2006 Record: 8-3
Olentangy Liberty is riding a three-year playoff streak and the school has been in existence for just four years.
Head coach Steve Hale welcomes back an impressive group this season, led by inside linebacker Ross Fleming (6-3, 215, Sr.) and quarterback Ryan Cypret (5-10, 170, Sr.).
Fleming is a possible Division I college recruit and he racked up 92 tackles last year en route to first-team all-league honors.
“Several schools came in and talked to us in the spring about Ross,” Hale said. “He is a force for us at linebacker.”
Cypret threw for over 1,000 yards and rushed for over 400 as a first-year starter last season.
“He was very productive in the passing game for a team that didn’t pass the ball very much,” Hale said. “He’s got a very strong arm, he’s very quick and he makes a lot of plays. I think he is certainly going to have a big season. He has a big level arm. We knew he could do some things that we haven’t been able to do in past. He has good command of our offense.”
Other standouts for the Patriots include: FB/LB Tyler Eaton (6-1, 215, Sr.), RB/CB Allen Eggleston (5-9, 170, Jr.), WR/DB Kyle Kready (5-9, 170, Sr.), WR Trevor VanScoy (6-1, 175, Sr.), and OL/NG Logan Taele (6-2, 245, Jr.).
Eaton will be a three-year starter on defense and will also start at FB this year.
“Tyler is a very good athlete,” Hale said. “He is getting good looks from colleges. He moves well and makes a lot of plays.”
Eggleston could develop into an excellent running back. He has played varsity ball since his freshman year, mostly as a corner.
“Allen started as a sophomore for us at cornerback,” Hale said. “He is a very good athlete and we are expecting big things this year. We could go to him on consistent basis.”
Kready and VanScoy are solid receivers and they will battle to be Cypret’s No. 1 target.
Taele will be a two-way starter and will lead the way in the trenches.
“He runs very well and he’s very athletic,” Hale said. “He won district in discus. He will probably play both sides at nose guard and offensive line.”
The coach tried to explain how his program has been able to achieve so much success despite being a new school with no tradition to lean on.
“Our kids have responded very well to how we want to play football and what we want,” Hale said. “They have bought into philosophy of the coaching staff and they work very hard to be successful.
“We are usually undersized at certain spots, but we try to outwork our opponents and be successful. Against New Albany last year, we had zero turnovers and zero penalties. That took a lot of focus from our kids. We won that game 7-3 against a very good team.”
Hale of course is looking for a return trip to the playoffs and he thinks Region 6 in Division II will be tough as always.
“The state champions have come out of our region two years in a row (Piqua, Toledo Central Catholic) and the runner-up the year before with Avon Lake,” he said. “We play a difficult schedule. Should we be fortunate enough to get in the playoffs again, we want to try and use our experience and string a few wins together.”
Powell Olentangy Liberty
|9/14/2007||@ Westerville Central||I|
|9/28/2007||@ New Albany||II|
|10/5/2007||Pataskala Watkins Memorial||II|
|10/12/2007||@ Sunbury Big Walnut||III|
|10/19/2007||@ Dublin Scioto||II|
|10/26/2007||Columbus Franklin Heights||II|