Conrad begins 1st season at Southington; sees a renewed commitment in his players

The Wildcats will make the trip to North Jackson in week one.

Southington Wildcats High School Football - Southington, OH.

2017 Southington Chalker Football Preview
Head Coach: Tom Conrad, 1st season
Last Season: 4-6 (1-4), 5th place in NAC
Division: VII (Region 25)

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 34.3% (34-65)
Playoff Appearances: 1
Playoff Record: 0-1
League Championships: 1 (2009)
League Record*: 16-34
*-NAC member from 2009-2017; East Suburban Conference from 2007-2008

More:High School Football previews from other teams

2016 Results
Wildcats 20 St. John 14
Windham 56 Wildcats 21
Mathews 34 Wildcats 15
Newbury 49 Wildcats 28
Wildcats 32 Pymatuning Valley 22
Grand Valley 51 Wildcats 19
Wildcats 74 Beallsville 0
Wildcats 30 Leetonia 7
Sebring 29 Wildcats 14
Jackson-Milton 35 Wildcats 0

2016 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 26.2 (31st in Area)
Total Offense: 277.6
Passing Offense: 56.8
Rushing Offense: 220.8
Scoring Defense: 29.7 (42nd in Area)
Total Defense: 333.6
…The Wildcats saw an improvement in their scoring average from 2015’s 10.7 average to 2016’s 26.2 points per game.

Northeastern Athletic Conference Lineup
Grand Valley
Mathews
Newbury
Pymatuning Valley
Southington Chalker
Windham

The Good News
Last season, saw Southington average the most points that they’ve been able to score in a single season (26.2) since 2008 (31.4). First-year head coach Tom Conrad (Champion graduate) assisted Bill Bohren in each of the past two seasons at Chalker so there’s familiarity at the top this summer. “We’ve seen improvements in the pre-season with our strength and conditioning,” indicates coach Conrad. “We have a renewed commitment to competing and improving as a team, improved accountability and a high level of enthusiasm for the program as a whole.”

Junior quarterback Trystan Mollohan returns after throwing for 568 yards and 8 touchdowns for the ‘Cats. Senior Joey Meyer should help Mollohan in the passing game. Michael Vacca will step in at tight end. Logan Regal and Jacob Baker will be featured in the running game as Austin Smith is set to be the team’s fullback this coming season. Logan Rhodes and Aidan Ricks will help anchor the front five along the line of scrimmage on offense. Joey McCafferty is slotted at guard this season also. Rhodes will begin the 2017 season along the defensive line at nose tackle. Dalton Keeley and Baker are both sophomore linebackers while Meyer and Smith are both back in the secondary. “We’ve added a solid group of young talented players that are excited to be a part of the program and are eager to contribute to the team,” Conrad says. “Strong quarterback play and fast athletic skilled players to showcase in the passing game will be a strength. Speed on the back end of the defense should help the team improve in our coverage of the passing game. Fast, athletic linebackers who can cover the field sideline to sideline.”

2017 Schedule
Aug. 25 – at Jackson-Milton, 7
Sept. 1 – at Sebring, 7
Sept. 8 – Leetonia, 7
Sept. 15 – at Conotton Valley, 7
Sept. 22 – Grand Valley, 7
Sept. 29 – Pymatuning Valley, 7
Oct. 6 – at Newbury, 7
Oct. 13 – at Mathews, 7
Oct. 20 – Windham, 7
Oct. 27 – St. John, 7

The Bad News
Returning Starters: Offense – 5; Defense – 4
Southington has allowed opponents to score 25-points or more in each of their last seven campaigns but one (2015: 23.0). The loss of Justin Sherwood (3 INTs) and Cam Mazzola (2 INTs) will be felt on the defensive side of the ball as well. Chalker graduated their top three rushers in Cody Helmuth (750 yards, 13 TDs), Mazzola (400 yards, 3 TDs) and Christian Romigh (350 yards, 3 TDs). Sherwood and Mazzola both had 4 receptions for the Wildcat passing game. Coach Conrad is aware of his team’s limitations in terms of experience, “We’ll be young on the offensive and defensive lines. We are putting a strong emphasis on improving our technique and fundamentals to become better in the run game. We need to improve in our ability to play with tempo and sustain drives. Also, we have put an emphasis on our defensive line technique to defeat blocks and improve in our ability to stop the run and control the line of scrimmage.”

Key Number
Southington has not had a winning season since 2009 (5-4). However, the Wildcats have been close – winning 4 or more games in 4 of the past 5 seasons and qualifying for the playoffs in 2013.

Featured Stat
Five players gained 250-yards rushing or more last season:
Cody Helmuth – 750
Cam Mazzola – 400
Christian Romigh – 350
Dakota Whitt – 300
Logan Regal – 250

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