Third-year QB Nick Stahlman seems poised for a big year
WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Following their first winless season since 2004, Champion opened play on the road at Region 25 finalist Kennedy were they suffered a 3-point setback (18-15). The Golden Flashes competed against six of their first seven opponents who didn’t finish with a losing record in 2018. They even knocked off Newton Falls (34-14) in week six. Champion will now look to turn the page in Tim McGlynn’s second season at the helm.
Champion Golden Flashes
Head Coach: Tim McGlynn, 2nd season at Champion (2-8)
2018 record (AAC Blue): 2-8 (2-4), 5th place
Five Key Points
1.Champion has not won a home game since September 16, 2016 (vs. Girard, 38-34). That’s 13 consecutive losses.
2.Golden Flashes have failed to register a winning season in eight years (2010: 6-4). They’ve compiled a 21-59 during that span
3.Champion has not averaged 20-points per game during a season since 2013 (24.4 ppg)
4.Over the last three seasons, Champion has had just 1 All-AAC First-Team selection (Chris Chaney, 2016)
5.Champion has dropped their last two openers and 6 of their last 8
Scoring Offense: 12.8 (T-46th in Area)
Rushing Offense: 164.2
Passing Offense: 34.0
Total Offense: 198.2
…An increase in scoring (7.3 in 2017 to 12.8 in 2018) and total yards (119.5 in 2017 to 198.2 in 2018) has many optimistic of the path that Champion is heading towards. Coach McGlynn – who enters his 2nd season – indicates, “we must be able to control the ball and run as many plays as possible.” The Golden Flashes return their passer (Nick Stahlman, 316 yards), leading rusher (Austin Willforth, 658 yards) and top two pass catchers (Noah Vesey, 10 catches; Austin Willforth, 118 yards) as well as their Second-Team All-AAC senior lineman Christ Brooks.
Nick Stahlman, a senior, will begin his third season under center for Champion. “I expect to see a leader in Nick,” adds McGlynn. “He’s been there before with all the ups and downs he has had over the last two years. He has had a great off-season plus I really think that with him having a really good basketball season has helped him grow up and mature into a really good player.” The sophomore Willforth’s accomplishments, a year ago, were impressive as he ran for 658 yards – the most of any Golden Flash since 2013 when Brandon McFarland (971) and Jacob Rasey (782) both went over that total in the same year. The last 1,000-yard rusher was Mike Cyrus in 2012 (1050 yards).
Other ball carriers this fall will be Nick Costianes and Keegan McDermott while Logan Milton, Chase Burfitt, Sebastian Wolbert and Nate Holt will be also outside as receivers. The line will be led by center Parker Paniagua, tackles Chris Brooks and Zach Sher along with guard Will Skebe.
Scoring Defense: 33.9 (48th in Area)
…Finishing 4 of the past 5 years of permitting 30-points or more to their opposition, the Golden Flashes return their top three tacklers from a year ago – Brandon Dykes (46 tackles), Jacob Pawcio (35 tackles, 3 TFL) and Austin Booth (35 tackles, 5 TFL). Pawcio was named to the All-AAC Second-Team as a sophomore defensive lineman. Also back in action will be seniors Logan Ainsley (20 tackles, 2 QB sacks) and Nathan Royal (17 tackles, 6 TFL, 3 QB sacks).
Junior defensive back Noah Vesey led the team in interceptions with 2 picks. Joining Pawcio and Ainsley up front will be Zach Scher, Levi Grimes, Collin Scott, and Joey Gotti.
In the middle of the defense at linebackers will be Tyler Rupe, Austin Willworth and Christian Hunt as well as Booth and Royal. In the secondary, look for Nick Yako, Nick Costianes, Keegan McDermott and Jack O’Shaughnessy to vie for time back there with Vesey and Dykes.
Coach McGlynn is happy with the progress his unit has shown, “I expect the defense to be better with a year under their belts. We were so young last year, I hope having some returners back it will be much better. My staff really worked hard on the little things a year ago witch I believe will pay off with age.”
Aug. 30 – at Warren JFK
Sept. 6 – Rittman
Sept. 13 – at Pymatuning Valley
Sept. 20 – at Windham
Sept. 27 – LaBrae
Oct. 4 – Newton Falls
Oct. 11 – at Liberty
Oct. 18 – Campbell Memorial
Oct. 25 – Crestview
Nov. 1 – at Brookfield