The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

October 10, 2012

No shortcuts for young Pirates

With perennial power Aurora next, Rosati vows Perry will get there

The Aurora Greenmen, like the Kenston Bombers a week ago, will be favored when the Perry Pirates come calling Friday night in a Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division clash.

Coming off a season in which they finished 12-2 and as a Division II state semifinalist — not to mention having three Division I recruits — coach Bob Mihalik’s Greenmen (6-1, 3-1) are what coach Matt Rosati’s Perry Pirates are striving to be... eventually.

Rosati saw his game, but young squad take it on the chin against CVC Chagrin Division leader Kenston last week, 34-14. However, he knows the tide will turn.

It’s not an if, he said, but a when.

“I told the guys after the game on Friday night, ‘In two years, when we come back to Kenston, we will be bringing MEN back with us, not a bunch of young kids,’” Rosati said.

The collective youth of the Pirates (3-4, 2-2) is magnified by this — Perry is 3-0 in games played at their home, Alumni Stadium, but 0-4 on the road.

“Normally, I would say it does not matter where you play, and it is the schedule,” Rosati said. “But for the first time in my career, I saw young players freeze up when we went to West Geauga (in Week 5).

“They had that deer-in-the-headlight look. After the first half, they played really well. But, yes, taking young guys on the road into big games is tough, but it will pay benefits down the road.”

And “tough” is what it will be this week for Perry. Aurora’s three Division I commits are all defensive stalwarts:

n Zach Quinn, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound linebacker — committed to Toledo.

n Patrick Dougherty, a 6-5, 250-pound defensive end — committed to Indiana.

n Alex Smierciak, a 6-2, 210-pound defensive back — committed to Miami of Ohio.

“They are tough and explosive players who we will have a difficult time dealing with,” Rosati said. “They are very physical on both sides of the ball.

“They are very multiple on defense and on offense they will come right at you, but also have the ability to throw the ball.”

At least the Pirates will be familiar with the Greenmen.

“The one thing I can say s that we know these teams very well, we know the coaching staffs very well, we have gone through the wars over the years with in the conference all of us having success,” Rosati said. “There are really no surprises when we play.”

Since 1939, Perry and Aurora have played 20 times, the Pirates holding a 12-8 advantage in those games. The Greenmen prevailed last fall at Alumni Stadium, 54-25.

The loss last week at Kenston was a result of not only the Bombers’ ability, but also their execution.

“Overall, I felt we had a really good plan of attack. We simply did not execute well enough in the first quarter,” Rosati said. “We wanted to keep the ball away from them by controlling it on offense. In the second quarter, they only had five offensive plays to our 28. That was the plan.

“Only problem, we could not do it early. They were more athletic than we were. The QB, Darryl Richards, was remarkable. And they were very fast on defense.”

The Pirates, who will be without two-way starters Ryan Bellissimo and Zach Carnovale for the rest of the season because of shoulder injuries, will be facing yet another high-level, quality opponent this week.

“Aurora is an excellent team. They are a very physical group,” Rosati said. “They will have a very good game with Kenston. They will all make the playoffs and I predict that each team will win at least one game in the playoffs.

“This is truly an elite group of football teams in one conference.”

But Rosati and his staff will have a plan for the Pirates on Friday night.

“We must be able to keep it close... we must be with in striking distance going into the fourth quarter,” he said. “We will need to score on defense or special teams to be in this game.

“We will have to limit their offensive snaps by being able to move the football.”

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Star Beacon replica edition.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Justin Butler Justin time

    It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: ‘Kids’ stuff’ spurs great responses

    I’m often caught more than a bit off-guard by what stories, features or columns generate responses from you, Loyal Readers, much more so than those who do not.
    For example, the column that appeared in this space a couple of days ago regarding things yours truly and my buddies did as kids prompted more than a few responses.
    A sampling, many of which were posted on my Facebook page:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • kyle GANG GREEN

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    THURSDAY, APRIL 17
    Baseball
    Grand Valley at Maplewood (4:30)
    St. John at Lawrence (4:30)
    Mathews at PV (4:30)
    Fairport at Perry (7:30)
    West Geauga at Madison (4:30)
    Harvey at Riverside (4:30)
    Jefferson at Harding (5)

    April 16, 2014

  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

    Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    TENNIS
    NON-CONFERENCE
    St. John 4, Euclid 1
    at Pine Lake

    April 16, 2014

  • tennis Scholastic Schedule:

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16
    Baseball

    PV at Ledgemont (4:30)
    North at Geneva (4:30)
    Riverside at Chardon (4:30)
    Jefferson at Lakeview (5)

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Luke Baldwin Mustang to a Quaker

    As a junior, Grand Valley’s Luke Baldwin got a shot to play linebacker for the Mustangs because of an injury to a starter.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Kids’ stuff but, boy, was it a blast!

    I have no idea why I thought of this, just now, but I did.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video