NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Springfield football team has been on quite a run. Playing for the state championship in each of the past two seasons. Winning 21 straight regular season games and 18 consecutive league matchups.
On the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving, the recently-graduated senior class compiled a winning percentage of 87.2% (41-6) during their time as a Tiger.
Beau Brungard and his fellow seniors are looking to make more noise into November this year.
“When you have a season like that and you lose the last game of the season, there is still something for us to attack and that is our kids mentality right now, we still have something to prove,” said head coach Sean Guerriero.
The new season begins on August 20 when the Tigers welcome South Range.
“Bringing South Range in back game one, and knowing the success they had last year and have a lot of kids coming back that we are going to step into a playoff game Week 1. See how good we really are right now. Hopefully our kids will step up and will be great challenge,” Guerriero said.
2020 Record: 11-1 (6-0, 1st place in MVAC Scarlet Tier)
Coach: Sean Guerriero, 15th season (95-56)
2020 Big 22: Beau Brungard
Previewing Springfield’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 41.1 (3rd in Area)
Returning Starters: 7
Key Returnees: Beau Brungard, SR/QB; Aaron Groner, SR/TE; Jake Joyce, SR/WR; AJ Stallsmith, Nike Slike, SR/WR; Bo Snyder, SR/WR; Zeek Worsencroft, SR/OL
Key Losses: Brady Brungard, OL; Coleson Kertesz, OL; Clayton Medvec, WR; Clayton Nezbeth, RB; Michael Wagner, OL; Lukas Yemma, WR
Name to watch for: Beau Brungard, Springfield quarterback named Big 22 Ohio Player of the Year
The Tigers’ offense was able to score 31-points or more in 10 of their 12 games last fall.
Senior Beau Brungard threw for 2063 yards, 20 touchdowns and completed 67.8% (137-202) of his passes. Brungard threw touchdown tosses to eight different receivers a year ago. Brungard also led the team in rushing with 1152 yards as he scored 27 times on the ground.
He’ll be without Clayton Nezbeth (616 rushing yards, 9 TDs), Clayton Medvec (42 catches, 660 yards) and Luke Yemma (30 catches, 517 yards) as well as three linemen who started in the state title tilt last November (Brady Brungard, Michael Wagner, Coleson Kertesz).
Coach Guerriero points out, “Fortunately, we were able to build some depth throughout last season. Wide receivers Nike Slike (24 catches, 303 yards), Jake Joyce (11 catches, 167 yards) and Seandelle Gardner (15 catches, 218 yards) were all able to play significant roles for us. In the backfield, we’re expecting Bo Snyder (226 rushing yards) and Joe Sandine to carry the ball in the fall.”
Zeek Worsencroft returns to lead the offensive line. “The boys have had a great off-season in the weight room,” states Guerriero. “We’ll have to see once we get our pads on how things shake out.”
Previewing Springfield’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 13.3 (5th in Area)
Returning Starters: 8
Key Returnees: Beau Brungard, SR/DB; Aaron Groner, SR/LB; Joe Sandine, SR/DB; Nike Slike, SR/DB; Bo Snyder, SR/LB; AJ Stallsmith, SR/DL; Zeek Worsencroft, SR/DL; Marshall Yelkin, SR/DE
Key Losses: Brady Brungard, DL; Clayton Medvec, DB; Clayton Nezbeth, LB; Austin Tindell, LB; Michael Wagner, DL; Lukas Yemma, DB
Name to watch for: Bo Snyder, LB
Through Springfield’s first 9-games a year ago, the Tigers’ allowed a total of 67 points (7.4 avg). Only one team (Lowellville) was able to top 14 points throughout that stretch.
“We return 8 starters on defense,” Guerriero said. “Our experience will be a positive for our team. Our strength will be up front and a lot of those boys are coming back and have good experience.”
Bo Snyder is back after accumulating 87 tackles as a junior. Aaron Groner and Marshall Yelkin tallied 56 and 55 defensive stops respectively. Beau Brungard took team-high honors with three interceptions in 2020.
“Being able to build depth and pay attention to details. I think our kids and everyone on our team works hard, that is a given. It is how are you going to make yourself shown or known in practice knowing there are spots available.”
2020 MVAC Scarlet Tier Standings
Springfield – 6-0 (11-1)
McDonald – 5-1 (7-2)
Jackson-Milton – 4-2 (6-3)
Western Reserve – 4-3 (6-4)
Mineral Ridge – 3-3 (6-4)
Lowellville – 2-5 (4-6)
Sebring – 1-5 (2-8)
Waterloo – 0-6 (4-6)
Aug. 20 – South Range
Aug. 27 – at Brookfield
Sept. 3 – at Geneva
Sept. 10 – at Lowellville
Sept. 17 – Mineral Ridge
Sept. 24 – at McDonald
Oct. 1 – Waterloo
Oct. 8 – Western Reserve
Oct. 15 – Jackson-Milton
Oct. 22 – at Sebring