NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WYTV) – This past Spring, quarterback Josh Walters graduated after passing for 1,384 yards last season. This season, junior Braden Bungard will take over the reins. In 2015, he passed the ball once (0-1) and gained 48 yards on 5 carries.
The position with the most depth and experience is the offensive line with all five starters returning. With what the Tigers have coming back up front, the running game should improve with junior Bill Wright back in the mix.
The hiring of former Kent State linebacker L.D. Hartman as the defensive coordinator should benefit the group to make strides in the right direction in 2016. Hartman will have senior defensive end Ben Simpson as well as linebackers Hayden Sherwood and Colton Hunt to build the unit around. Sherwood will begin 2016 as a starter for the fourth consecutive season. Hunt was an All-State Honorable Mention after topping 100-tackles and bringing down opposing quarterbacks 7 times in 2015. The secondary will be anchored by Mitchell Champion at corner and Braden Bungard at safety.
Newton Falls has fallen in each of their last 19 tries. The Tigers have permitted 30 points or more to be scored by their opposition in 14 consecutive games. In the months of September, October and November – they haven’t won in their last 34 contests. With that all said, this is year #2 with coach Franke’s staff in place. He has seen improvement this off-season from his group.