Sharon must replace many including QB Voytik; McElhaney’s fond of his defensive front 7

Sports

Hickory will welcome Sharon on September 11; last year the two schools shared the Region 5 title

Sharon Tigers High School Football

Credit: Moussa81/iStock/Getty Images Plus

SHARON, Pennsylvania (WKBN) – Sharon won their 3rd consecutive District 10 crown by defeating Grove City for the second straight year (33-21) on November 16. However, a week later, Bald Eagle edged Sharon in the Class 3A Quarterfinals – 21-20 – to end the Tigers’ season.

Coach Jason McElhaney returns for year #2 at Sharon. It’s been a tough off-season for everyone. “We’ve been able to keep in touch with our players through various platforms. We created a Google Classroom to share at-home workouts, we’ve had Zoom meetings, and used Google meet as well. We’ve done the best we can to make sure that we communicate with our players.”

2019 Record: 9-4 (3-1), T-1st place in Region 5
Head Coach: Jason McElhaney, 2nd season at Sharon (9-4)

2019 Stats
Scoring Offense: 29.2 (17th in Area)
Scoring Defense: 16.9 (10th in Area)
Total Offense: 365.6
Rushing Offense: 130.1
Passing Offense: 235.5

Returning Starters
Offense: 5
Defense: 5

What you need to know about Sharon’s offense
-Coach McElhaney states, “the biggest key to the offense is getting adjusted to having someone other than Lane Voytik taking snaps. He started every game for the last three years.” The graduation Voytik (3042 yards passing, 31 TDs), RB Brady Ortiz (797 yards rushing), receivers Ty Eilam (77 catches, 1222 yards), Trey Jones (49 catches, 596 yards) and Marcel Smith-Austin (38 catches, 507 yards) along with standout lineman Noah Weese will leave a gaping hole in the Tigers’ offense this season.

There are pieces in place to help reload the Sharon machine. Senior running back Tyvell Richardson gained 667 yards on 92 carries (7.3 avg) while scoring 4 times on the ground. At receiver, Jaon Phillips is back in the fold after hauling in 32 passes for 359 yards. Up front, the Tigers return three starters including a pair of All-Region recipients in Andrew Price and Bryce Carroll.

For the 5th year in a row, Sharon averaged over 300-yards of total offense. Can the Tigers find ways to get their offense back to that level once again?

What you need to know about Sharon’s defense
-Sharon saw a decrease in the amount of points which were scored by their opponents last fall. Two years ago, the Tigers allowed 22.9 points per game. In 2019, Sharon permitted just an average of 16.9 points to be scored which included three shutouts in a row (Fairview, Slippery Rock, Sharpsville). This year’s group will have to replace a quartet of All-Region defenders in Corte Williams (59 tackles, 6 QB sacks), Doron Johnson (52 tackles), Ty Eilam (46 tackles) and Trey Jones (2 INTs).

The defense will have back in the fold DT Thomas Dawson, DE Aiden Buck (30 tackles) as well as linebacker Nick Dignall, cornerback Jaon Phillips and safety Tyvell Richardson.

“We lost a significant part of our secondary,” McElhaney says. “We really like our front seven. We’re excited about the return of Braelin Hawkins – who missed all of last year with an ACL injury. He started at middle linebacker as a sophomore in 2018.”

Sharon’s Key Player(s)
-The starting quarterback? However, the offensive line must replace a pair of starters. Blocking will be a key to provide lanes for the running back and also for the passing attack.

2020 Schedule
Aug. 28 – Corry
Sept. 4 – University Prep
Sept. 11 – at Hickory
Sept. 18 – Titusville
Sept. 25 – at Fort LeBoeuf
Oct. 2 – at Grove City
Oct. 9 – at Conneaut
Oct. 16 – Slippery Rock
Oct. 23 – NorthEast

The Big game on the schedule
September 11 – at Hickory
…Last year, at Hornet Stadium, Hickory picked off Sharon (28-21) to hand the Tigers an 0-2 start to the season. Sharon rebounded to share the Region 5 title with Hickory. This year, the Tigers would like nothing more than to top the Hornets.

Since 2014, Sharon’s 500-yard receivers
2019 – Ty Eilam, 1222
2019 – Trey Jones, 596
2019 – Marcel Smith-Austin, 507
2018 – CJ Parchman, 1105
2018 – Ty Eilam, 644
2017 – Ziyon Strickland, 1503
2016 – Ziyon Strickland, 1188
2015 – Ziyon Strickland, 1215
2015 – Zach Meszaros, 540
2014 – Jeremiah Norris, 615

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