ASHTABULA, Ohio (WKBN) – Coach Bob Dlwgosh begins his second season at the helm of St. John football. The 2006 alum was hired last summer after former coach Scott Knisely stepped down.
A year ago, the Heralds defeated Southington twice – in week one on the road (34-14) and at home in their sixth game of the season (41-12).
St. John opens the new campaign at Rittman on August 20.
2020 Record: 2-6 (1-4, 5th place in NAC)
Coach: Bob Dlwgosh, 2nd season (2-6)
Previewing St. John’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 16.6 (compared to 48th in Area)
Total Offense: 160.1
Returning Starters: 6
Key Returnees: Tyler Cathcart, SR/WR; Andrew Williams, SR/TE
Key Losses: David DiSalvatore, WR; Jack Hammers, OL; Seth Thomas, QB
Name to watch for: Andrew Williams, TE
The graduation of quarterback Seth Thomas and receiver David DiSalvatore will leave a void in the passing game. Last year, Thomas threw for 1128 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 52.9% of his passes (73-138). DiSalvatore caught 31 passes for 587 yards and 7 scores.
The competition for the next signal caller of the Heralds may come down to senior Andrew Williams and sophomore Jeff Watson.
“Our line has progressing very well,” indicates Dlwgosh. “They’ve been in the weight room all off-season and are putting on some bulk. Jacob Bennett (sophomore) started some games for us last year as a freshman and he’s really committed himself this off-season. Tom Miller and Darron Jones should do a lot for us as well. We also have some linemen who didn’t play last year for a variety of reasons (COVID, injuries, etc.) – who are coming back out this year. We should have way more depth on the line this year.”
Previewing St. John’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 35.5 (compared to 57th in Area)
Returning Starters: 6
Key Returnees: Tyler Cathcart, SR/DB; Devyn Mercilliott, SR/LB; Andrew Williams, SR/LB
Key Losses: David DiSalvatore; Dan Miller
Name to watch for: Devyn Mercilliott, LB
The defense permitted their opponents to score 34-points or more in five of their eight games last fall.
“I think we’re going to have more depth, especially up front this season,” says Dlwgosh. “I think that will help us give guys a rest and keep our linebackers free to make plays, which they are more than capable of doing.”
The Heralds have a handful of playmakers on defense led by their middle linebacker Devyn Mercilliott. “He played a huge leadership role on the defense last year for us,” Dlwgosh states. “We’ll only have higher expectations for him this year from a leadership perspective. Tyler Cathcart is another senior we can rely on to keep everyone pointed in the right direction on-and-off the field.”
As a junior, Mercilliott led St. John in tackles with 81. Cathcart took team-high honors in interceptions with 2.
2020 NAC Standings
Pymatuning Valley – 6-0 (8-1)
Fairport Harding – 4-2 (4-3)
Mathews – 3-3 (3-7)
Windham – 2-3 (2-4)
St. John – 2-4 (2-6)
Southington – 0-5 (0-5)
Aug. 20 – at Rittman
Aug. 28 – vs. Sebring
Sept. 3 – Akron Springfield
Sept. 10 – at Windham
Sept. 17 – Pymatuning Valley
Sept. 24 – at Lutheran East
Oct. 1 – Southington
Oct. 8 – at Mathews
Oct. 15 – TBD
Oct. 22 – Fairport Harding