CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Over a week ago, Lakeview’s Board of Education approved the hiring of their new head football coach Sam Bellino, who will replace Tom Pavlansky (who left to take over at Poland in February) at the helm of the Bulldog program.
Formerly Hubbard’s defensive coordinator, Bellino is a 2009 graduate of Hubbard High School. As a senior in 2008, Bellino displayed that defensive intensity as he finished with 110 total tackles and five interceptions playing in the secondary.
The transition from serving as coordinator at a league-rival “has been as smooth as it could be considering the pandemic,” Bellino said.
“The administration at Lakeview has been (really) supportive,” indicates coach Bellino. “The kids seem eager, about as excited as me and my staff. I’m close to closing the book on my assistant search. It’s been a little difficult being we’re so deep into the off-season. I’ve had a handful of guys prepared when I was offered, had a lot of guys reach out and some good recommendations as well.”
Last fall, the Bulldogs posted a 1-7 record. In their eight contests, Lakeview was only able to score two touchdowns in one game during the campaign (31-0 win versus Grand Valley). Over the past three years, Lakeview has failed to post a winning season. They’ve lost 16 of their last 19 games.
“We’re not going to have a lot of seniors (this coming season), but the ones that are around have shown great leadership qualities,” Bellino said. “I’m going to have a bunch of hard-nosed kids that are going to work hard and give us everything they got. I’m expecting to see a bunch of guys out there on Friday nights competing. My expectation is to see growth, learning from our mistakes and making improvements each time we take the field.”