CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – For a handful of area football players, this week marks the second of two games that they will participate in over the span of two weeks. Following a couple days off for rest from the Mahoning Coaches Association’s Jack Arvin Game, players from Columbiana, Lisbon, Salem, Sebring, and United started preparations for the Quad County Coaches Association Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic.
The Penn-Ohio Game will take place Thursday, June 29th at Reeve’s Stadium on the Geneva College campus. Kickoff for the game is set for 7:00 PM.
A few of the players admitted that they were a little physically sore after playing in the Jack Arvin game last Thursday. That game marked the first time they had full out physical contact since their last game in November of last year.
“I was sore,” Lisbon’s Colin Sweeney admitted. “We haven’t played contact football in awhile. We hit in practice, but it wasn’t anything like in a game. And there was a lot of contact in that game (Jack Arvin). So yeah, I was a little sore,” Sweeney said with a chuckle.
Sweeney played quarterback for the Mahoning team in the Jack Arvin Game so he received a lot of physical contact both from being tackled with running the ball, but also getting hit after handing off and passing.
“I was pretty sore, man,” Wellsville Brazen Grodhaus echoed. “I had to go to work at 7 (AM) the next day. I was pretty sore, it was rough, it was rough.”
“I was pretty sore, I took work off,” United Colton Bowen confessed about the day after the Jack Arvin Game. “I just wanted to relax. I was pretty tired. I stretched a little, but I didn’t do much of anything else.”
But all three felt that the experience of playing in the game last week was a great benefit to being ready for the upcoming contest against Pennsylvania, “The biggest thing that game helped me prepare for is the speed. It’s so much faster than ITCL games. So playing in that one really made me adjust and I’m used to the speed. It’s fast, it’s a lot faster,” Bowen explained.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” Grodhaus remarked when asked if the game last week gives him a bit of an advantage. “We’ve been sprinting and doing stretching before practice and I feel like I’m in better shape than a lot of these guys that didn’t play in that game. I think definitely it helped me a lot. And I’m kinda up to game speed.”
“Just from the linebackers that I saw on that team (Trumbull) coming at me that would probably be better than most kids I’m going to see. So when I play against the next team I might see things from the last game and know how to avoid it,” Sweeney explained.
They also pointed out that the Ohio team feels more at home for them since the team is made up of primarily Columbiana County schools, while they were extra players on the Mahoning team in the Jack Arvin contest.
“I think it means more to me,” Brodhaus remarked. “Basically I’m representing the whole state, and it’s a bigger name. Being an Ohio boy you want to beat PA all the time. O-H-I-O, you know.”
“It was cool to play in the Mahoning-Trumbull game, but I think it’s a little more special to play in this game just because playing for Ohio versus Penn. So it’s a big deal,” Salem’s Jake Humeniuk added.
“Yeah, for us out of Columbiana County we weren’t really part of that (Mahoning Team), but then with Ohio, we’re all part of it. So we’re playing for our state. And my brother played in this eight years ago. So it’s cool to have his jersey in the closet, and now I get to put mine next to it. So that’s something cool,” Sweeney revealed.
“For me, it’s neat to get to wear the scarlet and gray,” Bowen said. “And to go over there and play another state which I’ve never done before. That will be new for me and it will be fun.”