(Statistical Information Courtesy of NWPASports.com archives)


Head Coach: Sam Mowrey, 9th year (58-31)
Last Year: 10-3 overall, won District 10 3A title, advanced to PIAA quarterfinals


One year ago, the Grove City Eagles faced uncertainty at quarterback, at wide receiver and in the secondary, but returned a wealth of experience and talent on the offensive and defensive lines.

Fifty-two weeks later, the Eagles' situation has rotated 180 degrees as they welcome back a bounty of backs and receivers but must the offensive and defensive lines must be rebuilt.

Last year's question marks became exclamation points as the Eagles won the District 10 Class 3A title and advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals. Now, can the Eagles replicate that success in 2022?

"(The lines) are still a work in progress," head coach Sam Mowrey said. "You can look at it two ways. We lost a lot to graduation. But that means that there are opportunities for kids who have worked very hard in the offseason and have a chance to make an impact on Fridays."

Senior center/guard Thomas Rodgers and senior tackle Dylan Ahern both saw ample playing time on Grove City's senior-laden offensive and defensive lines in 2021. According to Mowrey, those two are expected to lead the way for the inexperienced group.

Senior Zack King, senior Tyson Metheney, junior Kyle Enscoe, junior Aden Navarro, junior Marcello Trezona, junior Shawn Young and sophomore Jack Wolfe are all contenders to start on the offensive line and at defensive tackle.

"It's hard to simulate game speed, no matter how hard you practice," Mowrey said. "It will be a matter of those guys gaining game experience."

Fortunately for the Eagles, a lack of game experience is not an issue for their returning starting quarterback.

Junior Hunter Hohman started all 13 games behind center in 2021 and led Mercer County with 2,564 total offensive yards. Hohman threw for 2,104 yards and 23 touchdowns while adding 460 rushing yards and six scores. He will again lead Grove City's no-huddle, power spread attack.

"Hunter is a tireless worker," Mowrey said. "He has a great way about him and the other kids really respect him."

Hohman's top two 2021 targets also return at wide receiver, classmates Joey Hathaway and Gavin Lutz. Hathaway earned All-Region honors after catching 28 passes for 589 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns. Hathaway led the county in yards per catch, averaging 21.0 yards per reception. Meanwhile, Lutz caught a county-best 59 passes for 630 yards and four touchdowns.

Senior running back Anthony Nemec caught 13 passes in 2021 but will be counted on more for his rushing abilities this fall. Nemec led Grove City with 16 total touchdowns, including 13 rushing scores. He ran for 767 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per attempt.

Juniors Dom Garzarelli and Bode Stevenson are vying for the No. 2 running back spot, according to Mowrey.

At tight end, senior Nathan Boyd and Jacob Arnold are competing with sophomores Alex Hackwelder and Clayton Martin. Hackwelder will also be the backup quarterback.

Defensively, Arnold and Hackwelder are the leading candidates to start at end in the Eagles' 4-4 alignment. "That adds some depth where we definitely need it," Mowrey pointed out.

Grove City expects to use several linemen at the two defensive tackle positions. Ahern has the most experience on the defensive line of the returnees.

Lutz will move from cornerback to outside linebacker. He led Grove City with five interceptions last year and earned All-Region recognition. Sophomore letterman Nathan Greer will challenge for the other outside spot.

All-Region pick Boyd, Martin, Nemec and Stevenson are the front-runners at inside linebacker in defensive coordinator Brad Trezona's scheme.

Hathaway returns at cornerback while senior speedster Trey Reznor has the inside track at the other corner spot. Senior Hayden McCreadie returns to quarterback the defensive backfield at free safety. The versatile McCreadie intercepted four passes in 2021, earning All-Region recognition.

Junior Jacob Stucchio will take over as kicker. Hohman will likely punt.

Grove City has compiled a 55-14 overall record over the last six seasons and has advanced to the District 10 title game each year. Not surprisingly, Grove City's program vision remains unchanged, according to Mowrey.

"Everything in the program starts with our vision, which is to build men of integrity by building relationships in pursuit of District 10 championships. It starts with the men of integrity and the leadership that we have on the team. Our seniors and juniors are stepping up and being great team leaders. That's part of the process. You do all of those little things right day in and day out, and at the end, it's going to lead to better results."

The Eagles will have a challenging schedule in 2022 as part of Region 3. Grove City will face traditional Class 3A rivals Hickory, Sharon and Slippery Rock, as well as Farrell, Greenville, Sharpsville and Wilmington. That comes after non-conference games at Avonworth and against visiting Northwestern. Avonworth went 9-3 last year and reached the District 7 Class 3A semifinals while Northwestern has developed into one of Erie County's top programs.

"For as tough of a schedule as it is, that's the way that it should be (in league play)," Mowrey said. "We're all excited to play in that region and to have those challenges every week. We look forward to play against coaches and programs that not only have had great recent success but have great histories. That's something to be excited for."