STRUTHERS Ohio (WKBN) – Coach John Bayuk begins his third season at the helm of the Struthers football program. “We have high expectations from this senior group. They’ve shown resilience throughout the last year and half of football. They’ve worked through many adverse situations and have not complained or quit when things got tough.”

Last fall, Struthers permitted 31-points or more to be scored in five of their six setbacks. In their four wins, the defense allowed an average of just 15-points.

The Wildcats graduated a large senior class this past spring that included quarterback Dylan Greenwood (847 yards passing, 11 TDs), receivers Josh Marshall (18 catches, 360 yards, 5 TDs) and David Ford (15 catches, 265 yards) as well as defenders Gino Callabrette (71 tackles), Isaac Pangio (43 tackles, 4.5 QB sacks), Zach Ziccardi (32 tackles), Bill Torreance (31 tackles) and Isaiah George (29 tackles).

However, Struthers welcomes back a solid senior core consisting of Tyler Sanchez (584 rushing yards, 6 TDs), Chaz Ekoniak (14 catches, 261 yards) and all-around standout Alec Grzyb (312 yards passing, 321 yards rushing, 127 receiving yards) on offense.

“Alec [Grzyb], Chaz [Ekoniak] and Tyler [Sanchez] are going to be vital pieces to our success,” says Bayuk. “Each are three to four-year starters and are dangerous with the football in their own unique way. There’s more than talent that we’re looking for in these three young men. They’ll exemplify leadership and putting the team first. Many kids these days love looking at their own stats and individual awards, but these three seniors will look for what is best for the team, not for themselves.”

Brady Clyde and Caleb Sakara will anchor both the offensive and defensive lines.

Anthony Carter (60 tackles, 4.5 TFL) and Nico Farina (28 tackles, 2 INTs) will lead the secondary. Underclassmen such as Caleb Sakara (25 tackles, 2 QB sacks), Jason Dukes (23 tackles) and Bryson Dodd (22 tackles, 3.5 TFL) all showed signs of promise during last season.

Bayuk points out, “Defensively, we just need to do the little things better. Our focus will be perfecting the little things, flying to the football and being the most physical team on the field every Friday. This entire senior group is going to have to take some type of leadership role this year if we want to reach our potential.”

The Wildcats will welcome St. Thomas Aquinas for their opener on Friday, Aug. 19.

Struthers Wildcats
Fast Facts
Head Coach: John Bayuk, 3rd season (6-11)
2021 Record: 4-6 (2-5), Northeast 8
Last 5 Years: 26-23 (53.1%)
Home Field: Laddie J. Fedor Field
League: Northeast 8 Conference
Base Offense: Spread
Base Defense: 4-2-5

Returning Starters
Offense: 5
Defense: 5

2021 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 23.3 (37th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 29.3 (43rd in Area)
Total Offense: 263.4
Rushing Offense: 143.5
Passing Offense: 119.9
Total Defense: 306.4

2021 Individual Leaders
Passing: Dylan Greenwood – 847 yards, 50.4% (57-113), 11 TDs
Rushing: Tyler Sanchez – 584 yards, 4.6 avg, 6 TDs
Receiving: Josh Marshall – 360 yards, 20.0 avg, 5 TDs
Tackles: Gino Callabrette – 71
Quarterback Sacks: Isaac Pangio – 4.5
Interceptions: Nico Farina and Josh Marshall – 2

2021 Results
Poland 41 Wildcats 27
Girard 31 Wildcats 12
Niles 21 Wildcats 14
Wildcats 56 Jefferson 27
Wildcats 26 Lakeview 0
Hubbard 34 Wildcats 0
South Range 50 Wildcats 13
Streetsboro 56 Wildcats 14
Wildcats 25 Crestwood 21
Wildcats 46 St. Thomas Aquinas 12

2021 Northeast 8 Standings
South Range – 7-0 (13-1)
Hubbard – 6-1 (10-2)
Poland – 5-2 (8-4)
Girard – 4-3 (7-5)
Niles – 2-4 (4-5)
Struthers – 2-5 (4-6)
Jefferson – 1-5 (4-6)
Lakeview – 0-7 (0-10)

2022 Schedule
Aug. 19 – St. Thomas Aquinas
Aug. 26 – Geneva
Sept. 2 – at Streetsboro
Sept. 9 – at South Range
Sept. 16 – at Hubbard
Sept. 23 – Lakeview
Sept. 30 – Jefferson
Oct. 7 – at Niles
Oct. 14 – Girard
Oct. 21 – Poland