MG seeks success under new coach

In his first year as head coach of Mount Gilead’s football program, Joe Ulrey will have 11 returning letterwinners and eight returning starters to work with, but will have to build up the team’s skill positions.

Ulrey, who’d previously coached at East Knox, noted that his team is probably strongest across the lines.

“Offensive and defensive lines should be areas of strengths,” he said. “We have decent numbers in these areas and a few returning starters in these areas. Skill positions on both offense and defense will be an area of concern. A large number of graduates were skill players and we do not have tremendous depth at these areas.”

The Indians graduated 11 players from last year’s team, including first-team All-Ohioan Jonah Barnett, who rushed for nearly 2500 yards. Ulrey still has a number of upperclassmen he will be counting on to lead the team.

On offense, he projects senior Seth Young to be the starting quarterback, with seniors Timmy Brower, Hunter Trimmer and Robert Trapani in the backfield and seniors Jason Levings and Colton Clark and junior Mason Mollohan catching passes. Seniors Tyler Cooper, Trae Stark and Kaleb Fisher and junior Tristin Seitz and Garrett Casto on the line. Senior Scott Page will kick the ball and Brower and Clark will also serve as returners.

Defensively, Trapani, Cooper, Stark and Brower are expected to start on the line, while freshman Andy Williamson, junior Nick McKinney, Mollohan and Trimmer will be the team’s linebackers. The defensive backfield will consist of Clark, Levings, sophomore Brady Mermann and Young. Young will also punt, while Brower will return punts.

“Our four captains will be counted on largely to be leaders,” said Ulrey. “They are Seth Young, Timmy Brower, Hunter Trimmer and Trae Stark. There are a number of other guys that are looked up at by their teammates that will need to step up and be leaders as well. Essentially, these guys’ main role is to be positive leaders and keep the team poised and calm at times of adversity.”

The coach also noted that his team has a number of young players looking to make an impact.

“We have some good young talent that has been fighting for playing time both on offense and defense, as well as special teams,” he said. “This would include really just about all of our freshmen and sophomores. With our overall numbers being down, these guys will need to continue learning our offense and defense and continue battling for spots.”

In Knox Morrow Athletic Conference play, the coach is expecting a competitive season.

“I feel we have the talent and abilities to compete in the newly formed KMAC,” he said. “I believe the teams to beat will be Highland, Danville and East Knox. However, from top to bottom, the league is fairly balanced and competitive and I would not be surprised if another team that was not mentioned rises to the top.”

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Mount Gilead’s football team is in the above picture. Gilead’s football team is in the above picture. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

By Rob Hamilton

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