After coaching the Northmor Knights to an 8-3 record last year that included the team’s first playoff appearance in school history, football coach Scott Armrose will try to maintain that success with a much younger team.
While the Knights return 15 letter-winners, as well as five starters on both sides of the ball, they graduated 10 players from a very accomplished class.
“We are replacing one of the most athletic classes our school has ever seen, so inexperience will be our greatest obstacle,” said Armrose.
The coach noted that, offensively, a lot of his experience is on the line, as starters Brandon Planey, Jordan Haines and Ethan Trainer all return, as do backfield players Conor Becker and Ryland Thomas.
“Our greatest strength will be our balanced offensive attack with first-year starter Hunter Mariotti at quarterback,” he said. “We hope to be able to keep defenses off balance with our two-back running attack and play-action passing game. We will look to throw the ball to senior wide receivers Chris Bood and Cole Dille, as well as juniors Wyatt Reeder and Gavin Ramos.”
Armrose feels his team possesses good defensive speed, although he admits that inexperience will be a concern on that side of the ball, as well.
“We look for returning starters Conor Becker at linebacker, All-Ohio defensive end Blake Miller and all-conference defensive tackle D’Marcus Hudson to lead us,” he said. “After losing half of our secondary to graduation, we will count on the experience of Wyatt Reeder and Gavin Ramos to slow the opponents’ passing attack.”
The coach mentioned that returning seniors Thomas, Bood, Dille and Hudson will be looked upon for leadership, while three other seniors in Tony Martinez, Richard Vara and Kolton Yeager are on the team after taking some time off from football, giving him some welcome additions to the squad.
In the conference, Armrose cited a number of teams as being tough opponents, including Highland, East Knox and Danville. As for his team, the coach is hoping to keep the positive momentum going.
“Last season, we feel like we turned a corner as a program,” he said. “We expect to compete in every game we play. At the same time, we have to understand that any past success does not guarantee any in the future. We’ve had a great off-season in the weight room and are excited to see it pay off on Friday nights.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS