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Old 08-07-17, 10:04 AM
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Metacomet Metacomet is offline
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Solon Comets 2017

I'm sorry I didn't start this thread months ago. Work has kept me much too busy.

The Solon Comets are coming off a 10-2 season, one in which they were ranked in the top 10 of the AP Division 1 poll for most of the season. Solon is also the two-time defending Greater Cleveland Conference champion. The Comets return about half their starters. There is cause for optimism about Solon's chances for emulating their recent success. But there is also reason for concern. The Comet program was jolted last week when two of its best players, linebacker Casey Maniglia and corner Ryan McCurry, decided against coming out for the team, in order to concentrate on their baseball careers. Maniglia has accepted a baseball scholarship to the University of North Carolina, while McCurry has a number of college offers. Both players will be missed.

However, Solon returns some first rate talent, including 1,000 yard-plus tailback Thomas Wilks, University of Cincinnati-bound WR/DB Taj Ward and junior DE/OT Nate Leskovec, who has already received an off from Wake Forest.

The Comets also return several other standouts: WR/DB Andrew Mason; QB/DB J.T. Caver; TE/DB David Marbury; DE/LB Jack Miller.

I'm not sure what the starting lineup will look like but here's my best guess:

QB - Battle between seniors Joe Cartellone and J.T. Caver. Cartellone was last year's backup, while Caver excelled at safety.

RB - Thomas Wilks gave Solon its best performance by a tailback since Brandon Shimits, more than a decade before. He should be an all-Ohio candidate. Wilks is a senior. Soph backup R.J. Howard is a future star.

WR - Taj Ward and Andrew Mason are the latest great pair of WRs for the Comets. Receiver has been a position of excellence for Solon in recent years. Ward is the wideout, while Mason plays the slot. Mason is a TD machine when he gets the ball. He was probably underutilized last year, but the Comets had a whole lot of weapons. Sammy Bubonics will probably start at the other WR, and he has loads of speed and potential. Sophs Dominic McGhee and maybe Grant McCurry will see playing time. Junior David Marbury is the TE when Solon needs one.

OL - The O line is the biggest question mark on the team. All five starters from a very good 2016 line are gone. Junior Nate Leskovec platooned at tackle, so he brings some experience with him. He'll be first-rate. Senior Nathan Kresevic will probably start at center and Will Taylor should start at one of the guard spots. Both played extensively as backups last year. The other two spots? I don't know. Some of the guys battling for starting jobs include Nolan McNamara, Ron Carr, David Sparano and sophs Tommy Lucarelli and William Zsigrai.

Most of last year's defensive line returns though the one guy who did graduate, Jacob Gross, was a very good player. Da'Veon Parker returns at nose tackle and he should be a candidate for post-season honors. Leskovec and Marbury return at the ends and they form on of the best end tandems in NE Ohio. Senior Jack Miller rotated in at end last year, but I hear he's likely to replace Maniglia at LB this fall. The tackle spot next to Parker is wide open. I'm guessing that Kresevic and Taylor will probably platoon there. Soph Ben Truong also has a chance. Soph Owen Bell is a future star at DE, but he'll have to wait his turn.

As stated, Miller will move from DE to outside LB. I expect soph R.J. Howard to start in the middle. He's got big-time talent and I believe he'll be a star. I'm guessing that special teams ace Marquis Churn will start at the other OLB spot.

Ward and Mason will lead the secondary, along with Caver, if he doesn't start at QB. Bubonics, McGee and perhaps Grant McCurry will lend a hand.

Last year's starting kicker, Andy Baek, graduated but a pair of sophs looked great kicking in freshman ball last year. Harrison Rich is one. Unfortunately, I can't remember the other kid's name.

Last edited by Metacomet; 08-08-17 at 01:40 PM.
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