Brentwood’s Aiden Wardzinski leaves lasting mark on program

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Sunday, November 8, 2020 | 11:01 AM


Aiden Wardzinski will be missed in the Brentwood football program.

A four-year starter, Wardzinski accounted for more than 3,000 offensive yards since his sophomore season.

The dynamic 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior running back/linebacker ran for 795 yards and 13 touchdowns this season and also had 11 receptions for 138 yards.

He opened the season rushing for 465 yards and 10 touchdowns on 67 carries in the first two games.

Brentwood finished 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the Class 2A Three Rivers Conference. It finished fourth in the league.

“We started off strong and kind of fell off at the end,” Wardzinski said. “We were dealing with a lot of injuries, and I happened to sprain my ankle in our third game. I was just happy to get the season in.”

Wardzinski also shined defensively, leading the team in tackles from his linebacker position.

“Aiden is one of the better linebackers to play at Brentwood,” defensive coordinator Greg Perdziola said. “I think if he didn’t get injured this year, he could have really made a name for himself.

“He’s a very physical player. He has good speed to run down plays, and he’s a very good tackler.”

One of Wardzinski’s many 2020 highlights came Sept. 18 in a 37-20 win at Quaker Valley, when he ran for 237 yards on 31 carries (7.6 avg.) and scored six times. He also caught one pass for 40 yards.

As a junior, Wardzinski rushed for 1,117 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he caught 52 passes for 685 yards and four scores.

He finished with 2,088 yards and 24 touchdowns on 373 career rushing attempts. He also racked up 91 receptions for 1,117 yards and four TDs, giving him 3,186 total yards.

Wardzinski scored 200 points on 31 touchdowns and seven 2-point conversions.

“I feel like I had a good career at Brentwood,” Wardzinski said. “I made a lot of memories that I’ll never forget. With that being said, I never feel like I can’t improve and continue to get better.”

Wardzinski also is a member of the track and field team, competing in sprints and the 400-meter relay.

Wardzinski plans to play football in college.

“I prefer to play offense more than defense because I like running the football and making people miss,” he said.

Sophomore WR/DB Amire Spencer led Brentwood in receiving this season with 17 catches for 298 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 17.5 yards per catch.

Spencer had five receptions for 69 yards against Western Beaver and two for 77 yards against QV.

Junior quarterback Jase Keib passed for 774 yards and five touchdowns with seven interceptions this season, completing 52 of 110 attempts.

Keib threw for 100 or more yards four times, including a 6-for-9, 180-yard performance against QV.

“I think overall we could have been better this year,” Keib said, “but we had a lot of new starters and (because of that and covid-19 issues) we didn’t have that much team chemistry. Even without that chemistry, we still played very well.”

A former baseball player, Keib participates in 7-on-7 football in the winter/spring months and will be dedicating his offseason workouts toward preparing for his senior year.

“The second half of the (2020) season, I think I progressed a lot between staying calm mentally and staying calm in the pocket and making better throwing decisions,” Keib said.

Other pass-catchers for the Spartans this year were junior Mitchell Fox (eight catches-90 yards), freshman O’Malley Daly (6-17), junior Lamarr Williams (5-177), senior James Satler (4-45) and sophomore Tavian Miller (1-9).

Williams averaged 35.4 yards per catch and caught two TD passes. Satler had one TD reception.

In the rushing department, Daly (22 carries, 256 yards) and Spencer (21-212) combined for seven touchdowns.

The offensive line was led by seniors Alexander “Zander” Johnson (C), Nick Milius (LG) and Kiran Gurung (LT), and juniors Alec Troy (RG) and Jack Weisenour (RT).

The 5-foot-8, 160-pound Johnson also excelled at linebacker.

“Zander’s undersized but is really tough,” Perdziola said.

While there were 10 seniors, several starters returning at key positions offer hope for the future.

Returning starters will include Keib, Spencer, Daly (RB/LB), Williams (TE/LB), juniors Tate Jones (RB/NG), Josh Ziegler (FB/LB), who missed all but the first game with an injury, Fox (WR/DB), Troy (OL) and Weisenour (OL), plus sophomore Jason Redlinger (OL/DL).

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