Muscle Connection H.S. Football Preview: Champion Flashes - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Muscle Connection H.S. Football Preview: Champion Flashes

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One program that has seen their numbers increase is Champion.

They have 18 more players than a year ago for second-year coach Nick Wagner.

The Flashes are banking on some key returners to lead the way.  

"I really believe we can make some noise this year.  The kids have bought into our key word or phrase 'finish.'  We started 2-0 for the first time in seven years. We just couldn't finish. We went 0-4, 0-5 in October. If we finish, we'll put ourselves in a good spot to hopefully go and compete for a league title and hopefully a play off spot." Wagner said. 

The Flashes haven't been to the playoffs since 1994. 

Wagner is banking on eight returners on each side of the ball. "Cain Walters, offensive line/defensive line, Griffin Howell, kind of an athlete on the offensive side of the ball and middle linebacker, Nate Stallman, everything offense can put him at wide receiver, running back, wherever we need him and Kenny Poestlwaite, he's the running back for us," Wagner said.

For the purple and gold to get where they want to be, it starts with competition and Warren JFK week one.

"There hasn't been much motivation in the off season because the kids have bought into it. When it was announced we were going against JFK, we haven't had to say week one we have to get ready for it. They already know who we have, that's been a help for us in the off season. We actually have a couple of kids from the baseball team that are coming over to play football. They've been valuable to tell the kids how that run was, how awesome it was for the community. Hopefully, we can carry the momentum into the football season," Wagner said. 

Champion finished 4-6 last season.

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