Revere football team looking to use last year’s experience for improvement
BATH — Revere High School head football coach Phil Heyn said his team knows what it wants to accomplish this season.
“We expect to beat Copley, compete for a Suburban League title and, because of our tough nonleague schedule and difficult league, compete for a playoff spot,” he said.
The coach called last season, which saw Revere finish with a 0-10 record, a “difficult year.”
“We struggled with injuries — 15 starters missed one or more game — and depth as a result,” he said. “Many of our games were close entering the late stages of the game, but depth played a role in the outcome. Teams wore us down.”
Heyn admitted that a “difficult schedule” also played a role.
“We played one of the most difficult schedules in school history. Our opponents were 65-35 and five opponents made the playoffs,” he said. “But in the end, we needed to execute better.”
Despite the loss of 14 seniors to graduation following the season, Heyn said last year’s experience should prove beneficial to the program going forward.
“With all the injuries last year, we had many guys get game experience,” he said. “We return 15 starters and are led by 15 outstanding senior leaders.”
Heyn highlighted the following seniors and provided comments about each:
• “Michael Benson (wide receiver/outside linebacker) is bigger, stronger and will be expected to make an impact on both sides of the ball.”
• “Joe D’Amico (running back/defensive back/outside linebacker) is a tremendous leader, and we expect big things from Joe this year on both sides of the ball.”
• “Paul Gabel (running back/inside linebacker) is a great physical talent with tremendous instincts for the game. We expect him to be a difference-maker for us this year.”
• “Anthony Kelly (guard/defensive tackle) will be an anchor on the defensive line for us.”
• “Anthony Manera (wide receiver/defensive back) missed 2011 due to injury, but he has tremendous hands and will make great contributions on both offense and defense.”
• “Nick Thiessen (guard/tackle) has gotten quicker and is expected to be a big contributor on both sides of the ball.”
• “Jake Totten (center/defensive back) is a strong, physical player who has tremendous experience, and we expect him to have a wonderful year.”
• “Jason Tretter (tackle/defensive end) is a Division I recruit who has worked extremely hard to rehabilitate from a season-ending injury a year ago. He is a big, strong lineman with great feet.”
• “Roger Wolanski (guard/defensive tackle) is a three-year starter on the line and a tireless worker. He will lead both vocally and by his play.”
• “Zach Wilson (tackle/inside linebacker) is expected to make an impact on both sides of the ball.”
The other seniors on this year’s squad are Danny Domanick (tailback/outside linebacker), Brett Higgins (tight end/defensive end), Brian Luther (tackle/defensive tackle), Clay Malyj (kicker), Grayson Pickens (tight end/defensive end) and Cole Towner (center/defensive end).
Two juniors Heyn expects to make an impact this season are quarterback Drew Lewis and tailback/defensive back Everett McGregor.
“Drew Lewis started two games last year. He is developing into an outstanding football player,” the coach said. “Everett McGregor has tremendous speed. He will contribute on both sides of the ball.”
In addition, Heyn said, a trio of sophomores is expected to play key roles this season.
“Machey Totten (tight end/defensive end) is a physical player with great understanding of the game who will compete on both sides of the ball,” the coach said. “Nick Zimmerman (wide receiver/defensive back) has tremendous speed and athleticism. He has the ability to score any time he touches the ball. And Sam Sustersic (tight end/outside linebacker) has tremendous instinct for the game. He is expected to contribute on both sides of the ball.”
According to Heyn, the strength of this year’s team is expected to be the play of the offensive and defensive lines.
“With our top two running backs returning and a big, experienced offensive line, we expect to be able to run the football,” he stated. “We are, and will be, in better shape to be able to compete mentally and physically better in the fourth quarter.”
Revere will open its season Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at Chagrin Falls High School.
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