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Green football team hoping for postseason run

10/31/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — The Green High School football team’s regular season will end tonight, Nov. 1, when the team hosts Tallmadge High School at 7 p.m., and an already big rivalry game could feature some big stakes.

“We’re still in a great position to get a winning record with a possibility to make the playoffs, which hasn’t happened around here in about 10 years,” said Green head coach Ed Cybak. “So that’s pretty exciting and I want to see us play as hard and as fast as we possibly can. If we can do that, I think we have a great opportunity to be successful in that game.”

With the one game left, Green has a 5-4 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the Suburban League. Coming into the season, Cybak said, one of Green’s goals was to finish the regular season with a winning record.

“We also wanted to challenge for the league [title], so we’re a little disappointed there,” he said. “But realistically, with the group that we have, I’m happy with what we’ve accomplished. Up front, we had one returning lineman, and we were extremely small on both sides of the football. Since I’ve been here, this is the smallest we’ve ever been up front. Also, we have a quarterback who came in with only three JV [junior varsity] starts under his belt, and our top receiver is a sophomore. So with all of that in consideration, I’m happy with what we’ve done.”

The team’s starting quarterback this season is junior John Davies.

“He is 6-foot-4, 205 pounds,” Cybak said. “He’s had a pretty good productive year. I think he’s learned a lot. He’s thrown for pretty close to 1,500 yards, and I think he’s had 16 touchdowns with five interceptions at this point. So that’s pretty productive. I think his biggest things [to work on] are learning how to read defenses and making timely throws. I think that will be his biggest challenge down the road. He’s learned a lot this year, but he’s only started seven games and he’s still got a lot of room for improvement. I think he’s a willing learner and a smart kid. He’s got huge upside.”

According to the coach, the team’s top receiver this season has been 6-foot-1 sophomore James Angel.

“James has great speed. He missed qualifying for the state track meet in the 400 by two places,” Cybak stated. “His biggest challenge was learning how to run routes, and he has really impressed me with learning how to do that. He has continued to get better every week. And he has played great against big teams. He just needs to get a little more physical and then he will really turn into something else.”

The lone returning lineman coming into the season, Cybak said, was senior Mitchell Kay.

“Mitchell is probably our biggest lineman,” the coach said. “He’s about 6-1, 220 pounds.”

Cybak said his team has played “fairly well” this season on defense.

“We didn’t have very many returning starters on that side of the ball, and we were extremely small up front,” he said. “But I think they play hard and they are playing the best techniques that they can.”

During the course of the season, Cybak said, Green has shown improvement on both sides of the ball.

“Our expectations were to play hard, and we’ve done that. A lot of good things happen when you play hard,” he said. “The character of the team has really shined through. These guys are resolved to be successful. They see it as a challenge that the last two teams I have coached here have had winning records, and they want to match that and more.”

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