After going 29-1 over the past three regular seasons, the Indian has “fizzled” in the playoffs. According to 15-year head coach Kevin Siple, the focus is on making a statement in the postseason (should Indian Hill reach Week 11) and the schedule has been beefed up to help in that effort.
* Players To Watch – WR Nick Kergiakes (6-0, 170, Sr.), DL Ross Lockwood (6-2, 220, Sr.), RB Jon Von Deylen (6-2, 215, Sr.), RB/DB Danny Gill (5-9, 165, Sr.), LB Marcus Lewis (6-0, 195, Sr.), the son of Cincinnati Bengals’ head coach Marvin Lewis, WR Ted Balser (6-5, 220, Jr.), QB Bo Cordell (6-0, 180, Jr.), RB Len Riston (5-9, 160, Jr.)
* Outlook – With the heartbreaking postseason setbacks, Siple said the team has placed an emphasis on doing more than just getting to the playoffs. The Braves will face Ross, travel to Valley View and host Cincinnati Turpin in the first three games, which should definitely help strengthen the schedule.
“We’re trying to place an emphasis on playing 15 games instead of 10 or 11,” stated Siple, who was named the Cincinnati Hills League Coach of the Year in 2006. “We just want to peak at the right time this year. The theme is to finish what we start and get ready for a playoff run.
“We have nine starters back on offense. Our passing game will be good with Cordell, who threw for about 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns as a sophomore.
Balser (who is getting serious D-I interest and attended camps at Iowa and Louisville) and Kergiakes are great targets and Von Deylen rushed for about 1,200 to 1,500 yards. We lost a lot on defense, but most of our offense is back.”
If the Braves are to clinch a fourth consecutive CHL title and advance beyond Week 11, the offense will have to duplicate last year’s success. The Braves outscored opponents, 310-120.
“We throw 80 percent of the time and like what we can do on offense,” Siple related. “However, we also like our defense. We are definitely not that big, but we’re extremely fast. Lockwood is just amazing. We also have a Colerain transfer that will help on the defensive line. So…we like what we have on both sides of the football.”