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Mustangs look to keep high powered offense rolling

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo By Mike Wertman – MUSTANG VETERANS: Getting set to lead Medina into the upcoming season are these returning gridders. In front, from left, are Josh Cuadrado, Adam Cotter, Nate Hodgins, Devonte Howard, Charles Beach and Brett Pecoraro. In back are Drake Grabowski, Ben McPherson, Dan Brown, Forest Harper, Kyle Herman, Brandon Schoolcraft and Jason Hellwig. Missing from the photo is Kyle Barna.

Averaging over 36 points per outing, Medina displayed a potent, quick strike attack during last year’s 6-3 campaign, a wide open, high powered offense that the Mustangs are looking to continue to utilize this fall.

Keying the Mustangs attack are sophomore quarterback Jason Hellwig, who threw for 1,450 yards and 16 touchdowns last fall, senior running back Kyle Barna, who scored 12 touchdowns and had 356 yards rushing and 36 receiving, and senior running back Dan Brown who scored three touchdowns.

“We’ve got some talent back,” said Medina head coach Eric Valley whose Mustangs capped off the season with a 38-24 Class B consolation Bowl championship victory over Buffalo East. “We grew a lot last year and we want to build on that momentum.”

The Mustangs large veteran contingent also includes seniors Josh Cuadrado (OL/DL), Drake Grabowski (WR/DB), Forest Harper (WR/DB), Nate Hodgins (RB/LB), Ben McPherson (TE/DE), Phil Schicker (OL/DL); juniors Adam Cotter (OL/DL), Devonte Howard (OL/LB), Brett Pecoraro (QB/DB), Brandon Schoolcraft (OL/DE). Kyle Herman (OL/LB) and sophomore Charles Beach (OL).

“Defensively we’re trying to change things a bit. We want to get a better push on defense,” Valley said. “We want to take advantage of our team speed.”

The Medina roster, which for the second year includes Lyndonville student/athletes, also has juniors Ty Hrovat (WR/DB), Dustin Joy (WR/DB), Trevor Bentley (WR/DB), Andrew Nichols (OL/DL); sophomores Dylan Lewis (WR/DB), Thomas Follman (RB/LB), Noah Banazwski (OL/DL). Kelvin Packer (OL/DL) and freshmen Eric Neace and Ed Schildt.

“We’re pretty happy the way we ended last season and we want to build on that,” Valley said. “The key is to stay healthy and to play fast, physical football.”

Medina opens the season with three straight home games against Amherst on Sept. 6, Maryvale on Sept. 13 and Akron on Sept. 20.

The Mustangs will tune-up for the B North Division season by hosting a seven team scrimmage on Saturday morning at Vets Park. The scrimmage will include teams from Albion, Barker/Roy-Hart, Elba/Byron-Bergen, Alden, Lew-Port, Newfane and Wilson.

Medina’s schedule is as follows:
Sept. 6 – Amherst, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 – Maryvale, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 – Akron, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 28 – at Burgard, 4 p.m.
Oct. 4 – Lew-Port, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 – at Bennett, 2 p.m.
Oct. 18 – at Albion, 7:30 p.m.