NEW WILMINGTON, Pennsylvania (WKBN) – Wilmington took a step back in 2021 after posting a winning percentage of 90.3% (65-7) over the course of their previous five seasons. During that stretch, the ‘Hounds won at least 12 games per season and made three trips to the State Championship game.

Coach Brandon Phillian pointed out, “Last season certainly taught us a lot about the guys who are returning this season. We started ten underclassmen in our playoff win against Northwestern. As the old saying goes, ‘there’s no substitute for experience’. Having that many [experienced] players returning gives us great enthusiasm and excitement as we head into this season.”

Wilmington will have their starting quarterback Tuff McConahy back for his junior year. Last fall, #21 threw for 738 yards and completed 57.6% of his passes (57-99). The Greyhounds graduated their 1,000-yard rusher Luke Edwards (1127 yards, 15 TDs; 308 receiving yards) and receiving target Cole McCallister (264 receiving yards, 5 TDs). However, the Greyhounds will have Ben Miller (286 yards rushing) and Tyler Mikulin (161 receiving yards) back in the fold.

“The offense has the potential to be very solid,” states Phillian. “The key to this group being successful is that they remain humble and hungry while striving to improve and get better each and every day. We expect Tuff to do a great job leading us from the quarterback position.”

Joining Miller and Mikulin at the skill spots will be Michael Chrastina, David Phanco, Ty Milliron and Buddah Book. Rocky Serafino and Carter Horkovy returns to anchor the offensive line after starting last year as sophomores.

Defensively, Wilmington will look to play their hard-nosed brand of physical football once again. Last year, the defensive scoring average dropped to 26.2 points per game from 16.1 points in 2020. With a group of returning starters – many of them rising juniors – the Greyhound defense should be stout again.

Junior Tyler Mikulin (33 tackles) led the team with 4 quarterback sacks and 7 tackles for a loss a year ago. Rocky Serafino (19 tackles), a junior lineman, picked up two fumble recoveries last fall.

Phillian said, “I want to see [our] guys competing to earn positions. Every player will be given an opportunity. Seeing guys understand how they fit into the scheme will go a long way in determining who earns those positions. We need to show improvement in the fundamental areas such as tackling and communication. Guys coming together and functioning as one unit will be a big factor in determining our defense’s success this coming season.”

The Greyhounds will open the 2022 campaign with a road game on August 26 against Sharpsville.

Wilmington Greyhounds
Fast Facts
Head Coach: Brandon Phillian, 5th season (42-7)
2021 Record: 7-3 (6-1), 2nd place in Region 1
Last 5 Years: 58-8 (87.9%)
Home Field: Greyhound Stadium
League: District 10, Region 3 (2A)
Base Offense: Wing-T
Base Defense: 4-3

2021 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 33.1 (12th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 26.2 (32nd in Area)
Total Offense: 318.3
Rushing Offense: 229.0
Passing Offense: 89.3
Total Defense: 286.1

2021 Individual Leaders
Passing: Tuff McConahy – 738 yards, 57.6% (57-99), 9 TDs
Rushing: Luke Edwards – 1127 yards, 8.4 avg, 15 TDs
Receiving: Luke Edwards – 308 yards, 12.8 avg, 3 TDs
Tackles: Cole McCallister – 42
Quarterback Sacks: Tyler Mikulin – 4
Interceptions: Cole McCallister – 3

2021 Results
Farrell 48 Greyhounds 6*
Greyhounds 41 Northwestern 21*
Greyhounds 41 Mercer 26
Greyhounds 55 Kennedy Catholic 14
Farrell 54 Greyhounds 0
Greyhounds 28 Sharpsville 21
Greyhounds 50 Lakeview 22
Greyhounds 42 Greenville 15
Liberty-Benton 35 Greyhounds 14
Greyhounds 50 Reynolds 0
*-playoff

2021 District 10 Region 1 Standings
Farrell – 6-0 (11-1)
Wilmington – 6-1 (7-3)
Sharpsville – 4-2 (7-3)
Greenville – 4-3 (7-4)
Reynolds – 3-3 (7-5)
Mercer – 2-5 (3-6)
Kennedy Catholic – 1-6 (1-8)
Lakeview – 0-6 (2-7)

2022 Schedule
Aug. 27 – at Sharpsville
Sept. 2 – Greenville
Sept. 9 – at Mercer
Sept. 16 – at Hickory
Sept. 23 – Sharon
Sept. 30 – at Farrell
Oct. 7 – General McLane
Oct. 14 – at Slippery Rock
Oct. 21 – Grove City