COLUMBIANA, OH- In 2017, Paul Cusick and his Crestview Rebels stormed into the playoffs on a year that most thought it was improbable. The Rebels finished the campaign with a 6-5 posting, but it was their strength of schedule that made that mark so impressive. Playing highly physical teams such as West Branch, Struthers, Indian Creek, and South Range (twice) to name a few.
This year Coach “Q” is building on speed. “Offensively, we will continue to run the spread, we will be up-tempo. We should have great competition in camp for starting positions. We have experience on the offensive side of the ball and need to continue to learn the system to be competitive.” says Cusick.
The Rebels will return seven starters on offense led by a standout receiver and super specialist Dylan Huff, running back Andrew Yanssens, and Dom Perry up front. They will base their offense off of the spread formation, and per the usual at Crestview, focus on winning the battle in the trenches on every down.
Much the same on defense, the Rebels will post 4 boys up front in a 4-2 defense and will focus on their footspeed in the defensive backfield. “Our defense will have good speed. The defense looks to be more aggressive and must make plays for us. We will have a great balance of experience throughout the defensive unit. We must have our defense create turnovers & field position.” Cusick added. The defense will be helmed by Stephen Barr at Strong Safety, and Austin Brodigan in the defensive backfield. Dante Pelino will again be a force coming off the end, and will undoubtedly give the opposing backfield headaches.
Crestview will look to add to big numbers last year offensively led by their 2-headed monster backfield in Yanssens and Sophomore Ethan Powell. The two combined for nearly 2000 yards and 17 touchdowns last year for the Rebels. Stephen Barr will take over the reigns at QB and will try to fill the shoes of Caleb Hill who accounted for 17 touchdowns on the ground and through the air in 2017. “We relied on Andrew to run the ball a lot last year, so we worked on passing this offseason and bump up our receiving corps,” said Barr.
The Rebs schedule will feature 7 home games this year which fits well into their postseason plans. “Home games are awesome, it’s a great atmosphere, and the fans make it that way,” said lineman Dom Perry. Coincidentally, Crestview will open their season at West Branch on Friday, August 24 at 7PM.