Medina football squad returns good nucleus

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 March 2021 at 2:26 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina quarterback Xander Payne

Boasting a good veteran nucleus, especially at the skill positions, the Medina Mustangs football squad is prepping to begin their first season of competition in the Class C North Division.

Seniors Brian Fry, Tyler Chinn and Dontae Rhim along with juniors Joe Cecchini, Jarin Rhim and Iverson Poole provide experience at the running back and receiver spots, which also looks to be bolstered by senior Corey Saj and junior Hayden Woodroe.

Junior Xander Payne looks to open at the key quarterbacking position after calling signals for the JV team last fall. He will be backed up by Fry and Jarin Rhim.

Up front, the Mustangs look to have one of their biggest lines in several years including seniors Mitchell Silversmith (6-3, 340), and Robert Morehouse (6-1, 265); junior Colvin Stalker (5-11, 241), Chase Weese (6-0, 280), Zach Oliver (5-8 235) and sophomore Chris Johnson (6-2, 240).

Oliver, Cecchini, Fry and sophomore Noah Skinner look to man the key linebacker spots on the defensive unit which also has sophomore Dominic Latabee (6-7, 260) at an end spot.

“We do have a lot of returnees on both sides of the line especially at the skill positions and we have the biggest line we’ve had in some time,” said Coach Eric Valley. “We’ve really had to pack things into our practices because of the shorter preseason time and we’re in a new division but we’re excited to get a season in and were looking to be competitive.”

After playing for many years in Class B, the Mustangs will make their Class C North Division debut by hosting Newfane at Vets Park at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The remainder of Medina’s  five game regular season schedule will have the Mustangs hosting Cleve Hill on April 16 and Wilson on April 23 and visiting Akron on April 9 and Tonawanda on April 29.