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Boys Track and Field: 2023 Garfield G-Men season preview

Boys Track and Field: 2023 Garfield G-Men season preview


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The boys track and field preview for the Garfield G-Men 2023 season:



Head Coach: Matt Pfleger, 2nd year.

Coaching Staff: Jim Pfleger, Kelliann Collins, Colin Lysiak.

2022 Record: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference champions.

State Qualifier: Jesse Grace.

Returning Lettermen (14): Jesse Grace, sr.; Kyle Schaefer, sr.; Gary Stefko, sr.; Jonathan Wiczen, sr.; Ethan Tarnowski, sr.; Ben Garlic, sr.; Ethan Bittence, jr.; Leo Grandizio, jr.; Christian Owens, jr.; Aaron Rodhe, jr.; Cyrus Romecki, jr.; Nick Edic, soph.; Cam Edwards, soph.; Mauricio Miller, soph.

Lettermen Lost (5): Riley LaPorte, Ryan Stoller, Colin Lysiak, Brody Swigonski, Anthony Demma.

Team Captains: Aaron Rodhe, Kyle Schaefer, Jesse Grace.

Underclassmen to Watch: Richie Shackelford, Derek Blunk, Mauricio Miller, Conner Hunt.



The G-Men are the reigning league champions in the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.

The title came in Matt Pfleger’s first year leading the program, after he took over for 32-year veteran John Bennett following his retirement.

The 2023 group will be void of some valuable seniors from last year that have since graduated.

However, Pfleger said, “we should be able to hold our own on the conference and district level.”



Junior Aaron Rodhe leads the sprinting group this season for the G-Men.

“He is poised to have a great year and help lead the group to an outstanding season,” Pfleger said.

Rodhe will be joined by new additions Christian Gallagher, Deacon Sommer, Cade Rock and Keegan Sell. The quartet will also provide depth and ability with Garfield’s jump group.

“The group is looking stronger every day,” Pfleger said.

Other sprint and jump returns include Ethan Bittence, Nick Edic, Andrew Wem and Leo Grandizio.

Freshman Conner Hunt will compete in the seated events for the G-Men.

“He should be a force on the state level,” Pfleger said.



Pfleger points to Ben Garlich as the leader.

Garlich will run the 1,600 and 3,200 meters and Pfleger said he feels his senior will be “something to look out for at the MVAC meet.”

Kyle Schaefer is a strong presence in the 400 and 800 meters, with Mauricio Miller running well in the 800 meters, as well as the 1,600.

Additionally, freshman Derek Blunk has shown promise throughout the indoor season.



Senior Jesse Grace returns and is motivated to reach the podium in Columbus.

“We are looking for major points from him and the rest of the throwers this season,” Pfleger said.

Garfield’s throwing program has consistently been one of the most talented in all of Northeast Ohio over the last 20 years.

Joining Grace will be Cam Edwards, Jonathan Wiczen, Richie Shackelford and Gary Stefko.



March 25: at Austintown Fitch Early Bird Invitational

March 28: at LaBrae

April 1: at Cardinal Invitational

April 4: at Jackson-Milton

April 14: at Western Reserve Lew Speece Invitational

April 15: at Marlington Invitational

April 22: at Chardon Invitational

April 25: at McDonald

April 28: at Mogadore Wildcat Invitational

April 29: at Poland Invitational

May 2: at Jackson-Milton

May 6: at Optimist Meet

May 9: Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference Championships at Champion

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