JLAS Football

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Photo Courtesy of Gaylord Herald Times

Football First Look: New coach, same tradition at J-L
by Matt Wenzel, Staff Writer GHT

JOHANNESBURG — Despite the departure of head coach John Bush, the Johannesburg-Lewiston football team holds plenty of familiarity.

Joe Smokevitch is certainly a familiar face. Despite the fact it is his first year as varsity head man, Smokevitch has a long history in the program as a youth, junior varsity and varsity assistant coach, and as J-L’s athletic director.

“These kids have been running the Wing-T since fifth grade,” Smokevitch said. “At the junior varsity last year, they ran a full house set with some one back. The transition is going to be pretty smooth. The blocking remains the same, the play calling stays the same. The only difference is how they line up.”

The Wing-T entrenched itself in the roots of the J-L program many years ago under legendary coach Fred Davis, who brought Smokevitch onto his coaching staff. Davis’ legacy continues to influence the squad as Cody Proctor, a former player under Davis, officially joins the program this year as an assistant coach. Proctor is a 2006 J-L graduate and former Herald Times Area Player of the Year. During his senior year in 2005, Proctor earned All-State honors as an offensive lineman and linebacker.

“He helped us out last year, mostly breaking down film for us at college,” Smokevitch said. “He’s a great kid and did a lot of good things for us last year. Hopefully, he can continue that as he makes the jump to the next level.” Proctor will run the team’s defense.

Doug Kussrow and Gary Hoffman return to the coaching staff with Kussrow heading up the junior varsity team and Hoffman at his familiar role as varsity assistant.

Fans sitting at the Red Nest in Johannesburg might also take notice of a fairly familiar schedule of opponents.

The one exception is Tawas Area, which will host the Cardinals in the Friday, Aug. 30, opener.

“Our schedule is mostly the same,” Smokevitch said. “Because of the restructuring of the North Star Conference, we had to find a replacement for Atlanta because of their scheduling obligations. Out of the teams that were open, Tawas was about the closest. At first I was looking at Munising and (Iron River) West Iron County.”

All similarities to last seasons’ Regional playoff squad aside, Smokevitch must compete this year with a youthful team with plenty of unknowns in terms of personnel.

“We’re going to be awfully green,” Smokevitch said. “We lost 10 defensive players and nine offensive players from last year, and we will be counting on a number of sophomores to step up and fill in. At this point, I know Brad Kussrow starts at center, but everyone else on the offense is a question mark. But if the young kids come together and the seniors provide the leadership,
we’ll be OK.”

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JL

Varsity Roster 2013


#
Name
Grade
Position
1
Brandon
xxxxHuff
10
QB/LB
6
Ethan
May
10
HB/DB
9
Dan
Nieman
11
E/E
10
Coalton
Huff
12
E/DB
12
Nick
May
10
FB/LB
15
Erik
Dittenber
12
HB/LB
17
Jac 
Bandt
11
HB/LB
20
Jeremiah
Chappell
11
OL
21
Dillon 
Cushman
12
HB/LB
22
Cody
Teceno
11
HB/DB
24
Wesley
Olds
11
E/LB
27
Dominic
Cassisi
9
HB/DB
32
Logan
Huff
10
HB/LB
34
Austin
Kanalos
12
HB/LB
40
Dale
Wells
10
FB/E
44
Orin
Kierczynski
10
QB/DB
45
Cameron
Nickert
12
E/DB
51
Chase
Amborski
12
OL/LB
52
Kalin
Leonard
12
OL/DL
54
Alden
Nickert
10
OL/LB
56
Chad
Garton
11
OL/E
58
Joel
Kussrow
10
OL/E
59/86
Andrew
Gross
11
HB/DL
62
Brad
Kussrow
12
OL/E
63
Logan
Hipsher
12
OL/DL
64
Gary
Murphy
11
OL/DL
66
Nathan
Fox
10
OL/DL
67
Travis
Rider
12
OL/DL
69
McGwire
Mathewson
9
OL/DL
76
Trevor
Pickelmann
11
OL/LB
77
Dominic
Vogt
11
OL/DL
78
Billy
Priest
10
OL/DL
82
Brendan
Prentice
10
E/DB
88
Hunter
VanDeKerChove
12
E/HB
Head Coach:
Joe Smokevitch

Assistant Coaches:
Cody Proctor, Doug Kussrow & Gary Hoffman

Stats/Video/Equipment:
Chloe Lemcool, Kelsey Hardy, Myah Courterier, Lauren Newell,
Emily Aisthorpe & Tyler Tarbutton

J-L Sporting Event Ticket Prices

Adults ~ $4.00
Students ~ $3.00
Family ~$10.00

Are you ready for some football?

 

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 Updated 12/7/13

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