Tontogany Otsego looking to rebuild after solid run

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Tontogany Otsego

For Tontogany Otsego the Cody Donald-era has ended. For the past several years Donald amassed remarkable personal statistics game after game and, as a result, the Knights enjoyed winning seasons including a state playoff appearance last year. Donald has moved his skills on to Urbana College and second-year coach Dale Bernard must find a way to keep his Knights on their winning ways with a new running back.


For Tontogany Otsego the Cody Donald-era has ended. For the past several years Donald amassed remarkable personal statistics game after game and, as a result, the Knights enjoyed winning seasons including a state playoff appearance last year. Donald has moved his skills on to Urbana College and second-year coach Dale Bernard must find a way to keep his Knights on their winning ways with a new running back.

The Donald’s talents were substantial but Otsego lost a great deal more as well. The Knights also lost several key linemen on offense and defense. Bernard openly acknowledges that 2007 is a “big rebuilding year. We need to find part-time starters from last year to see if they can fill full-time roles.”

On offense, two seniors, quarterback Kenny Rogers (5-8, 145) and tight end Seth Childers (6-3,190) are being counted on heavily to provide leadership. According to Bernard, Rogers is a “smart kind who is a hard worker. He has good mechanics but it his primary role in our offense will be to provide leadership.”

Childers is one of the few remaining mainstays on the offensive line and, as such, his blocking skills will be essential. The Knights’ wing-T offensive scheme is run oriented and Childers will not be expected to catch too many passes.

It is not only the Knights’ offense that needs re-building. Only three significant contributors from last year’s defense return. Childers will see double duty by leading the defense at tackle. Seniors Alex Glassborg (6-0, 145) and J.T. Schmidt (5-10, 160) will constitute half of the defensive backfield that will likely be the backbone of the unit.

Bernard said the Knights need to “develop some linebackers.”

Despite the severe losses due to graduation, Bernard is still optimistic.

“We have a good bunch of 12 seniors,” Bernard said. “They have been working hard in the weight room. They are our greatest strength. We need them to motivate the younger kids.”

Where the season takes the Knights is unknown. The Suburban Lakes League is always highly competitive and, with the Knights inexperience, it may prove to be a long season but any team with 12 seniors is potentially dangerous. Nevertheless, look for the Knights to play spoilers in the league. 

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