Wilmington is loaded after last year’s Final 4 appearance

2017 Wilmington football preview

Wilmington Greyhounds High School Football

WILMINGTON, Pa (WKBN) – For all the Greyhounds lost this off-season, Wilmington football appears to be strong entering the 2017 season.

Big play junior running back Cameron Marett returns after gaining 932 yards (9.9 avg) on the ground while scoring 14 times.

Colton Marett is back for his senior campaign after finishing the 2016 season with 12 receptions and 4 touchdowns (with 150 yards).

The Marett boys combined for 97 tackles and 7 interceptions. Cameron finished 2nd on the team with 54 1/2 tackles (3 INTs) while Colton closed out last season 2nd with 4 interceptions (42 1/2 tackles).

The Greyhounds also will have their leading receiver back in Bryson Verrelli (37 catches, 703 yards, 5 TDs). He also tallied 82 rushing yards (3 TDs) and completed a pass for 24 yards a year ago.

Senior Matt Jamison leads the offensive line into 2017. Defensively, Robert Pontius (4 INTs) and Jack Patton (29 1/2 tackles) return along with Colton Richards (29 tackles) and Isaiah Gargiulo (29 tackles) from last year’s Final Four team.

More: High School Football previews from other teams

Challenges
Wilmington was hit hard by graduation this past Spring with the departure of Spencer DeMedal, Reese Bender, Kyle Slicker, Ryan Byler and Anthony Berardi.

DeMedal was one of the area’s best ironmen in recent memory. Number 2 displayed his versatility on offense (336 yards passing, 3 TDs; 1093 yards rushing, 22 TDs; 249 receiving yards, 4 TDs) as well as on defense (35 tackles, 8 INTs).

Bender was not only the team’s leading tackler (61 1/2) but also was the ‘Hounds primary signal caller (1013 yards passing, 13 TDs).

Slicker finished the 2016 season with 877 rushing yards (3rd on the team) and 11 total offensive touchdowns (9 rushing, 2 receiving).

Byler was honored by being named to the Second-Team All-Region team along the offensive line and defensive line. He tallied 33 1/2 tackles.

Berardi, a 1st-team All-Region pick while playing along the offensive front, also closed out the year with 24 1/2 tackles on defense.

Head Coach: Terry Verrelli, 39th season (300-129-3)
Last Season: 12-2 (7-1), 2nd place in Region 2
Classification: AA

2017 Schedule
Aug. 25 – at Sharon, 7
Sept. 1 – at West Middlesex, 7
Sept. 8 – Lakeview, 7
Sept. 15 – at Sharpsville, 7
Sept. 22 – Mercer, 7
Sept. 29 – Reynolds, 7
Oct. 6 – at Greenville, 7
Oct. 13 – Hickory, 7
Oct. 20 – at Slippery Rock, 7

More: High School Football schedules from other teams

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 75.4% (95-31)
Playoff Appearances: 9
Playoff Record: 22-8
Region Championships: 6 (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014)
Region Record: 50-14

2016 Results
Steel Valley 49 Greyhounds 13*
Greyhounds 42 Kane 0*
Greyhounds 56 Sharpsville 7*
Greyhounds 35 Greenville 8*
Greyhounds 52 Eisenhower 0*
Greyhounds 48 Slippery Rock 7
Hickory 28 Greyhounds 20
Greyhounds 35 Greenville 0
Greyhounds 35 Reynolds 6
Greyhounds 56 Mercer 13
Greyhounds 63 Sharpsville 21
Greyhounds 45 Lakeview 6
Greyhounds 49 West Middlesex 6
Greyhounds 30 Sharon 13
*-Post-Season

2016 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 48.5 (1st in Area)
Total Offense: 362.7
Scoring Defense: 11.3 (2nd in Area)
Total Defense: 205.6
…Wilmington went from 39th in the area in scoring offense (21.0) in 2015 to the top scoring team with a 48.5 average last Fall. The defense also improved from 34th in 2015 (23.3) in points allowed to 2nd in 2016 (11.3).

Key Number
The Greyhounds won as many playoff games last year (4) as they had in the previous six seasons (4).

Featured Stat
Over the last three years, Greyhound quarterbacks who have thrown 30 passes or more have accumulated a completion percentage of 49% or better:
2016: Spencer DeMedal – 65.6% (21-32)
2016: Reese Bender – 54.8% (57-104)
2015: Spencer DeMedal – 54.5% (103-189)
2014: Cody Llewellyn – 50.5% (46-91)
2014: Reese Bender – 48.7% (19-39)

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