Led by a high-powered offense that features a Division I prospect at quarterback in Ryan Radcliff, this year’s Fairview team is expected to do big things. It started last season with a playoff berth and a defeat of defending state champion Hamler Patrick Henry, but this year’s team expects to do more.
C/SLB Jon Masser (5-10, 200, Sr.), Ryan Radcliff (6-2 ½, 190, Sr.) WR/S Ben Wonderly (5-8, 165, Jr.), MLB (Ryan Hartley, 5-8, 165, Jr.), RT Brandon Vance (6-2, 250, Sr.)
2006 Record: 10-2
40 points a game.
Three games of over 50 points.
A quarterback with over 4,600 yards passing.
All of those gaudy numbers sound like the type of stats one might find from a high-powered college or pro offense, but those numbers came from the offense of a high school team in Northwest Ohio during the 2006 season. That team would be the Sherwood Fairview Apaches, and fans can expect to see more of those numbers this season.
Fairview head coach Bob Olwin would agree.
“I think that we’re going to be explosive on offense yet again,” he said.
With seven starters back from one of Ohio’s most prolific passing attacks, Fairview will be giving opposing defenses a rough time in 2007. Leading the attack will be All-Ohio quarterback and Mr. Football candidate Ryan Radcliff, who totaled 4,611 yards and 57 touchdowns on 336 of 557 passing.
Olwin says the strong-armed Radcliff, who is receiving attention from major Division I colleges including a full scholarship offer from Bowling Green, is the real deal.
“The kids look up to him; he’s a leader,” Olwin said. “He gets the best out of the kids that are on our squad. He’s great to work with because he pays attention and listens and wants to get better. Statwise, he had a great year with 4,611 yards and 57 touchdowns, but he’s not satisfied with that. He has certain goals I think in his mind that he wants to achieve.
“He’s a different type of player that we’ve had in the past. He’s a tall quarterback and has a lot of touch but can throw the ball down the field and likes to throw the ball down the field. Our system now, which is choosing not to run, he hasn’t gotten to show any of his ability to run. In the past, our other quarterbacks have been pretty good, but some of those guys have been more runners, so it’s a little different that way. He’s probably got one of the strongest arms we’ve had at the quarterback position.”
Joining Radcliff will be another All-Ohio performer in wide receiver Ben Wonderly, who hauled in 103 catches for 1,500 yards last year. The team returns its two other top receivers in addition to Wonderly and also brings back three offensive linemen.
Olwin expects his offensive performers to be even better this year.
“I think the year’s experience is going to help them tremendously,” Olwin said. “The strength’s going to help them because they’re going to be able to get away from people and get off of jams. They’re going to run through some tackles because of the strength.”
Offense is not the only area where the Apaches return plenty of experience. The defense returns seven starters including Wonderly, who picked off nine passes last season.
“Defensively we have seven kids back,” Olwin said. “Our leading interceptor’s back and all of our linebackers are back. We’ll have to replace three defensive linemen. I think we can have people who can step in. Our punter’s back and our extra point kicker is back and our long snapper, so we have quite a few things in place.”
The Apaches took the first step last season, posting ten wins including a 52-49 win over defending Division V champion Hamler Patrick Henry in the opening round of the state playoffs. Olwin says the team took a big step in 2006 and aims to take another this year.
“I think we played well early and got some big wins against Wauseon and Archbold that propelled us throughout the season up to the tenth week,” he said. “The kids played well; we had good kids to work with. We were able to qualify for the playoffs and get a home playoff game, which was real exciting because we were able to play Patrick Henry and defeat the defending state champs in Division V and move on to another level.
“We’re always talking to our kids about taking our program to another level, and we were able to do that. Now we have to continue to improve so we can take our program to the ultimate level.”
The success of the 2006 season has already paid dividends. The Apaches have already seen team improvement through their offseason training.
“I think it’s helped us in the offseason,” Olwin said. “Our work ethic’s been really good in the weight room. We’re a lot stronger than we were last year. I know our seniors are looking forward to this season and the younger kids are going to follow suit by their leadership. Our kids believe they can win and think they can win, and now they just have to work towards doing that. I think it gives them a lot of confidence, but you have to do it every year. You can’t rely on last year’s efforts to win this year.”
With the school year over, Olwin stressed the importance of continuing the hard work throughout the summer.
“I think it’s crucial in the next month or two to work on our agility and team speed with parachute training,” Olwin said. “Then I think everybody needs to make a commitment in the summer to be at all our workout sessions plus our 7-on-7 sessions so they can get the timing down, make sure they are aware of how to read coverage and where to get to so that Ryan can get them the ball. Defensively we need to be more consistent so we’re going to stress that all through the summer – consistency and knowledge of the defense. I think we need to focus on a kicker for extra points and field goals.”
Fairview’s schedule will include some postseason teams, one of whom – conference foe Defiance Ayersville – eliminated the Apaches from the postseason last year.
“We’ve got a tough schedule,” Olwin said. “Wauseon and Archbold are loaded. Tinora’s loaded and Ayersville’s going to be real good. We’ve got our work cut out for us, but we’ve got a lot of kids back too. At least five of the schools are pretty loaded that we play.”
Needless to say, the community is looking forward to the football season. Fairview has loads of potential and could be in line for a deep postseason run. The only thing remaining is to put it all together.
“I think our people are excited about football,” Olwin said. “I know some of the cheerleaders are talking about they can’t wait until football starts. I know a lot of parents and past parents are looking forward to football season. They know we have an explosive offense and a lot of players back on both sides of the ball.
“If we can take care of eligibility and grades and everybody comes together and works towards the common goal, we can have a successful season.”
|10/5/2007||@ Haviland Wayne Trace||6|
|10/19/2007||@ Defiance Ayersville||6|