In his first year as head coach of the Cardington football program, Tim Plumley will return 11 letter-winners, including six starters on each side of the ball, from last year’s 3-7 team.
On offense, junior Mason Goers returns at running back after earning second-team all-league honors last year with 1422 rushing yards. Senior Devin Speck was a second-team all-league pick on the offensive line, while kicker Brandon Steckel also was a second-team pick.
Junior Ty Landon will start at quarterback for the team, while juniors Gavin Hurt and Brydon Ratliff will play at the wing position and sophomore Trey Brininger will start at wide receiver. Junior Cody Hiett is the tight end, while Speck will be joined by seniors Mark Jones and Dyllon Huffman and juniors Tristan Nichols and Nick McAvoy on the line. Goers and Hurt will also return kicks.
“Speed at the skilled positions is our greatest strength on offense, as well as experienced linemen returning,” said Plumley. “Our weakness is depth and inexperience at some positions. Our leading rusher Mason Goers is returning and we will have a new starting quarterback in Ty Landon.”
Many of those players will also be counted on to contribute defensively. Nichols, Speck, McAvoy and junior Skylar Streich will play on the defensive line, while Huffman, Hurt, senior Kolton Honeter and Hiett will be linebackers and Steckel, junior Nico Wade, Ratliff and Brininger will be in the backfield. Steckel will also punt, while Brininger and Hurt will return punts.
“We have a number of returning contributors on the defensive side of the ball,” said the coach. “We have good speed on defense. Devin Speck and Nick McAvoy are strong nose guards. Dyllon Huffman will be a leader from the mike linebacker spot.”
The coach looks at competing for a league title and playoff spot to be primary goals every year, noting that his team will be trying to move into the upper echelon of league teams along with Highland, Danville and East Knox. To make that move, he says that veteran leadership will be crucial.
“I expect us to be led by our seniors, especially Dyllon Huffman and Devin Speck,” said Plumley. “Brydon Ratliff, Nick McAvoy, Mason Goers, Cody Hiett, Tristan Nichols and Ty Landon will provide leadership as well. This group is the backbone of our team.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS