Ashland ready to continue push towards Division II state title

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Ashland Arrows
Ashland made the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in Division II, Region 6
last year, and then caught fire and won the regional championship. If
the Arrows can find a reliable quarterback this season, they feel they
could make another deep run in the postseason.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

DL Cody Fast (6-1, 240, Sr.), NG Justin Stewart (6-0, 195, Sr.), OLB/SS Jacob Oberholzer (6-3, 185, Sr.), MLB Anthony Deppen (5-9, 190, Jr.), RB Shane Kipp (5-11, 205, Sr.), LT Ben Mowry (6-5, 285, Sr.), OL/DL Troy Stauffer (6-1, 310, Sr.), RG Kyle Wolf (6-2, 320, Sr.), TE Jason Schuttura (6-3, 205, Sr.).

SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 12-2, State semifinalist

Ashland made the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in Division II, Region 6 last year, and then caught fire and won the regional championship. If the Arrows can find a reliable quarterback this season, they feel they could make another deep run in the postseason.

Fast was named first-team All-Northwest District and first-team all-conference last year. He had 96 tackles (60 solo) and is being recruited by MAC schools.

“Cody is an extremely active and disruptive player and we’re going to move him around on the defensive line,” head coach Scott Valentine said. “He is going to be a three-year starter and we don’t start many sophomores here.

“This year, we might also use him on offense a little bit. We try to be as one side of the ball as possible to keep the guys fresh, but Cody could certainly help on offense, so we might use him there a little bit. But we’ve got a lot of good offensive linemen back.”

The Arrows must replace graduated quarterback Taylor Housewright who was named first-team All-Ohio and the offensive player of the year in Division II.

“We’re going to have a competition at the position between two juniors and a sophomore,” Valentine said. “Hopefully someone will step up and earn the job, but the competition could go into the season.”

The running game will be led by Kipp who had 328 rushing yards, 198 receiving yards and five total touchdowns last year.

The defense will be led by Deppen (119 tackles), Oberholzer (102 tackles) and Stewart (83 tackles, 3 sacks).

“We think we’ll have a good defense – we have a lot of guys back,” Valentine said. “Offensively, we lost a lot of skilled guys, but we have most of our linemen back. We’ll need to develop a quarterback before we know how well we’ll be able to move the ball and put points on the board.”

In terms of team expectations, the Arrows would like to duplicate or perhaps even surpass their stellar 2007 season.

“Our goals every year are to win our conference and make the playoffs,” Valentine said. “And then if we make the playoffs, hopefully make a push for a state championship.”

SCHEDULE

8/22 WILLARD
8/29 @ BELLEVUE
9/5 ARCHBISHOP ALTER (KETTERING)
9/12 @ MADISON COMPREHENSIVE (MANSFIELD)
9/19 @ WOOSTER
9/26 WEST HOLMES (MILLERSBURG)
10/3 ORRVILLE
10/10 @ MANSFIELD SENIOR
10/17 @ CLEAR FORK (BELLVILLE)
10/24 LEXINGTON

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