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Winter sports preview capsules

Editor’s note: More winter sports preview capsules will appear in future editions of the Vindicator and Tribune Chronicle. Coaches should send information to sports@tribtoday.com or fax it to 330-841-1717.

Wrestling

Howland

¯ COACH: Matthew Zakrajsek (7th year, 26-58)

¯ LAST YEAR: 7-10

¯ LEAGUE: Eastern Ohio Wrestling League

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Nick Mijavec (Sr.) ***, Matthew Woomer (Jr.) **, Gage Gibson (Jr.) **, Rian Spangler (Jr.) **, Ethan Snyder (Jr.) **, Carter Mock (So.) *, Caden Mancino (So.) *, Aiden Helsel (So.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Adam Heckman (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Tigers return six district qualifiers from last season’s team. Competition, focus and discipline on and off the mat are going to be the keys to success during this unprecedented season. Howland will have to rely greatly on upperclass leadership from state-ranked juniors Ethan Snyder and Matthew Woomer, as well as ranked senior Nick Mijacec. This season’s competition consists mostly of dual, triangular and quad events. This plays into the team’s strengths. The first goal is to have postseason tournaments, then try to improve on last year’s performance.

Liberty

¯ COACH: Hadi A. Hadi (9th year, 115-39)

¯ LAST YEAR: 9-4

¯ LEAGUE: Eastern Ohio Wrestling League

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Eli Jones (Jr.) **, Camden Husk (Jr.) **, Dominic Leone (Jr.) **, RJ Smith (Jr.) **, Conner Burns (So.), Quintin Burns (So.) *, Carlos Candelaria (So.) *, Michael Morgan (So.) *, Joe Mueller (So.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE : Marius Brown (Sr.), Michael Sattler (Jr.), Jermaine Watson (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Leopards are excited for this season’s team which is anchored by its nine returning letterwinners from last season’s 9-4 team. With the addition of Marius Brown, Michael Sattler and Jermaine Watson, the Leopards look to be a tough team to beat in the Eastern Ohio Wrestling League.

Fitch

¯ COACH: John Burd (6th year, 67-11)

¯ LAST YEAR: 14-2

¯ LEAGUE: Eastern Ohio Wrestling League

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Jacob Smail (Sr.) ***, Colin Roberts (Sr.) ***, David Shannon (Jr.) **, Jacob Ferguson (Jr.) **, James Koslik (Sr.) *, Evan Lucurell (Sr.) *, Dom Zemko (Jr.) *, Peyton Quarles (So.) *, Tyler Lintner (So.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE : AJ Byrd (Jr.), Donovan Oliver (Jr.), Clayton Marcum (Jr.), Muhammad Riaz (So.), Aric Smith (So.), Sergio Marinelli (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Falcons will have around 40 wrestlers on the roster this season. With 10 letterwinners, five of whom have district experience, there are plenty of faces to guide the younger players on the squad.

Bowling

Kennedy boys

¯ COACH: Brian Martinko (1st year)

¯ LEAGUE: Independent

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN: Austin Kovalik (Jr.), Nick Jaros (Jr.)

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Louis Marko (Fr.), David Smith (So.), Mark Naddour (So.), Joey Varga (So.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Eagles are a young, inexperienced team that hope to improve every match.

Kennedy girls

¯ COACH: Brian Martinko (1st year)

¯ LEAGUE: Independent

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN: Beyonca Freeman (Sr.), Zoe Schlosser (Sr.)

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Amber Kovalik (Fr.), Vicky Gilliland (Fr.), Ella Martinez (Fr.), Jasmyne Whitman (Sr.), Gabby Freeman (Sr.), Shae Westfall (Jr.), Nia Johnson (Jr.), Nilah Johnson (Jr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Eagles have a lot of first-time bowlers and hope to improve as the season progresses.

Howland boys

¯ COACH: Susan Harcarik (6th year)

¯ LAST YEAR: 3-5

¯ LEAGUE: All-American Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Chris Guesman (Jr.) **, Mark Forte (Jr.) *, Jared Vrabel (So.) *, Nick Beard (So) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Gavin Caldwell (So.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Tigers are a young team, so improving is the top goal along with staying safe and healthy.

Howland girls

¯ COACH: Anthony Bernard (9th year, 115-54)

¯ LAST YEAR: 13-6

¯ LEAGUE: All-American Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Kayla Bross (Sr.) ***, Makayla Maro (Sr.) ***, Gillian McMurray (Jr.) **, Elexis Forte (So.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Alyssa Bettura (Fr.), Lindsey Bross (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: This season’s team will be returning four starters. There is a nice mix of a reliable senior leadership group as well as the addition of two freshmen. The season will pose challenges due to a tough out of conference schedule, but the team expects to show steady improvement as the season progresses, especially in team spare shooting.

