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3 Fitch football alums choose colleges

April 21, 2011
By Nik Zirounis
Three more members of 2010 Division I playoff participant Austintown Fitch have decided what colleges they will continue their athletic careers.

Receiver/linebacker Shane Stevens, running back/linebacker Bruce Reed and linebacker/receiver Blake Otterson all made their intentions known earlier this week. That trio joins lineman Steve Zaborsky, who signed with Youngstown State in February, as members of the 10-2 Falcons who will remain on the gridiron after summer graduation.

Stevens announced his plans to attend Division II Lake Erie College in Painesville. Shane was selected as a co-captain as a senior and finished his Fitch career as a three time letterman. He made First Team All-Federal League as well as First Team All-Northeast Ohio Inland District. Stevens was also mentioned for the All-Ohio team. Although Stevens was very useful on offense for coach Phil Annarella, he even sometimes filled in for dynamic quarterback Demetrious Davis when he needed a spell, it was on defense where the 6-foot-1-inch, 185-pounder pounded people. Stevens had 61 tackles as a senior with five of those going for losses. He had nine quarterback sacks and three pass break-ups. Stevens also showed his versatility as the team’s long snapper and punter.

Joining Stevens at Lake Erie College will be co-captain Reed. Bruce may have been small for a running back at 5 feet, 9 inches and 185 pounds, but he was acted large whenever he touched the pigskin. He was part of the Falcons’ electrifying offense that scorched the scoreboard each Friday night. Reed ran for 615 yards, which was a lot considering the Falcons had a very crowded backfield and averaged 5.5 yards per carry. On the other side of the ball, Reed was just as rambunctious. He had 30 tackles including seven of his own. He also picked up two sacks, caused two fumbles and blocked a kick. For those stats, Reed was named First Team All-Federal League and Second Team All-Northeast Ohio. When Stevens and Reed get to Lake Erie later this year they will be met by a couple of friends.

“(Stevens and Reed) will join (former Falcons Sam) Mariano and (Terry) Terrigno at Lake Erie,” said Annarella. “(Stevens and Reed) were both captains and tremendous leaders. They did everything we asked of them.”

Speaking of doing everything, that is exactly what Otterson did in his tenure at Fitch. Blake became a two-year letterman who wore many helmets as a Falcon, but starred mostly at linebacker. As a senior, Otterson made 22 tackles with three of those forcing losses. Blake also badgered quarterbacks with two sacks and two interceptions. He was also a core special teams contributor for coach Annarella. Thanks to that resourcefulness, Otterson was awarded a scholarship to Westminster College in Pennsylvania.

“(Otterson) did a fabulous job in his time here at Fitch,” Annarella said. “He was a versatile athlete who played a number of positions.”

In fact, all three of these Austintown athletes were fabulous Falcons. Because of that they all now get the chance to further their endeavors at the next level.


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