LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – Lisbon is seeking their first winning season since 2017 (6-5). To finish the 2020 season, the Blue Devils won three of their final four games to build momentum into 2021.
In his second season as Lisbon’s head coach, Matt Altomare is excited about the prospects of this team,
“Many of our players received valuable game experience a year ago. In fact, 14 of our 21 returning players started at least one game on offense or defense. We we very fortunate to have the opportunity to play 11 varsity football games and six junior varsity [contests],” Altomare said.
The new season opens up at Windham on Friday, August 20.
2020 Record: 4-7 (1-5, 7th place in EOAC)
Coach: Matt Altomare, 2nd season at Lisbon (4-7)
Previewing Lisbon’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 22.1 (T-37th in Area)
Total Offense: 243.7
Returning Starters: 5
Key Returnees: Hunter Dailey, SO/OL; Giovanni Estrada, SR/WR; Tyler Palmer, JR/OL; Ryan Preston, SR/OL; Trevor Siefke, SO/QB; Ryan Stauffer, SR/FB
Key Losses: Ryan McCullough, RB; Tyler Welsh, QB
Name to watch for: Trevor Siefke, QB
Tyler Welsh graduated after a 2020 season which saw their quarterback throw for 823 yards and complete 48.5% of his tosses (50-103). He also gained 523 yards on the ground while crossing the goal line eight times.
The Blue Devils will also be without their first-team all-conference running back Ryan McCullough. He led the team in the following offensive categories: rushing yards (1088), yards per carry (9.7), rushing touchdowns (12), receptions (38), receiving yards (527) and receiving touchdowns (7).
Sophomore Trevor Siefke took snaps under center a year ago. He connected on six of 14 passes for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Lisbon returns seniors Giovanni Estrada (in the slot) and Ryan Stauffer (at fullback) this season. Estrada caught eight passes for 121 yards. Stauffer ran the ball 22 times out his blocking back position. Haiden Colvin and Logan Stauffer – who scored on a 51-yard run in 2020 — each started last season as underclassmen.
“We hope to spread the ball around this year and take what the defenses give us,” Altomare said.
The Blue Devils return three starters on the offensive line this year in tackle Ryan Preston, guard Tyler Palmer and sophomore Hunter Dailey. Daimen McCormick and James Walter also played significant roles for the Blue Devils a year ago. They’ll look to be in the mix this year.
“We have a good nucleus of linemen,” Altomare said. “We have to develop depth and keep progressing in our development.”
Previewing Lisbon’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 26.8 (39th in Area)
Returning Starters: 8
Key Returnees: Haiden Colvin, JR/DB; Daimen McCormick, SR/LB; Logan Stauffer, SO/DB; Ryan Stauffer, SR/LB
Key Losses: Braedon Joy, DL; Ryan McCullough, DB; RJ Schreffler, LB; Abram Simms, LB; Tyler Welsh, DB
Name to watch for: Haiden Colvin, DB
Altomare likes what he has on the defensive side of the ball.
“We return 12 players that started at least a game for us on defense last year. Hopefully this experience translates to having the ability to be more aggressive and running more complex schemes on defense,” he said.
Senior Daimen McCormick will be the team’s top returning tackler after he had 58 a season ago to go along with his two quarterback sacks. Haiden Colvin is back as well. He finished with 56 tackles and three QB takedowns.
“Having experienced players such as Daimen and Haiden back for this year is extremely important,” Altomare said. “We’re trying to develop a program here, and leadership from our upperclassmen is vital. Daimen and Haiden need to stay healthy to help keep our defense on track.”
Ryan and Logan Stauffer each played a key role last year. The older Stauffer, Ryan, closed out his junior year with 42 tackles. Logan intercepted two passes.
2020 EOAC Standings
United – 5-1 (7-3)
Leetonia – 5-1 (7-2)
Southern – 5-1 (5-3)
Wellsville – 3-3 (4-6)
Columbiana – 3-3 (4-5)
Valley Christian – 2-4 (2-6)
Lisbon – 1-5 (4-7)
East Palestine – 0-6 (1-9)
Aug. 20 – at Windham
Aug. 27 – Mineral Ridge
Sept. 3 – at Toronto
Sept. 10 – at Southern
Sept. 17 – Valley Christian
Sept. 24 – East Palestine
Oct. 1 – Wellsville
Oct. 8 – at Leetonia
Oct. 15 – United
Oct. 22 – Columbiana