2015 Wilmington Football Preview
Head Coach: Terry Verrelli, 37th season (282-122-3)
2014 Record: 6-5 (4-2), Region 1
5-Year Winning Percentage: 65.5%
Class/Region: A/Region 1
Returning Offensive Starters: 7
Returning Defensive Starters: 5
Looking for another team? View all high school football previews on WKBN.com
2014 Team Stats
Rushing Offense: 143.9
Passing Offense: 89.6
Total Offense: 233.5
Scoring Offense: 19.5 (41st in Area)
Scoring Defense: 20.5 (21st in Area)
2014 Statistical Leaders
Rushing: Jacob Sotter – 505 yards, 6.4 ypc, 8 TDs
Passing: Cody Llewellyn – 778 yards, 50.5%, 6 TDs
Receiving: Marc Peoples – 15 catches, 235 yards, 4 TDs
Tackles: Don Gargiullo – 49
QB Sacks: Mitchell Whiting – 3.5
Interceptions: Brendan Montswil – 4
Sept. 4 – Grove City, 7
Sept. 11 – Mercer, 7
Sept. 18 – East Liverpool, 7
Sept. 25 – at West Middlesex, 7
Oct. 2 – Farrell, 7
Oct. 9 – at Reynolds, 7
Oct. 16 – Hickory, 7
Oct. 23 – Lakeview, 7
Oct. 30 – at Sharpsville, 7
Nov. 6 – at Slippery Rock, 7
Key Losses: Longtime quarterback Cody Llewellyn has moved on after an injury-plagued senior season where he was still able to register 778 passing yards (50.5%, 6 TDs) and 3 interceptions on defense. Marc Peoples led the Greyhounds in receiving by scoring 4 touchdowns and catching 15 passes for 235 yards. Jake Sotter led Wilmington in rushing with a 6.4 average and 505 yards on the ground (8 TDs). Linebacker Brendan Montswil intercepted 4 passes while being involved in 42 ½ tackles. Another key loss on defense was defensive end Mitchell Whiting – who finished his senior year with 3 ½ sacks.
Key Returnees: Junior Reese Bender filled in nicely for Llewellyn last year at the quarterback position. Bender connected on 48.7% of his 39 tosses (19 completions) while amassing 208 yards and 2 scores. Reese also gained 129 yards on the ground (2 TDs). Spencer DeMedal is only a junior but he was honored at the conclusion of last season as a First-Team All-Region defensive back. DeMedal picked off a pass and was credited for 37 tackles. Spencer gained 256 rushing yards and 229 receiving yards on a total of 88 offensive touches (76 carries, 12 catches). Leading tackler Dom Gargiullo finished with 49 defensive stops and 2 interceptions from his linebacker position.
Key Storyline: Without the leading passer (Llewellyn), rusher (Sotter), receiver (Peoples) – will the offense be able to produce enough points to keep the ‘Hounds in games?
Strengths: The defense should see an improvement by returning four of their top five tacklers from last season. In 2014, the unit held their opponents to an average of 254.8 yards per game (total). Kyle Slicker, junior punter, should continue to improve upon his 35.1 yard per punt average as he was able to pin the opposition within the 20-yard line seven times last year.
Weaknesses: The play up front (on each side of the ball) has to be concerning for coach Verrelli and his staff as the summer wears on. Josh Wrightson (First-Team All-Region offensive lineman; 22 tackles), Mitchell Whiting (First-Team All-Region defensive lineman; 30.5 tackles, 3.5 sacks), Shay Clarke, Dakota Boyle (19.5 tackles) are all gone from last season’s group. Tyler George, a senior guard, will be the team’s most accomplished lineman returning.
Game to Watch: October 30 at Sharpsville
…After a 4-1 start in 2014, the Greyhounds lost four of their last six including two setbacks to Sharpsville by a combined score of 67-0. Wilmington has each of those late season losses in the back of their mind.
Region 1 Alignment
Odds and Ends
…The Greyhounds have won seven straight season openers by an average of 32.9 to 10.1…In the month of September, Wilmington has posted 38 wins in their last 42 outings.
Recent League Finishes
2014: T-1st Region 1 (4-2)
2013: 5th Region 3 (3-4)
2012: T-1st Region 3 (6-1)
2011: 1st Region 3 (5-0)
2010: 3rd Region 3 (3-2)