Mustangs prep to defend football titles

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 27 August 2021 at 8:24 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Anchoring the lineup for defending C North and Class C champion Medina is this group of returning starters. In front are Chris Johnson, Jarin Rhim, Joe Cecchini and Domnic Larabee. In back are Iverson Poole, Calvin Stalker, Xander Payne, Hayden Woodroe, Noah Skinner and Zach Oliver.

Just four months after capturing both the C North Division and Section VI Class C championships during the state’s first ever spring season, the Medina Mustangs are wrapping up the first week of practice to defend those titles.

Medina will tune up for the C North Division campaign by hosting new foe Bishop Timon at 7 p.m. next Friday at Vets Park.

Leading the Mustangs is a group of 10 returning starters including seniors Xander Payne (QB), Joe Cecchini (TE/DL), Iverson Poole (RB/DB), Zach Oliver (OL/LB), Jarin Rhim (TE/DL), Colvin Stalker (OL/DL) and Hayden Woodroe (WR/LB) along with juniors Chris Johnson ((OL/DL), Dominic Larabee (FB/DL) and Noah Skinner (RB/LB).

Payne, who passed for 15 touchdowns,  Cecchini and Johnson all earned first team C North Division All-Star honors. Poole, Rhim, Larabee and Skinner were all second team selections while Woodroe, Oliver and Stalker earned Honorable Mention,

The Mustangs also return varsity experience in seniors Rashawn Bloom (WR/DB) and Cole Seefeldt (K) along with juniors Josh Wilson (OL/LB) and Oliver Wilson (OL/DL) and sophomore Robert Arnold (RB/DE). Another senior on the squad is transfer student Greg Thompson (WR/DB).

“I really like our core group. We’ve got a lot of veterans with a lot of experience,” said Head Coach Eric Valley. “Defensively we return our front four and our linebackers so we hope the defense can pick up where they left off.”

The Mustangs graduation losses include Tyler Chinn (WR/DB), Brian Fry (RB/DB), Miles Hartway (OL/LB), Robert Morehouse (OL/DL), Corey Saj (RB/LB), Dontae Rhim (WT/DB), Mitchell Silversmith (OL/DL) and Lennon Meacham (RB/DB).

Medina will open defense of its C North Division title at Newfane on September 11.


September: 3 – Timon, 7 p.m.; 11 – at Newfane, 2 p.m.; 18 – at Lackawanna, 1 p.m.; 24 – Akron, 7 p.m.

October: 2 – at Cleveland Hill, 2 p.m.; 8 – at Wilson,  7 p.m.; 15 – Tonawanda, 7 p.m. ;22 – Albion, 7 p.m.