By Charles Grove


On one hand, Hubbard had a winning record in 2015. On the other hand they missed the playoffs.

So where does that leave expectations for the Eagles?

“I would say our goal is to get better each week and see how it plays out,” Hubbard head coach Brian Hoffman said. “Obviously when you invest in something and put your heart into it at the end of the year we want to be in the playoffs.”

Hubbard finished 13th in their region a year ago, sputtering down to stretch by losing two of their last three games to Struthers and Poland. Hoffman is hopeful that experience will translate into a better late-season stretch this fall.

“It’s a new season and a new outlook,” Hoffman said. “We’re hopeful we gained some experience with some of the younger guys and hopefully that translates to this upcoming season.”


Offensively there is no bigger hole to fill than the loss of George Hill to graduation. The Division I talent was a constant threat in the Hubbard backfield.

“George can make big plays on any play so it’s going to be a big loss missing that home run aspect,” Hoffman said. “We’re going to see who maybe could be that guy and we’ll see how the scrimmages progress.”

There will be plenty of new faces on offense as only five starters return, but four of those are on the offensive line. Wesley Best, Hunter Meyer, Sal Pesce and Andrew Cimmento will provide stability up front as the Eagles try to break in new skill-position players.

“We have a good group of kids with some experience which is helpful when you’re trying to break in a new quarterback,” Hoffman said. “It’s good to have stability on the offensive line.”

The only issue with the line is depth.

“Hopefully we can get through our scrimmages as injury free as we can,” Hoffman said, “Depth is an issue on the line. It’s kind of shallow there.”


Defensively, the Eagles appear much more stable. Seven starters return from last year’s squad which will feature a three-man defensive line and experienced outside linebackers.

“Dillon O’Hara and David Hernandez were our two leading tacklers a year ago,” Hoffman said. “We’ll probably run six to eight guys on the line and at inside linebacker we’ll be breaking in some new guys.”

The secondary should remain strong as Sheldon McGhee returns alongside Joey Fisher with Mason Borawiec at safety.


There’s no question about who will do the kicking for Hubbard. Colin Burdette returns for his senior season and will do the placekicking and punting.

“I feel really good about Colin,” Hoffman said. “He’s a three-year starter for us. He’s done a great job improving for us over the summer and he had a couple big field goals at the end of games last year to help us win some tight games.”


The Eagles will play the same 10 teams they did a year ago and will open up the season at Bay (10-2 in 2015), a playoff team last year. After home games against Girard and Edgewood, Hubbard goes to Lakeview (7-4) before playing host to Niles and traveling to Jefferson.

The season concludes with two teams the Eagles fell to and realistically ended their playoff hopes a year ago. Hubbard plays Struthers, who won 22-14 last year, at home in week eight before traveling to Poland which won convincingly 35-7 a year ago. The season concludes at home against East.

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