Key Players: RB Chris Crockett (5-10, 190, Sr.), QB Hobie Hondros (6-0, 175, Sr.), WR Jake Beatley (6-0, 175, Sr.), OL/DT Peter Downing (6-2, 230, Sr.), OLB Ayman Bezerbashi (5-9, 170, Sr.), DE Colton Wade (6-3, 215, Sr.)
2006 Record: 8-3
The Patrick Henry Patriots finally broke through in 2005, fielding an outstanding team that captured the school’s first state championship.
Plenty of talent departed from that team after the 2005 season, so many did not expect a repeat performance from Patrick Henry in 2006. The Patriots did return to the playoffs though and had a successful follow-up season.
“Last year, we were coming off a big year – the state championship in 2005,” head coach Bill Inselmann said. “We had lost a lot of tremendous athletes but we knew the cupboard wasn’t bare. We were pretty pleased last year; we went 8-2 and captured our fifth consecutive Northwest Ohio Athletic League championship. We also then did qualify for the playoffs and ran into what I think is a very talented Fairview High School football team, and they beat us 52-49 in a high scoring game. So we finished the season 8-3. We wanted to advance a little bit further in the tournament trail, but considering what we lost, we thought it was a successful season.”
Patrick Henry’s 2005 team was known for their all-out aerial assault, but last year’s team kept to the ground a little more. Inselmann was pleased with the success his offense had and returns two key components this season.
“I think one of the things that we found is we were very, very pleased with our junior quarterback Tom Busch,” Inselmann said. “We wanted to maybe feature the quarterback running the ball more than we have in my 16 years at Patrick Henry, and it worked out very good. Tom Busch was our leading rusher last year with almost 900 yards rushing. He also was a dual threat; he completed 102 out of 179 attempts for 1,571 yards passing, 23 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. So I think that we really found ourselves offensively.
“We have to replace some offensive line to help with him. We’ll also have a very nice running back coming back in Drew Kuezel, who rushed for 800 yards. Offensively it was a learning year for us because we were changing a few things. We’re going to build on that this year.”
With five starters back on offense and four on defense, replacing starters will be an issue on both sides of the ball, as will overall depth.
“Offensively I do think we are going to have a real good running threat, but we are going to have to replace a lot of our offensive line,” Inselmann said. “One thing we like about our offensive line, although they’re going to be young, is they are going to be very big and athletic. So it’s just a matter of getting experience and hopefully they will adjust. Another thing, I think, we’ve got to replace a lot of people on defense, but we think we have some good athletes we can put out there on defense, and that’s going to be a big key for us as well.
“One of our big concerns going into the year is our depth. We’re not going to have a lot of depth at a lot of positions, so the injuries are going to be a big sign of how successful, I think, things are going be this year. We’ve just got to get a lot of experience, especially on that offensive line.”
Schedule-wise, Patrick Henry plays in one of the tougher conferences in their region. Patrick Henry has reigned as the king of the conference for the past five years, and doing the same this year will result in a record-breaking season.
“I think it’s to the point of Patrick Henry at least that we expect to be competing for the league every year and we expect to be in the playoffs every year,” Inselmann said. “It’s kind of a mindset, and that’s what we want. You want your community to expect that and you want your players to expect that. That’s what we have. We want to compete for the league again and get in the playoffs again. If we could get the league this year, we’d be the first team in the history of the NWAL (Northwest Ohio Athletic League) to get six consecutive league championships. Only us and Napoleon have ever had five consecutive championships in the NWAL, so we want to make history and that’s one of our goals this year.”
As for what this year’s league has in store, Inselmann feels it will be a challenge as always.
“We really think our league, the Northwest Ohio Athletic League, is one of the best conferences in Division IV and V in the state of Ohio every year,” he said. “The MAC conference is undoubtedly the best; I’ll be the first to admit that. But we think the NWAL after the MAC is a very, very, very good football league. We have four coaches presently coaching in that league who have won state titles at their school – all public schools. We’re proud of that. It should be a very balanced league this year. We look for Delta to be strong. Archbold is going to be a very good football team and have a tremendous quarterback. Liberty Center and Wauseon are going to be really balanced.”
Hamler Patrick Henry
|9/14/2007||@ Liberty Center||5|
|10/19/2007||Sidney Lehman Catholic||6|