SEBRING, Ohio (WKBN) – Sebring is seeking their first winning season since 1992 (6-4).
After a pair of 2-8 seasons, the Trojans appear to be ready to take that next step.
“We’re looking to compete every week,” said Coach Matt Seidel. “With our goal, as a team, of making the playoffs for the first time in school history.”
It took the Trojans four years to compile that figure (2015-18) prior to the new coaching staff’s arrival. Sebring’s offense produced 20 points or more in 10 of the team’s 20 games under coach Seidel.
“It all starts with the twins [Noah and Elijah Frederick],” Seidel sayid. “They’ll both be four-year letter winners and four-year starters. This is their team. It’ll go as far as they lead it. Zach Ruzek is also a leader. He shows up and works every day, leads by example. Looking for some younger guys to step up and prove themselves worthy of leadership roles this summer.”
Sebring will travel to Leetonia to take on the Bears in week one.
2020 Record: 2-8 (1-5, 7th place in MVAC Scarlet Tier)
Coach: Matt Seidel, 3rd season (4-16)
Previewing Sebring’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 20.0 (42nd in Area)
Total Offense: 317.3
Returning Starters: 8
Key Returnees: Dustin Black, SO/OL; Melvin Cruz, SR/WR; Elijah Frederick, SR/RB; Noah Frederick, SR/RB; Josiah Fusco, SR/OL; Zach Ruzek, SR/WR; Joel Seals, SO/OL; Brady Whaley, JR/OL
Key Losses: Matt Byrd, OL; Cody Horning, WR; Dylan Johnson, QB; Frankie Lozoya, OL
Name to watch for: Elijah and Noah Frederick, RB
Last year, the Trojans featured a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in brothers Elijah and Noah Frederick. Elijah ran the ball for 1302 yards and an average of 7.6 yards per carry (10 TDs). Noah averaged 7.3 yards per carry while gaining 1043 yards on the ground (nine TDs). Sebring as a team rushed for 273.2 yards per game and scored 22 touchdowns and 11 two-point conversions also.
Sebring must replace their quarterback (Dylan Johnson) this summer.
“The offensive line is progressing well,” Seidel said. “We return three core starters back in our center Brady Whaley, guard Joel Seals and tackle Dustin Black. We also return Josiah Fusco, who saw a good amount of time along the line as well as developing players like Caydin Whitlatch and Aalyssa Stickler. We also have several new additions looking to come in and make an immediate impact.”
Previewing Sebring’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 38.9 (59th in Area)
Returning Starters: 9
Key Returnees: Justin Belt, SR/DB; Dustin Black, SO/DL; Javi Cundiff, JR/DB;Melvin Cruz, SR/DB; Elijah Frederick, SR/DB; Noah Frederick, SR/LB; Ethan LaNave, SR/DB; Zach Ruzek, SR/DB; Brady Whaley, JR/DL
Key Losses: Matt Byrd, LB; Cody Horning, DE; Dylan Johnson, LB; Frankie Lozoya, DL
Name to watch for: Zach Ruzek, DB
Plenty of experience returns in the defensive backfield as Coach Seidel points to the speed of his defense as a real strength this coming season.
“Noah and Elijah Frederick, Melvin Cruz, Justin Belt, Ethan LaNave and Javi Cundiff all have good speed. Senior Zach Ruzek adds great football intelligence to the back end of the defense,” he said.
Eight of their 10 opponents were able to score 38 points or more against the Sebring defense. That number will have to come down significantly if they are going to achieve their goals.
2020 MVAC Scarlet Tier Standings
Springfield – 6-0 (11-1)
McDonald – 5-1 (7-2)
Jackson-Milton – 4-2 (6-3)
Western Reserve – 4-3 (6-4)
Mineral Ridge – 3-3 (6-4)
Lowellville – 2-5 (4-6)
Sebring – 1-5 (2-8)
Waterloo – 0-6 (4-6)
Aug. 20 – at Leetonia
Aug. 28 – vs. St. John
Sept. 3 – Mathews
Sept. 10 – at Waterloo
Sept. 17 – at McDonald
Sept. 24 – Jackson-Milton
Oct. 1 – Lowellville
Oct. 8 – at Mineral Ridge
Oct. 15 – at Western Reserve
Oct. 22 – Springfield