 11 after the news of 16-team playoffs.”
2020 Record: 1-7 (0-6, 8th in Northeast 8)
Coach: Sam Bellino, 1st season
Previewing Lakeview’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 7.6 (59th in Area)
Returning Starters: 8
Key Returnees: Evan Davies, SR/OL; Jake Wilms, SR/ATH
Key Losses: Stephen Pavlansky, QB; Kyle Roberts, OL
Name to watch for: Evan Davies, OL
Last fall, the Bulldogs went through their first six games by only scoring a total of 20 points. In their 7 losses in 2020, Lakeview averaged just 4.3 points per game.
Lakeview must replace their three-year starting quarterback, Stephen Pavlansky, who’s since graduated. Senior Jake Wilms threw 22 passes a year ago (8 completions for 73 yards). Incoming junior Damian Natali has good size at 6’2. Sophomores Sam Gillis and Nolan Toth will each have their opportunities this summer as well.
Senior Nate Fox took team-high honors with 12 catches (79 yards) a year ago. His classmate Gavin Mauger led the offense with 107 receiving yards (9 catches).
“The offensive line has been working hard this offseason,” indicates Bellino. “The only returning starter is Evan Davies. He’s been a coach’s dream so far. He’s leading by example as he’s taken on such a leadership role that the young guys are going to benefit from being around him. Another guy who has been putting up big numbers in the weight room is incoming junior Nonda Makroglou.”
Previewing Lakeview’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 30.1 (51st in Area)
Returning Starters: 8
Key Returnees: Evan Davies, SR/LB; Nate Fox, SR/DB; Gavin Mauger, SR/DB; Jake Wilms, SR/LB
Key Losses: Brendon Kilpatrick, P; Ethan Smith, DB
Name to watch for: Nate Fox, DB
“I’m looking for seniors Nate Fox, Evan Davies, Jake Wilms and Gavin Mauger to lead our young roster on the defensive side of the ball,” indicates Bellino.
Fox led the team in tackles with 74 while intercepting a pair of passes. Davies closed out his junior year with 2 quarterback sacks and 40 defensive stops. Wilms had 34 tackles while Mauger recorded 20.
Coach Bellino thinks the strength of his defensive unit will be along the line. “Up front, we’re not going to need to rely on one or two guys to be out there all forty-eight minutes. There’s enough depth that we’ll be able to have fresh legs out there the majority of the night.”
2020 Northeast 8 Standings
South Range – 6-0 (9-1)
Poland – 5-1 (7-2)
Hubbard – 4-2 (5-3)
Niles – 4-2 (5-4)
Girard – 2-4 (4-6)
Struthers – 2-4 (2-5)
Jefferson – 1-5 (3-7)
Lakeview – 0-6 (1-7)
Aug. 20 – at LaBrae
Aug. 27 – at Garrettsville Garfield
Sept. 3 – Liberty
Sept. 10 – Niles
Sept. 17 – at Girard
Sept. 24 – Struthers
Oct. 1 – Hubbard
Oct. 8 – at Poland
Oct. 15 – South Range
Oct. 22 – at Jefferson