Nordonia football sends five players to college ranks

Michael Leonard
Kent Weeklies
Five Nordonia football player signed letters of intent to continue their career at the college level Wednesday. Signees included, from left, Michael Westbrooks (Notre Dame College), Giaunni Armstrong (Hocking College), Sal Perrine (Ohio University, wrestling), Jon Banks (Mercyhurst University) and Shane Robinson (Mercyhurst.)

On national signing day, Nordonia football coach Jeff Fox was a happy man.

Fox saw five of his former players commit to the college ranks — though he knew his star running back would be playing another sport.

Nordonia senior Sal Perrine signed to wrestle at Ohio University Wednesday, while four of his football teammates also made commitments.

Jon Banks and Shane Robinson each signed with Mercyhurst University in Erie, Penn, while Mike Westbrooks signed with Notre Dame College in South Euclid and Giaunni Armstrong committed to Hocking College in Nelsonville.

Nordonia High School principal Casey Wright commended the players for their achievements. While joking that he had bad memories from his college career against Mercyhurst, he encouraged the quintet to stay active in the Nordonia community.

"When you're going off to be successful, come back and see us," Wright said. "There's a lot of people who are going to be looking up to you."

Perrine was scouted by West Virginia University and Cleveland State before choosing the Bobcats. He said the success enjoyed at Ohio by Cody Walters — son of Nordonia coach Jason Walters — influenced his decision.

"I just love that campus," Perrine said. "Cody had a lot of success there and I hope to continue that."

Perrine said he will wrestle at 174 or 184 pounds for the Bobcats. He carries a 3.4 grade-point average and will study business/finance at Ohio.

Banks and Robinson noted they didn't plan to join Mercyhurst together, but were happy still be teammates at the next level.

While he also looked at Wheeling Jesuit, Banks said there was not much debate on his choice.

"They offered me a scholarship on the very first time I visited," Banks said. "It wasn't really even a question."

Banks will see time at cornerback and kick returner for the Lakers. He carries a 2.9 grade-point average and is undecided on his major.

Robinson took serious looks at the University of Dayton and Ohio Dominican, but noted Mercyhurst's offer was too good to pass up.

While Robinson believes he will play running back for the Lakers, he is prepared to switch positions. He carries a 4.3 grade-point average and will major in sports medecine.

Westbrooks noted he wanted to stay close to his family, which made NDC the natural choice for him.

Westbrooks is set to play middle linebacker for Falcons and major in psychology or business.

Armstrong noted he had looked at Westminster College, but Hocking accepted him. He noted he hoped to use the junior college as possible springbroad to play at nearby Ohio University.

Armstrong will play guard for the Hawks and plans to major in music management.