CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Just six driving miles separate Canfield High School from South Range High School. And this year, out of 14 teams left in the high school football postseason, the Raiders and Cardinals are two of them.
“Right down the road next to each other and playing for a state title is really special,” said South Range head coach Dan Yeagley. “It is so cool. Coach Pavlansky is a great guy and a great coach. Coached with him in an all-star game, and he just does things right, and I am so happy for them.”
“Dan and his staff have done a tremendous job, not just this year, but his entire career,” said Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky. “The South Range community is special. They have some great athletes out there, and certainly this year, they have that special group also. We wish them the best of luck.”
The two teams combine for 28 wins this season, and each of them is looking for its first football state championship in school history. With the two schools so close, friendships have been made between the two sets of players.
“We are really excited for those guys across from 46 from us,” Canfield senior quarterback Broc Lowry said. “I have some friends down there — Shane Lindstrom, those guys, I am really stoked for them.”
“Past couple games, we have been texting — me, Broc, a few other Canfield guys,” said South Range senior receiver Shane Lindstrom. “In fact, I was hanging out with Danny Inglis and Paul Bindas at the Kirtland game this weekend, so we are close, and it would be incredible for them to win. We are going to take care of our business, they will take care of theirs, and let’s bring two home for Canfield.”
The two teams say they are proud to be representing the area in a title game, to show the Mahoning Valley’s talent.
“It is awesome to see teams close to us play well,” said Canfield senior linebacker Dom Marzano. “It really represents the area so that other teams in the state can see that this area is a great place to be a football player.”
“It is pretty sweet,” Lindstrom said. “It just shows you how strong this area is. Warren JFK is in it, just shows how strong the area is.”
“I feel like Northeast Ohio doesn’t get the respect it deserves in football,” Lowry said. “And three teams from the Youngstown area get into the state championship, I feel like we are going to get a lot of respect for that and put Youngstown on the map.”