Columbus Watterson eager to start new postseason streak

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Columbus Watterson Eagles
Columbus Watterson saw its eight-year playoff streak end
last year. The Eagles are hungry to get back to the postseason
and likely have the personnel to do it. “We return more on offense than defense and we think we’re going to be
able to move the ball on the ground,” head coach Dan Bjelac said. “We
will be improved up front on the offensive line; a lot of juniors
played last year.”


PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB Kevin Obyc (5-11, 192, Sr.), RB/DB Jordan Gelhaus (5-9, 175, Sr.), DE Jon Lorenz (6-2, 235, Sr.), TE Colin Boone (6-3, 204, Sr.), WR/DB/PK Seth Willoughby (6-1, 180, Sr.), OT/DL Zach Shepard (6-2, 230, Sr.).

SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 6-4

Columbus Watterson saw its eight-year playoff streak surprisingly end last year. However, the Eagles are hungry to get back to the postseason this time around and likely have the personnel to do it.

“We return more on offense than defense and we think we’re going to be able to move the ball on the ground,” head coach Dan Bjelac said. “We will be improved up front on the offensive line; a lot of juniors played last year.”

The biggest names that Watterson must replace from last year’s team are second-team All-Ohio defensive lineman Matt Grieser, second-team All-Ohio linebacker Drew Dabbelt and standout quarterback Mason Takacs.

At quarterback this season, Watterson is expected to have a three-man competition between Pat Nester (6-1, 180, Sr.), Dom Clegg (5-10, 175, Jr.) and Greg Hock (6-0, 175, Jr.).

“Pat was the backup last year, but it’s going to be an open competition,” Bjelac said. “Dominic and Greg were the JV quarterbacks last year. We feel good about all of them, but until they’re under fire for real you don’t know for sure. It was the same way with Mason two years ago and he proved he could do it. But until they prove it, you don’t know.”

At running back, the Eagles appear to be in good hands with Obyc and Gelhaus who are each ranked among the top 150 prospects in the state by Ohio High magazine. Obyc rushed for 342 yards and six touchdowns last year. Gelhaus added 238 yards and three touchdowns.

For Watterson, it was beyond strange for the players and coaches to see their season end after 10 games last season. And they’re determined to start a new streak this season.

“I think our kids are very hungry,” Bjelac said. “We made the playoffs seven straight years and it was tough not making it. One of our goals is to get back, but our kids are focused on the task at hand because we know we have a tough schedule and you can’t get ahead of yourself.”

It appears to be tough sledding in Division II, Region 7 this season. Even if Watterson gets back to the playoffs as expected, it knows the road to state will be extremely difficult.

“Our playoff region has the good teams from central Ohio like DeSales and Dublin Scioto, and then good programs from Northeast Ohio like Canfield, Uniontown Lake, Louisville,” Bjelac said. “It’s very competitive.”

SCHEDULE

8/22 @ SOUTH (WILLOUGHBY)
8/29 @ WESTERVILLE SOUTH
9/5 REYNOLDSBURG
9/12 @ WINTON WOODS (CINCINNATI)
9/19 BENEDICTINE (CLEVELAND)
9/26 STEUBENVILLE
10/3 ST FRANCIS DE SALES (COLUMBUS)
10/11 DE LA SALLE COLLEGIATE (MI)
10/17 @ ST CHARLES (COLUMBUS)
10/25 @ CARDINAL MOONEY (YOUNGSTOWN)

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