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  New league, New Hopes For Boardman's Coach Birch  
  November 20, 2014 Edition  
     Boardman High School head basketball coach Pat Birch is hoping that competing in a new league will translate into a better record for the Spartans basketball program that has been in the dumps for the past several seasons.
      The Spartans will compete in the All America Conference after a rotten ten-year stint as members of the Stark County based Federal League.
      “While our competition remains tough, we are looking forward to reviving rivalries with local teams like Austintown, Canfield and Poland,” Birch said this week.
      Boardman opens the season on Fri., Dec. 5 with a home game against Warren G. Harding, also a new member of the All American Conference. Following away games against Liberty and Canfield, the Spartans return home on Tues., Dec. 16 for a game against Youngstown East,
      Rosters for the Boardman varsity team are not yet finalized, but the top ten candidates for roles with the varsity include four seniors, Jon Dana, Brian Fryda, Eric Jones and Marcus Smith. Juniors expected to play a role this season include Alex Duda, Justin Metzel and Gannon Murray; and sophomores vying for playing time include Sebastian Heinenon, Travis Koontz and John Ryan.
      “This is a hard-working group that is poised to rebuild the tradition of Boardman basketball,” Birch said this week, adding :I’m very excited and optimistic as another season gets started.”
      Boardman will suit it up as members of the All American Conference Red Tier, along with Canfield, Howland, Youngstown East, Warren G. Harding, Austintown Fitch and Poland Seminary.
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