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Canton GlenOak preview-B.Hartline, M.Hartline and Long




GlenOak’s got skills
Monday, August 23, 2004 By TODD PORTER Repository sports writer

PLAIN TWP. -- The list of talented football players to walk the hallways at GlenOak High School is impressive.

None may be more impressive than the ones at GlenOak this season. By most accounts, four Division I players, and possibly five, will play for the Golden Eagles in 2004.

If any program knows great players do not necessarily produce great teams, it is GlenOak. The number of great Golden Eagle teams does not rival the list of great individuals.

But never before has a GlenOak team been made more aware of this than the one playing for Jack Rose this season.

Yes, GlenOak has wide receiver and defensive back Brian Hartline, an impressive senior who already has committed to Ohio State.

His younger brother, Mike, is being recruited as a quarterback by schools from Southern Cal to the University of Miami.

Tight end and linebacker Brandon Long looks like a man among boys.

And, yes, 6-foot-7, 280-pound offensive lineman Ryan Palmer is cat-quick for a guy who is another offseason from 300 pounds and may become a Big Ten lineman.

Guess how many wins that gives GlenOak?


The Golden Eagles, talented or not, will have to earn respect on the field. The players are aware that GlenOak produces great talent, but across the county their mental toughness is in doubt.

“The kids get upset when it’s said they’re not tough enough,” said Rose, who begins his sixth season with the Golden Eagles this fall. “I don’t think I can remember leaving a game saying ‘We got outhit.’ I might’ve thought we could play better, but I never thought we could have played harder.”

That’s physical toughness. Year in and year out, GlenOak is tough physically. The players have the 40-yard times and vertical jumps and bench presses to prove it.

Games aren’t won on 40 times.

Mental toughness wins and loses games.

Hoover didn’t have a single player sign a Division I football scholarship from last year’s team, and the Vikings went 10-0. They did it because they had chemistry and the will to win. Winning football games at Hoover is a tradition.

Between two-a-day practices, Rose met with his players in a high school auditorium. They talked about what individuals need to be successful.

Rose asked his players if they are willing to pay the price to win.

“GlenOak doesn’t have a tradition,” Rose said. “We are developing a tradition. In the second half of last season, we said to them to make a decision. Either we were going to right the ship and win the rest of our games or we were going to have another losing season and people would say, ‘It’s the same old GlenOak.’ They had a choice: Are we going to change it, or is it over?”

They decided to change.

The Golden Eagles won their last four, finishing 6-4. This year, much is expected. GlenOak opens the preseason as The Repository’s No. 1 team in Stark County.

The Golden Eagles have skilled players at the right positions. Rose’s biggest problem on some Friday nights may be finding enough balls to keep his players happy.

Brian Hartline is going to receive every defender’s best effort, offering every player a chance to prove himself.

Mike Hartline is athletic enough to be a drop-back passer or run the ball. He’s got major-college size.

Long can dominate a game on both sides of the ball. B.J. Penn, a transfer from McKinley who sat out last season, has impressed Rose.

How does a coach keep them satisfied?

“They understand that there’s only one ball,” Rose said. “Depending on the game and what we’re facing, they know some guys will have the ball in their hands more in certain games than in others. The bottom line is winning, and if that means someone has to be a decoy, then so be it. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Talent doesn’t win the Federal League championship. At least not talent alone.

Heart goes a long way.

“We’re going to be as talented as anyone in the league, but that’s not good enough in this league,” Rose said. “Football is filled with teams full of talent and short on success. I can think of 10 reasons why we can get beat if we’re not ready, and it starts with Akron Central-Hower. In the league, the coaching is so good, the schemes are good, the players are good.

“It gets down to the intangibles, being mentally tough, how you react to adversity during games and how you play as a team. Those are the things you’ve got to develop in order to become a North Canton or a Perry or whoever is traditionally very good. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Working on intangibles may pay off. Rose notices the chemistry of this team, seniors talking with underclassmen and groups of players hanging out together. That hasn’t always been the case.

Rose marvels how all the players know each other’s first name. It sounds like a basic function at most schools. But the Plain Local district is so large and the socioeconomic makeup is so diverse, it can be difficult.

“We have kids from the projects and kids who live in half-million-dollar homes, and I can’t think of another district where you get that,” Rose said. “We have just about every nationality on our team ... Jewish, black, Greek, Arab ... that chemistry has been difficult to develop in the past. But you see it coming together this year.”

Like when Rose leaves after a long two-a-day practice and sees seniors sitting next to sophomores explaining a scheme. He sees it when players from last year’s team leave a message for this year’s team.

Mike Henkel, Tyler Anthony and Shaun Byham — seniors from last year — visited the school before leaving for college. They left a message for the 2004 Golden Eagles in the locker room.

“Good luck this year. Think undefeated. Have great expectations.”

Rose didn’t ask them to do it.

But the head coach smiled. They’re starting to get it.

“When we got here, there were no expectations,” Rose said. “None. What’s that about? When I got here, they were tickled to be 5-5. I asked them the other day if anyone wants to be 5-5. They looked at me like I was nuts and said, ‘No.’

“Well, that’s an expectation there. They expect to be better. We’re going to be bulletin board material for everyone. We’re not going to hide in the bushes and surprise people. There’s going to be pressure. Can they handle it? Well, it’s better to have expectations than to have none.”

Many GlenOak fans have watched these players since they were youngsters. They know their athleticism. They expect this team to be good.

How good?

That’s up to the players and their mental approach.

Maybe they have turned the corner. This could be the year when the Golden Eagles go from a football team to a football program.

“They know what it means to be mentally tough,” Rose said. “This group is willing to pay the price to win.”

free Bnuts article on Glen Oak- Garfield scrimmage

Senior LB-TE Brandon Long is a player on the verge of stardom. He's a good player, and not far from being a great player. Great speed, strength and mobility make Long a player whose best football is ahead of him. Brandon has scholarship offers from several MAC schools as well as Cincinnati, and the Bearcats are his leader at this time. If he has the season he's capable of having, the Big-10 could come calling.


Any time a player has committed to one of the bigger schools, he carries a target on his back, and Brian Hartline is no exception. Every opponent knows who he is, and they all look to challenge him, but this kid will never back down. I'm running out of superlatives to describe this guy, because every time I see him he gets better. The more I watch him, the more convinced I am that will be a star at Ohio State.

Junior QB Mike Hartline had another great week in his young career. On Tuesday, he played well in a scrimmage with state power Cleveland St. Ignatius. Friday, he was even better. His receivers had problems catching the football, but his throws were strong and accurate. In 2003, Mike showed more improvement than any other player in Stark County from week one through week ten. If his offensive line can protect him, Mike Hartline will put up some big numbers in GlenOak's wide open offense.

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