‘Tough group to handle:’ Girard deep at skill positions, aiming for 4th-straight playoff appearance

Sports

The Indians are led by a group of 10 seniors who hope to make a deep run in the playoffs like they did two years ago

GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Girard football has made the playoffs three years in a row and this year’s seniors are trying to make it four-for-four.

Now two years removed from their State Championship appearance with Mark Waid and company, the Indians were humbled in the first round last season in a 48-7 loss to Perry.

“Last year was not how anyone wanted to finish at 6-5,” said Andrew DelGarbino, senior quarterback. “We’re obviously trying to get back to the state championship game.”

“The years that we’ve been on championship levels are the years that we can play defense,” said Pat Pearson, Girard head coach. “We always find a way, I think, offensively to get points on the board. But when our defense steps up and can play Girard defense the way it should be played, we’re a pretty tough group to handle.”

Coach Pearson returns five starters on both sides of the ball, and they’re once again deep at the skill positions.

DelGarbino returns under center. He’s slimmed down this off-season, dropping 15 pounds but also becoming stronger in the process.

Junior Dominic Malito is one of the area’s most dynamic playmakers on the outside, following in his older brother Nick’s footsteps.

In the backfield, senior Tyler Maddox bulked up by adding 25 pounds of muscle during the pandemic.

“It’s going to make me a lot better this year,” Maddox said. “Ever since everything happened, I’ve just been focusing on myself and just grinding, trying to get better and lifting every single day, just getting better as a person.”

The defense will be led by two seniors on the ends in DeShawn Williams and Amari Curd. Both will cause plenty of problems for opposing offenses. They’re two of the 10 seniors who are hoping to make history and go four-for-four with playoff appearances.

“The class that just left was the second winningest class in school history,” Pearson said. “So this senior group, if they can put together a decent year this year, they can end up being the winningest class, four-year stretch in school history.”

“I think we can really be an eight-win team this year at least,” DelGarbino said. “Everyone’s going to think we lost all of our guys but we’ve got a lot of experience coming back. We’ve got a lot of hard workers and we’re just competing really hard every day.”

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