McDONALD, Ohio (WKBN) – Last year, the Blue Devils suffered through their first losing season since 2002 (3-7). Dan Williams’ begins his 23rd season at the helm of his alma mater. Within that time, the Devils have advanced to the post-season eleven times including four undefeated regular seasons.

Now, McDonald looks to avoid back-to-back losing campaigns; something that hasn’t happened since 1975-76.

“After developing strength during the off-season,” states Williams. “I’m optimistic that we’ll be more competitive. With the amount of experience returning (12 letter winners) and an increase in strength more wins should be in our future.”

The Blue Devils must move on without the services of their quarterback Logan Hawk (245 passing yards; 930 rushing yards) and RB/LB Nathan Gilligan (1219 rushing yards, 15 TDs; 87 tackles).

Senior Nate Sierra and junior Zach Shobel will compete this summer for the starting quarterback position. Sierra played in week ten versus Jackson-Milton, a year ago, when Hawk left with an injury. Shobel (8 catches; 3 INTs) started at slot receiver and safety in 2021 as a sophomore. “Running back by committee will include the following,” points out coach Williams. “Antonio D’Avanzo, Mike Woloschak, James Hipple, James Blodgett, and William VanMeter. Shobel could also see carriers if he’s not our quarterback.”

The team will also feature standout lineman Kyle Crown (32 tackles) as well as senior Danny Gray (64 tackles, 3 QB sacks) and Logan Presco (25 tackles). “Defensively,” indicates Williams. “Lots of kids got vital full season experience last year and will be much improved with another full off-season of lifting.”

Ty Agler and Caidan Morris, a pair of seniors, will be relied upon up front to present problems for opposing offenses along the edge. Crown and Presco will take their places in the middle of the defense at their tackle spots. At linebacker, James Hipple and Antonio D’Avanzo will be joined by Gray. In the secondary, Shobel will have Nate Sierra and Nolan Agler in the backend of the defensive unit.

Williams adds, “We must tackle better and get more aggressive as well. Experience should allow us to do both of those concepts better.”

McDonald opens the 2022 season with back-to-back road games against Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference teams – Southern and Columbiana.

McDonald Blue Devils
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Dan Williams, 23rd season at McDonald (156-77)
2021 Record: 3-6 (3-2), 4th place in MVAC Scarlet Tier
Last 5 Years: 35-16 (68.6%)
Home Field: McDonald Football Stadium
League: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference, Scarlet Tier
Base Offense: Spread
Base Defense: 4-4

Returning Starters
Offense: 7
Defense: 7

2021 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 23.6 (35th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 36.2 (56th in Area)
Total Offense: 286.6
Rushing Offense: 258.4
Passing Offense: 28.1
Total Defense: 389.6

2021 Individual Leaders
Passing: Logan Hawk – 245 yards, 62.8% (27-43), 2 TDs
Rushing: Nathan Gilligan – 1219 yards, 7.1 avg, 15 TDs
Receiving: Michael Woloschak – 84 yards, 7.0 avg
Tackles: Nathan Gilligan – 87
Quarterback Sacks: Danny Gray – 3

2021 Results
Blue Devils 28 Jackson-Milton 26
Greenville 49 Blue Devils 35
Lowellville 40 Blue Devils 20
Springfield 49 Blue Devils 7
Blue Devils 41 Sebring 26
Blue Devils 21 Mineral Ridge 14
Valley Christian 53 Blue Devils 34
Columbiana 36 Blue Devils 20
Brookfield 35 Blue Devils 6

2021 MVAC Scarlet Tier Standings
Springfield – 7-0 (13-2)
Western Reserve – 5-1 (5-6)
Lowellville – 4-2 (7-3)
McDonald – 3-2 (3-6)
Mineral Ridge – 2-4 (4-5)
Waterloo – 2-4 (3-7)
Jackson-Milton – 1-5 (2-7)
Sebring – 0-6 (1-7)

2022 Schedule
Aug. 19 – at Southern
Aug. 26 – at Columbiana
Sept. 2 – Valley Christian
Sept. 9 – Mineral Ridge
Sept. 16 – at Sebring
Sept. 23 – at Springfield
Sept. 30 – at Western Reserve
Oct. 7 – Lowellville
Oct. 14 – Waterloo
Oct. 21 – Jackson-Milton