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Walsh Jesuit football set on day-by-day approach

By Roger Gordon | Correspondent Published: August 21, 2016 12:00 AM
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A popular method of many coaches is to "take the season day-by-day."

Scott Beigie is taking that approach to a different level with his Walsh Jesuit football team this coming season.

"Just like Gerry [Rardin] did, I meet with the seniors every year before the season starts," said Beigie, who is in his second year as the Warriors' head coach after eight seasons as an assistant to Rardin. "Everyone has the same goals. Who doesn't want to make the playoffs and win a state championship? So many years throughout my career we've thought of that stuff - can we win the division? Can we make the playoffs and make a deep run? Can we win a state title? Of course, I'd love for those things to happen, but sometimes you can lose sight of the importance of the everyday grind of it all.

"Our mindset this season is not only taking it day-by-day, but to focus on winning each and every day. We're going to focus on the day in front of us to ensure that we come out better than we were than when we stepped out on the practice field the day before. We're going to take whatever comes our way each day. We want to enjoy the process and see where it takes us."

Beigie's squad hopes to improve upon last year's 3-7 overall record and 2-3 mark in the Blue Division of the North Coast League.

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"That record is deceiving," said Beigie. "We were better than a 3-7 team -- including a near upset of Cleveland St. Ignatius -- but we didn't prove it on the field. I think that St. Ignatius game bred a little confidence into these guys and got them thinking, 'You know, it doesn't matter who the other team is if we take care of what we're responsible for, if we play the way we're supposed to play and not worry about the other side. We can be competitive with anyone.'"

Beigie will no doubt miss the following players lost to graduation last spring - Jack Wohlabaugh -- now playing at Ohio State -- Adam Pastor, Noah Donald, Zach Pipoly, Mac Shinnaberry, Patrick Keough and Joe Penna.

This year's team, according to the coach, is veteran in age but young in experience.

"We have a lot of seniors who last year didn't have much opportunity to play," he said. "Now they get a chance to step up and show what they have.

Senior Alex Weitman will get another shot as the Warriors' starting quarterback. He started the first two games last season before suffering a season-ending concussion in Week 2.

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"Alex is back to top form and then some. He looks phenomenal," Beigie said. "He's more confident than ever. He has a strong arm, but his biggest attribute is his brain. He's an incredibly intelligent young man. He makes great decisions. That, coupled with his athleticism, makes him one hell of a quarterback."

Weitman's classmate, Josh Bennett, will be the starting running back.

"Josh's speed has increased tremendously from last year," Beigie said. "He's a very physical runner, too."

Senior Brad Johnson and junior Curtis Cook are slotted as the starting wide receivers. Neither saw much action a year ago.

Starting on the offensive line will be left tackle Blake Herideen, left guard Mason Kleinhenz, center Jon Hassman and right guard Kevin Cavanaugh. Fighting for the starting right tackle spot are Spencer Foley and Will Marshall. All are seniors except Marshall, who is a junior.

"It's an inexperienced line, but the guys are looking remarkably solid," Beigie said.

"They're incredibly bonded and communicate very well. They understand what each other is doing. It's not the biggest line, but the guys bring athleticism with them."

Defensively, Walsh Jesuit will go with a 4-2-5 setup, but will improvise at times.

Starting on the defensive line will be Herideen and senior Evan Morckel as the ends, Kleinhenz at nose tackle and Hassman as the tackle.

Junior Dominic Frisone will man one of the starting linebacker spots. The other is up for grabs.

The starting cornerbacks will be seniors Kamari Spencer and Steve Walko, while Bennett and his classmates Alec Wallace and Sam Thomas will be the starting safeties.

Senior Quinn Saluan will handle the kicking and punting duties.

Two other players who will see significant playing time will be senior Nick Herideen, Blake's twin brother, at running back and safety, and junior David Blanchard at fullback and linebacker.

The team captains are Blake Herideen, Bennett and Frisone.

Bryan Beigie will be the offensive coordinator and Andy Thomas will be the defensive coordinator.

The other assistant coaches are Rick Massaro, Steve Grescovich, Dan Basch, Mitch Gerycz, Chris Stoffi, Pat McShane and Matt Redmond.

Walsh Jesuit opens its season Aug. 26 at Toledo Whitmer. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

"Whitmer has a tremendous football program," Beigie said, "but I'm looking for it to be a competitive game. These guys are incredibly hungry. They're chomping at the bit to make their mark on this program."

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC

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