Cardington FB out to reload

Despite losing a number of key players from last year’s 7-3 team, Cardington first-year head coach Beau Wolford has high expectations for this year’s squad.

“We are excited to get started in the first year of the KMAC,” he said. “Our kids have the expectation of becoming the first KMAC champs.”

The team graduated a lot of talent in Luke McCarrell, Nate Craig, Skyler Bowling, Devin Pearl, Bobby Davis, Adam Hook, Gabe Mash, Christian Huffman, Tyler Patterson and Gabe McAvoy. However, Wolford returns letterwinners Daniel Kill, Dalton Purtee, Tyler Villella, Garrett Wagner, Dyllon Huffman, Devin Speck, Branden Steckel and Nick McAvoy.

The new coach also has a number of newcomers looking for playing time. He cited Cade Ruehrmund, Andrew Cochran, Mason Goers, Ty Landon, Brydon Ratliff, Gavin Hurt, Tristan Nichols, Cody Hiett, Gavin Plowman and Trey Brininger as varsity newcomers.

“Some upcoming players that we expect to impact the backfield are Mason Goers, Ty Landon, Branden Steckel, Gage Hurt, Gavin Hurt and Cody Hiett,” he said. “Upcoming contenders for offensive and defensive line are Jay Battrell, Tristan Nichols and Dyllan Huffman. Our freshman class consists of 18 new Pirates that are itching for the chance to prove themselves. Hopefully, there will be some surprising talent from this group.”

The coach noted that he likes the talent he has on offense, but adds that they need to find new blood in nearly every skill position.

“Offensively, we will be returning a veteran offensive line in Dalton Purtee, Tyler Villella, Nick McAvoy and Devin Speck,” he said. “We will have some young guys that are competing for those spots as well. We are looking at some good speed in the backfield with Mason Goers and Garrett Wagner and a number of options at quarterback including Daniel Kill and Cade Ruehrmund. We will be finding new leadership in almost every skill position as we transition from a large graduating class last year.”

The same holds true on the defensive end, as the team has a few veterans and a lot of younger players fighting for playing time.

“Defensively, we will be led by two returning senior linebackers in Villella and Kill and some returning defensive linemen,” he said. “We are looking forward to watching a lot of young athletes step up and take on the roles within our defensive backfield.”

Wolford looks at Danville and Highland as top contenders in the league, but adds that his squad has aspirations of being in that mix, as well.

“Our goals are to be competitive in everything that we do and focus on the fundamentals of teamwork,” he said. “With a young team and high expectations, our players are working hard every day to be the best team in the KMAC.”

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Cardington’s 2017 football team is in the above picture.’s 2017 football team is in the above picture. Courtesy Photo | Eric Kill

By Rob Hamilton

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS