By Ryan Lewis, Northeast Ohio Media Group on August 15, 2014 4:15 p.m.
PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio – Check out a preview of the Holy Name football team as it enters the 2014 season, which begins at home against Brecksville-Broadview Heights Aug. 29.
5 keys for making the playoffs
New guy on campus – Holy Name will be led at quarterback this season by transfer Christian Klink. Klink, a senior, transferred from St. Ignatius in the middle of last season and will now be eligible to play for Holy Name week 1. Holy Name coach Dan Wondolowski said that all kids have ups and downs in camp, but that Klink is coming along nicely. While he didn’t play at all last season for the Green Wave, being able to meet the coaching staff nearly a full 12 months before this year’s season opener has helped him grasp the offense.
Give it to Fish – The known commodity to the Holy Name offense is junior running back Shakif “Fish” Seymour, who provides some protection for Klink as he progresses under center. Last season Seymour ran for just under 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns, and was a first-team all-conference selection. Repeating that production—or topping it—would give Holy Name a powerful running game.
Staying balanced – Wondolowski expects the Green Wave’s offense to be much more balanced than it was last year, thanks to Seymour’s prowess in the backfield and the expected boost to the passing game with Klink and four returning senior wide receivers, led by Dean Cassell, a second-team all-conference selection. As far as making sure everyone has the proper amount of touches, Wondolowski said, “It’s a good problem to have.”
Young leader – The defense is led by sophomore Colin Costanzo, who was thrust into a starting role early his freshman year and delivered. Due to injuries to several linebackers, Costanzo grabbed hold of a starting role in week 4 and went on to total 120 tackles and three sacks en route to being named to the NCL’s second team. Now a sophomore, he’s being given senior-like responsibilities.
Front seven – Holy Name is counting on its front seven to carry the defense this year, led by Costanzo and senior Eric Youngblood at linebacker and seniors Mike Sabol, John Serna and Devon Ventura along the defensive line. There’s plenty of experience there, as Sabol and Youngblood each have three years of varsity football under their belts while Serna and Ventura each have two.
More about Holy Name
OHSAA Division, region: Division IV, Region 11
Conference: North Coast League, White Division
2013 record: 4-6
Coach: Dan Wondolowski
Coach’s record at school: 4-6
Coach’s career record: 4-6
5 key offensive players:
Dean Cassell, WR, Sr., 5-10, 170 pounds
Jim Graziolli, WR, Sr., 6-0, 180 pounds
Shakif Seymour, RB, Jr., 6-1, 210 pounds
Dean Supelak, WR, Sr., 6-1, 175 pounds
Mickey Williams, WR., Sr., 5-10, 165 pounds
5 key defensive players:
Colin Costanzo, LB, soph., 5-11, 185 pounds
Mike Sabol, DL, Sr., 6-3, 220 pounds
Devon Ventura, DL, Sr., 6-0, 235 pounds
John Serna, DL, Sr., 5-11, 220 pounds
Eric Youngblood, OLB, Sr., 5-11, 190 pounds
Newcomers to watch:
Christian Klink, QB, Sr., 6-2, 215 pounds
Jake Stolar, RB/DB, Soph., 5-11, 155 pounds
Zach Sabota, RB/LB, Soph., 5-10, 190 pounds
Nick Jablonski, WR, Soph., 5-9, 155 pounds
Tyler Poff, OL/DL, Soph., 6-3, 235 pounds
Matt Hurst, OL/DL, Soph., 6-0, 215 pounds
Karl Primous, OL/DL, Soph., 5-10, 240 pounds
Sean Halloran, OL/DL, Jr., 5-11, 185 pounds
Shane Welsh, OLB, Jr., 5-11, 175 pounds
Key stats from 2013: Seymour, 127 carries, 933 yards (7.3 ypc), 16 touchdowns. Costanzo, 120 total tackles, three tackles for a loss, three sacks.