MVAC may be a new league but has a similar alignment to an old conference

Western Reserve (vs. Columbiana) and Springfield (vs. South Range) each play against familiar foes in week one.

Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference MVAC Football

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A blast from the past (or future)? The Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference is set up similar to the way the Inter-County League was in 2005. The major difference is that South Range isn’t involved but Waterloo is. Each of the other seven schools were members of the Inter-Tri County League since 2006. Waterloo was a member of the Portage Trail Conference (County Division) since 2005. The Vikings must replace their standout quarterback (Will Bolanz) but welcome back more than half of the team’s starters on offense and defense along with strong line play upfront.

More:High School Football previews from other teams

Last season saw Western Reserve win their ITCL Tier for the fifth time in the last six years. However, the Blue Devils missed out on a trip to the playoffs for the first time in 9 seasons (2008-15). Springfield and Jackson-Milton each advanced to the post-season in 2016. The Blue Jays need to replace lots of skill position players on offense but return the likes of Nick Scarl – who finished his junior year with 144 tackles from his weakside linebacker position. The Tigers are coached by Sean Guerriero. His Springfield teams have advanced to the post-season three times in six years.

After a 1-3 start to this past season, McDonald went onto win five of their last six to just miss out on a week eleven appearance for the second year in a row.

Sebring will have a new leader in Brian Palmer – the former Mineral Ridge and Youngstown State kicker – who has developed quite the coaching resume since his playing days ended. Palmer takes over a young and inexperienced bunch.

Speaking of Ridge, coach Steve Wyllie takes over the program following the resignation of Jeff Whittaker. Wyllie, a graduate of Mineral Ridge, is a teacher at the school and has head coaching experience at Garrettsville Garfield – where he won 54 games in 8 years at the helm of the G-Men.

The Rockets return a grouping of talented seniors led by Achili Minch, who give Lowellville a lot to look forward to in the coming season.

New League: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference
Mineral Ridge
Western Reserve

2016 ITCL Blue Standings
Western Reserve – 7-3 (5-0)*
McDonald – 6-4 (4-1)*
Jackson-Milton – 7-4 (3-2)*
Mineral Ridge – 2-8 (2-3)*
Sebring – 3-7 (1-4)*
Lowellville – 0-9 (0-5)*

2016 ITCL Red Standings
Springfield – 9-3 (4-0)*
South Range – 9-2 (3-1)
East Palestine – 6-4 (2-2)
Crestview – 3-7 (1-3)
United – 2-8 (0-4)

2016 Portage Trail Conference – County Standings
Crestwood – 9-2 (5-0)
Mogadore – 9-3 (3-2)
Southeast – 6-4 (3-2)
Garrettsville Garfield – 9-4 (2-3)
Rootstown – 6-4 (2-3)
Waterloo – 2-8 (0-5)*
*-MVAC member

2016 MVAC Leaders (based off of affiliation in former leagues)
Team Leaders
Scoring Offense
1.Western Reserve – 38.5
2.McDonald – 29.8
3.Springfield – 28.3
4.Sebring – 24.1
5.Jackson-Milton – 22.7
6.Waterloo – 18.7
7.Mineral Ridge – 16.8
8.Lowellville – 12.9

Scoring Defense
1.McDonald – 16.6
2.Western Reserve – 20.3
3.Jackson-Milton, 22.1
4.Springfield – 23.0
5.Waterloo – 35.2
6.Sebring – 35.5
7.Mineral Ridge – 37.9
8.Lowellville – 41.0

Individual Leaders
(Did not receive individual statistics from Lowellville)
Passing Yards: Jonathon Voland (Jackson-Milton) – 1572+
Completion Percentage: Dylan Portolese (McDonald) – 60.9%
Passing Touchdowns: Dominic Velasquez (Western Reserve) – 20

Rushing Yards: Nate Martin (Sebring) – 1478+
Yards Per Carry: Jack Cappabianca (Western Reserve) – 9.6
Rushing Touchdowns: Jack Cappabianca (Western Reserve) & Nate Martin (Sebring)+ – 13
Receptions: Noah Laster (Jackson-Milton) – 46+
Receiving Yards: Trevor Wise (Waterloo) – 685+
Receiving Touchdowns: Wyatt Larimer (Western Reserve) – 11+

Big games on the schedule
Aug. 25 – Columbiana at Western Reserve*
Aug. 26 – Springfield at South Range*
Sept. 1 – McDonald at Columbiana*
Sept. 1 – South Range at Western Reserve*
Sept. 22 – Springfield at McDonald
Oct. 6 – McDonald at Mineral Ridge
Oct. 6 – Western Reserve at Springfield
Oct. 20 – Western Reserve at McDonald
Oct. 27 – Western Reserve at Jackson-Milton
*-Non-league game

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