As the 2007 season is about to begin, many are asking whether another such season is on the horizon.
Mark Ritzler enters his second year at the Trojan helm and after a tough first year the Trojans face another tough schedule. Unfortunately, graduation hit the team hard and it is likely that the overall preseason outlook for the Trojans is that another tough year may be ahead.
On the positive side, the Trojans do have four offensive linemen returning. Seniors Travis Barnhill (6-2, 285) and Justin Rice (6-1, 243) are three-year starters and their experience provides the Trojans with excellent leadership at a position where experience is particularly invaluable. If the experienced Trojan offensive line performs at the level that they are capable, a significant improvement in Findlay’s record may develop.
Strong quarterback play is a Findlay tradition but this year it is still undetermined who will lead the Trojan offensive attack. The two leading candidates are juniors Eric Gilbert (6-0, 170) and senior Jimmy Davidson (6-4, 188). Both players bring their own particular playing styles to the field and the Trojan coaching staff will be closely observing both in order to determine who is best equipped to direct the offense.
Regardless of who eventually wins the quarterbacking battle, the eventual starting quarterback will have two sure-handed receivers as his targets. Senior Jimmy Davidson (6-4, 188) and junior Wade Arredondo (5-9, 161) both had good seasons last year. Davidson averaged nearly seven catches a game and crossed the goal line six times. Look for him to have a big senior year.
The offensive line should be strong but there are other positive signs offensively for the Trojans. In addition to the four returning offensive lineman the offense has five additional individuals that started or saw considerable action last season. Leading this group is the strong running of senior tailback Matt Alexander (6-0, 190). Alexander ran for over 700 yards last season and should improve on those numbers this season.
If defense wins championships, the Trojans must develop quickly in order to grab one. Only one full-time starter, linebacker Matt Alexander, returns on defense and the Trojan coaching staff is working long hours attempting to piece the remainder of the defense together. Because of the tough Findlay schedule, the defense will be forced to come together quickly and to do so against some of the state’s most powerful offenses. How well this happens will ultimately determine whether the Trojans will be able to improve on their 4-6 record of last year.
Success breeds success and for many years the Findlay community seemed to pump out one great football team after another. Last year was a down year for the Trojans and was probably a disappointment but the program remains strong and will ultimately return to the state’s elite. Whether it occurs this season or next or beyond remains to be seen but the nucleus is there. Realistically, a playoff spot is probably a long shot but if the defense matures quickly, it is not out of the question.
Findlay 2007 Schedule
|8/25/2007||@ Toledo St. John's Jesuit||I|
|8/31/2007||Toledo St. Francis DeSales||II|
|9/7/2007||@ Upper Arlington||I|
|9/21/2007||@ Worthington Kilbourne||I|
|10/5/2007||@ Fremont Ross||I|