Muscle Connection H.S. Football Preview: West Branch Warriors - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Muscle Connection H.S. Football Preview: West Branch Warriors

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BELOIT, Ohio -

The last time the West Branch football team made the state playoffs was in 2007.

That streak could end this season under seventh-year coach D.J. Dota.

"We return five starters on offense led by third-year quarterback T.J. DeShields," Dota said. Dota admits the coaching staff is going to rely heavily on the veteran.  "He's been here so he should be able to take that burden on," he said.

The Warriors were 5-5 in 2016. They have 46 players including 30 in their junior class. 

Defensively, they return four starters led by linebacker Cole Pittman. "He's probably one of the better linebackers that I've coached here. He's a tough hard nosed kid; kind of an old school type kid. There are not too many of those guys around anymore," Dota said.

Up front, Jake Lyons and Kyle Strouts are being counted on. "Lyons, Adams, and Strouts have a little bit of experience. We also have a young guy in Max Craig," Dota said.

The Warriors have seven seniors.

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