LaBrae girls

¯ COACH: Demetra Noble (3rd year, 21-11)

¯ LAST YEAR: 12-7

¯ LEAGUE: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Molly Jones (Sr.) ***, Cierra Burchett-Norquist (Sr.) ***, Elizabeth Neal (Sr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE : Myra Rintz (Sr.), Kari Lancaster (So.), Leah Thomas (So.), Cheyenne Armstrong (So.), Sarah Reakes (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Vikings bowling team will be competitive with returning letterwinners. They have some new players that will add to the mix to help the unit.

Brookfield boys

¯ COACH: James Haywood

¯ LAST YEAR: 5-15

¯ LEAGUE: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Nick Bartolin (Sr.) **, Matthew Breighner (Sr.) **, AJ Haywood (Jr.) **, DJ Kiskadden (Sr.) **, Rhys Knoxville (Jr.) **

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Domonique McCoy Parks (Jr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Warriors are looking to improve on last season and are excited to enter the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.

Brookfield girls

¯ COACH: James Haywood

¯ LAST YEAR: 11-10

¯ LEAGUE: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Macy Devine (Sr.) **, Ali Breighner (So.) *, Rachael Horton (Jr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Kaytlyn Horton (Sr.), Alexis McAnany (Sr.), Kaedie Roscoe (So.), Kara Svarny (So.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Warriors are looking to improve on last season and are excited to enter the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.

Liberty girls

¯ COACH: Mackenzie Olesky (4th year, 14-19)

¯ LAST YEAR: 8-9

¯ LEAGUE: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Makenzie McBride (Sr.) ***, Majaia Underwood (Sr.) ***, Madyson Bartlett (Sr.) **, Samantha Baker (Sr.) **, Cassandra Dross (Sr.) **, Anna Pugh (Jr.) **, Paige Romain (So.) *

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The season looks to be very promising for the Leopards. They are thrilled to compete in a new conference and have a varsity squad full of experience with a clear understanding of the physical and mental game of the sport. The team has shown progress and improvement each year and are very optimistic for the upcoming sectional tournament.

Lordstown boys

¯ COACH: Jewel Skelton (1st year)

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Brock Pyles (Sr.) ***, Owen Butterfield (Jr.) *, Peyton Reed (Jr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Nick Allen (Sr.), Jake Jones (Jr.), Joshua Romaine (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Red Devils look to be competitive again, returning three letterwinners from last season’s conference championship team. They’re aiming for their third league title in a row.

Lordstown girls

¯ COACH: Jewel Skelton (1st year)

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Lily Simones (Sr.) *, Samantha Waldorf (So.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Morgan Stevanus (Sr.), Abbie Rummell (Jr.), Jamie Rummell (Jr.), Kennedy Thomas (Jr.), Peyton Thomas (So.), Tiffany Kenyon (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: The Red Devils are coming off a league title last season and with their two returning members, aim to go back-to-back with the help of their new faces.

Chalker girls

¯ COACH: Timothy Howard (3rd year, 2-23)

¯ LAST YEAR: 1-13

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Daisy Davis (Sr.) **, Sarah Emsinger (Sr.) *, Kaitlyn Shaffer (Sr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Nicole Williams (So.), Ashlee Santagota (So.), Maia Hatala (So.), Brianna Paxton (Fr.), Rachel Krukowski (Fr.), Julia Krukowski (Fr.), Elizabeth Smallsreed (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: In their third year of existence, the Wildcats look to continue building a bowling tradition that will continue past their graduation. Led by senior captain Daisy Davis, the girls team looks to improve on their previous record.

Chalker boys

¯ COACH: Timothy Howard (3rd year, 12-9)

¯ LAST YEAR: 7-4

¯ LEAGUE: Northeastern Athletic Conference

¯ RETURNING LETTERMEN (* – letters won): Dylan Shahan (Sr.) **, Niles Wicks (Jr.) **, Profirio Torres (Jr.) **, Gavin Irwin (Sr.) *, Luke Conaway (Jr.) *

¯ OTHERS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE: Hector Pagan (Sr.), Ryan Martin (Jr.), Brody Polizzi (So.), Sebastian Dunn (Fr.)

¯ SEASON OUTLOOK: Chalker returns several letterwinners from the first two years of the program’s existence. They look to capitalize on that experience and the performances of captain Niles Wicks and Dylan Shahan and push for a sectional title.

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