2006 Record: 10-2
Olmsted Falls was the No. 5 seed in Region 5 last year, won a first-round playoff game at Maple Heights and finished with a 10-2 record. This season, the Bulldogs need to replace several key skilled-position players, but return an impressive crop of interior linemen.
The group is led by OG/DE Cody Connare (6-4, 245, Sr.), OT/DL Paul Print (6-5, 250, Sr.) and OG/DL Zach Laird (6-5, 260, Jr.) who are all two-way starters.
“We’re experienced up front and inexperienced in almost every other area,” head coach Jim Ryan said. “We feel very good about those big guys up front.”
Quarterback John Atkinson (5-11, 165, Jr.) was the varsity backup and the junior varsity starter last year and Ryan thinks he’s going to be a good player.
“He can throw the ball well,” Ryan said. “He just needs some more experience and we think he can be productive.”
Atkinson will do a lot of handing off to running back Mike Varga (5-6, 165, Sr.) who rushed for 450 yards and seven touchdowns in a part-time starting role last year. Varga will also play cornerback.
“We’re going to have some battles for the rest of the skilled position spots,” Ryan said.
Ryan isn’t trying to get ahead of himself this season. He thinks he could have a good team, but wants to be patient to see how things transpire.
“Old coaches like me give a lot of clichés, but they are certainly true” he said. “Our goals are play every game as hard as we can and get better every game. Our independent schedule is tough and then we have a tough league. I really like what we have on both lines, but it’s hard to say right now how our new starters will perform.”
The coach believes that Region 5 is always one of the toughest in Division II and nothing will change this year.
“Our region had four of the top 10 last year,” he said. “If we get that far, it will be a challenge. And it’s exciting.”
|8/24/2007||Toledo St. Francis DeSales||II|
|8/31/2007||@ Parma Heights Holy Name||III|
|9/14/2007||@ Amherst Steele||I|
|10/5/2007||@ Brecksville-Broadview Heights||I|
|10/26/2007||@ North Olmsted||II|