2023 Barberton Magics football preview


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Tony Gotto, 10th year, 67-31

LAST YEAR: 7-5, 5-2

POSTSEASON: Division II, Region 5


  • Kenny Larry, WR-DB, 5-10, 155, Sr.
  • Dajuan Owens, DB-RB, 5-10, 170, Jr.
  • Jomyco Davis, DL, 6-0, 190, Sr.
  • Robert Davis, WR-OLB, 6-0, 190, Sr.
  • Noah Dehart, WR-DB, 5-9, 150, Sr.
  • Angelo Harper, WR, 5-10, 190, Sr.
  • Xzavier Macon, RB-LB, 5-10, 195, Sr.
  • Keiron Smith, DB, 5-10, 160, Sr.
  • Brayden Stefan, OL, 6-0, 285, Sr.
  • Donte Swain, DB-WR, 5-10, 165, So.
  • Dominic Wilson, QB, 6-0, 185, Sr.

IMPACT PLAYERS: Kenny Larry returns for his fourth season on the Barberton varsity football team and Xzavier Macon and Dajuan Owens are each entering their third. ... "Kenny Larry, Xzavier Macon, Dominic Wilson, Angelo Harper and Noah Dehart are huge offensive weapons," Gotto said. "Our whole secondary is back defensively. Kenny will be a four-year starter for us. Dajuan is a junior and he will be a three-year starter for us. They both started as freshmen. Noah and Keiron are both back, too, in the secondary. Xzavier is back at linebacker." ... Macon is Barberton's go-to running back after rushing for 1,004 yards and 13 touchdowns on 145 carries in 2022. He also caught a TD pass, returned an interception for a score, had 59 tackles, had two sacks, forced one fumble and recovered one fumble. ... Larry totaled 22 receptions for 466 yards and five touchdowns last season. He also threw a touchdown pass and grabbed three interceptions.

WHAT'S NEW: Barberton graduated a large senior class from last season's team. Gotto said the Magics will have several new starters up front. ... "We lost four out of five on the offensive line to graduation," Gotto said. "Defensively, we lost an inside backer, an outside backer, a drop end and our three interior linemen to graduation." ... Stefan is the lone returning starter on the offensive line ... Gotto said the following players are working toward starting spots: sophomore offensive lineman Blake Welch, junior offensive lineman-defensive lineman Romir Cody, sophomore Brice Crowe, senior offensive linemen Levi Poff and Dylan Alati, junior defensive lineman Josiah Wright, sophomore defensive lineman Sadiq Lateef-Chenault and senior linebacker Jon Jeffries.

OUTLOOK: Barberton has compiled a winning record in seven of Gotto's first nine seasons. The Magics have advanced to the Division II playoffs six times and have won three Suburban League American Conference during the past seven seasons. That run includes the 2017 and 2018 SLAC championship teams that each went 10-0 in the regular season. The 2017 team finished 12-1 and the 2018 team went 10-1. The 2021 SLAC championship team went 10-2. ... "We have 24 seniors," Gotto said. "I think this is the biggest senior class I think I have had in my 10 years [as head coach]." ... Steve Fasig returns as the offensive coordinator ... "I think we will be balanced offensively," Gotto said. "Xzavier played really well [Saturday] in our scrimmage. I am really happy with how he ran the football. Last year, he had some struggles. He has had a really good camp this year and been solid. I feel like our running game will be better once we solidify that offensive line. Dom is a threat to throw and run the ball at quarterback. Defensively, we have a new coordinator in Logan Banks, so we are putting things together that I felt were successful in our four-way scrimmage [Saturday] with Nordonia, Walsh and Olmsted Falls. That was a really good scrimmage. I felt like we did some things pretty well. We are going to be athletic and fast. We are going to be undersized. No question about it. I think our offensive line will have pretty good size and we will probably average about 260 or 270 [pounds] across the line. I think our defense will be undersized, but we are going to get after it and pursue the football."

Michael Beaven can be reached at mbeaven@thebeaconjournal and is on Twitter at @MBeavenABJ.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Ohio high school football: Barberton Magics 2023 preview