ASHTABULA, Ohio (WKBN) – Ten returning letter winners will lead Saint John into the new season.

A senior class led by Jimmy Severino, Tom Miller, Matt Miller, Benny Timonere and John Burton will be looked upon to become the leaders of the group. “We’re expecting our upperclassmen to mentor our younger guys,” says coach Bob Dlwgosh. “To keep us pointed in the right direction.”

“We’re very young but we don’t want to use that as an excuse,” Dlwgosh adds. “We’re hoping to have nine freshmen and six sophomores [on this year’s team]. It’s in large part a product of reestablishing a junior high football program. The expectation is that they’ll work hard and learn and narrow that natural experience gap that they’ll face week-in and week-out.”

The quarterback position is up for grabs this year. A shift from a spread offense to a more ball control, double tight end look could be in the works. Last season, the Heralds passed the ball on 51.5% of their 359 offensive plays. Whoever takes over the reigns will have a luxury up front with the return of senior center Tom Miller. “He’s a field general from that position,” indicated Dlwgosh. “He’s our leader.”

With the graduation of their defensive leader Devyn Mercillott (106 tackles, 6 TFL, 2 FR), Saint John will look some of their younger standouts to take over. Sophomore safety Will Anderson (20 tackles) appears to be a player who the staff is high on. “We expect Will to step up,” says Dlwgosh. “He had a great freshman year. He’s a tough hard-nosed kid. He should be able to make reads and run the alley to make big plays for us.”

Junior Jacob Bennett led the team with 3 fumble recoveries and finished sixth on the team with 37 tackles along the defensive line. Senior Tom Miller (29 tackles, 4 TFL) and sophomore Sully Twinning are two other names that fans will get to know on the defensive side of the ball as well.

The Fighting Heralds are seeking to snap a 12-game losing streak. Saint John will welcome Newton Falls in week one of the 2022 season.

Saint John Fighting Heralds
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Bob Dlwgosh, 3rd season (2-16)
2021 Record: 0-10
Last 5 Years: 12-35 (25.5%)
Home Field: SPIRE Institute Stadium
League: Northeastern Athletic Conference
Base Offense: Multiple
Base Defense: 4-4

2021 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 7.4 (61st in Area)
Scoring Defense: 32.2 (49th in Area)
Total Offense: 162.2
Rushing Offense: 58.4
Passing Offense: 103.8
Total Defense: 324.3

2021 Individual Leaders
Passing: Jeff Watson – 818 yards, 43.8% (56-128), 4 TDs
Rushing: Devyn Mercilliott – 280 yards, 4.1 avg
Receiving: Andrew Williams – 292 yards, 24.3 avg, 3 TDs
Tackles: Devyn Mercilliott – 106

2021 Results
Fairport Harding 22 Fighting Heralds 14
Fairport Harding 22 Fighting Heralds 6
Mathews 36 Fighting Heralds 0
Beachwood 26 Fighting Heralds 12
Mathews 38 Fighting Heralds 0
Pymatuning Valley 48 Fighting Heralds 0
Windham 41 Fighting Heralds 0
Akron Springfield 32 Fighting Heralds 20
Sebring 29 Fighting Heralds 8
Rittman 28 Fighting Heralds 14

2022 Schedule
Aug. 18 – Newton Falls
Aug. 26 – at Akron Springfield
Sept. 2 – at Sebring
Sept. 10 – Windham
Sept. 16 – Pymatuning Valley
Sept. 23 – Mathews
Sept. 30 – Open
Oct. 7 – at Mathews
Oct. 14 – Fairport Harding
Oct. 21 – at Fairport Harding