Warren Harris is back to anchor the Eagles up front
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN – In Valley Christian’s football program’s 15th year, the Eagles made their fourth playoff appearance (2011, 2012, 2017, 2018). In the coaching combination of Jeff Hether and Jomont Ware – the team has advanced to the post-season in each of their two seasons at the helm of the program.
The Eagles lost a ton to graduation including First-Team All-Portage County performers Altwjuan Beck-Lindsey, Jordan Trowers, Terell Walker and Second-Team selection Milan Square from its’ playoff team. Can Valley Christian rebound to get back into post-season contention?
Valley Christian Eagles
Head Coach(es): Jeff Hether & Jomont Ware, 3rd season (10-12)
2018 record (PTC County): 5-6 (1-4), T-5th place
Five Key Points
1.Despite back-to-back playoff appearance, Valley Christian has not had a winning season since 2012 (9-3)
2.In 15 years, the Eagles have posted a 68-82 mark in 150 games
3.Defense lost 4 of their top 5 tacklers from last year’s bunch
4.Team is missing their leading passer (Milan Square, 1623), rusher (Altwjuan Beck-Lindsey, 1189) and receiver (Jordan Trowers, 737)
5.Last year’s 3-0 start was the first since 2012 (5-0)
Returning Starters: 6
Scoring Offense: 22.2 (30th in Area)
Rushing Offense: 178.5
Passing Offense: 148.1
Total Offense: 326.6
…The offense was plugging along last year to the tune of 326.6 total yards per game and a 22.2 scoring average. The yard total was an increase of over 98-yards per game (228.2 in 2017 to 326.6 in 2018) as well as their scoring output (22.2 ppg) was the highest since 2012 (32.3). The graduation of quarterback Milan Square (1623 passing yards, 11 TDs; 399 rushing yards, 8 TDs), running back Altwjuan Beck-Lindsay (1189 rushing yards, 12 TDs), wideouts Jordan Trowers (45 catches, 737 yards, 6 TDs) and Melvin Neail (26 catches, 307 yards, 3 TDs) will leave a gapping hole in Valley Christian’s offense.
Coach Ware brings up, “The leadership is going to come from our guys up front – Warren Harris, DeMar Brown, Eric Davis and Nasir long and also our first-year quarterback Tyrone Lindsey”. In 2018, Lindsey caught 14 balls for 238 yards a year ago. His 17.0 yards per catch was tops for the team last fall. Now, he’ll be the one tossing the ball around the yard. Ware adds, “Tyrone is doing a great job leading the players in the weight room, he’ll be a very good player for us this coming season.”
Senior Warren Harris was a Second-Team All-PTC selection along the offensive line will be looked upon to anchor the line of scrimmage. “We’re looking to play assignment football every play,” says Ware. “We’re seeking to take care of the ball and limit the amount of third and longs which we’ll see.”
Returning Starters: 6
Scoring Defense: 25.5 (35th in Area)
…The last time Valley Christian had back-to-back seasons of less than 26-points per game permitted was in 2011 (13.7) and 2012 (18.5). These last two seasons, the Eagles allowed 25.1 (in 2017) and 25.5 (2018). All four of those years (2011-12, 2017-18), Valley Christian advanced to the post-season. The defense will miss their top two tacklers (Jordan Trowers, 72; Altwjuan Beck-Lindsey, 59) as well as First-Team All-PTC defensive linemen Terell Walker (56 tackles) and linebacker Jaylen Brown (43 tackles).
Valley Christian had a slew of underclassmen a year ago perform at a high level which included junior defensive back Tyrone Lindsey (30 tackles), junior linebacker Izaiah McKinley (42 tackles) and defensive linemen Warren Harris (35 tackles), Nasir Long (44 tackles, 3 QB Sacks) and De’mar Brown (12 tackles).
“The key to our defensive philosophy is “to win on third downs,” indicates coach Ware. “We want to have eleven people (flying) to the ball at all times and forcing turnovers.”
Aug. 30 – at Campbell Memorial
Sept. 7 – Warren JFK
Sept. 14 – Lisbon
Sept. 21 – at Western Reserve Academy
Sept. 28 – Mathews
Oct. 5 – Crestwood
Oct. 11 – at Mogadore
Oct. 19 – Southeast
Oct. 25 – at Rootstown
Nov. 1 – at Garrettsville Garfield