Hamler Patrick Henry expecting another long postseason run


Hamler Patrick Henry Patriots

It was business as usual for Hamler Patrick Henry in 2007, putting
together a 12-win season and a trip to the state semifinals. The
showing further solidified the Patriots as one of Division V’s top

This year’s team returns 11 total starters – six on defense and five on offense. 


RB Mitch Leonard (5-11, 160, sr.), OL/DL Cody Pettit (6-3, 235, sr.), OL Joe Huber (6-0, 210, sr.), OL Mike Gobrogge (5-10, 205, sr.), QB Luke George (5-10, 175, jr.)


2007 Record:12-2, State semifinalist

It was business as usual for Hamler Patrick Henry in 2007, putting together a 12-win season and a trip to the state semifinals. The showing further solidified the Patriots as one of Division V’s top programs.

“We were very pleased with our season this past year,” head coach Bill Inselmann said. “We had lost a lot of our offensive and defensive line from the year before. We knew we would have some very talented skill players back and we were hoping for a nice run again, but that’s the first time anyone in our league has ever had six straight league championships in the NWAL. Only Napoleon had ever had a five-peat before. That was one of our goals going into the year, so we got the six-peat.

“We wanted to get back to the state championship game, and we made it to the semifinals and played a very, very tough and well-coached Marion Local team. So we were happy with the season and hopefully we can build on that.”

This year’s team returns 11 total starters – six on defense and five on offense.  

“This 2008 team coming back is going to be a neat mixture,” Inselmann said. “It’s going to be very interesting to see how it pans out. Our strength is going to be in our offensive and defensive lines. On our offensive line we have four of our five starters back. It’s going to be one of the biggest and most athletic lines that I’ve ever had in my 18 years coming into this next year at Patrick Henry.

“However, we lost a very, very good group of skilled athletes. We lost our quarterback Tom Busch, who threw for 2,112 yards and 17 TDS (rushed for over 1,000). We lost our best running back in Drew Kuezel, who rushed for 1,448 yards and had an 8.9 yard rushing average. We also lost our fullback who rushed for 800 yards, lost our best receiver, and we also lost our tight end. So we lost five of our six skilled personnel, so it’s going to be an interesting mixture.”

Patrick Henry’s new quarterback will have a familiar last name to those who follow the program.  

“Our quarterback, we have a young man coming in, the younger brother of Zac George who led us to the state championship in 2005 and is presently playing at Wayne State,” Inselmann said. “His little brother Luke is definitely going to be the heir apparent at quarterback. He’s a very good athlete, plays three sports, and we’re going to count on him to step in and gain experience real quick.”

The other skill positions may still be up for grabs.

“At running back, we have some young men but there’s definitely going to be some competition,” Inselmann said. “There might even be some rotation there. We have a tremendous receiver back in Mitch Leonard, and we have some other young men that are going to need to step up at other receiver positions. We think we have some kids that are going to step in. I don’t think we’re going to be as talented or as fast as we were last year, but we’ve got some young men that can do the job.”

The Patriots should be a load up front, led by senior Cody Pettit, who has a list of college scholarship offers that includes Akron and Kent State.

“Defensively we’re going to have six starters back,” Inselmann said. Our defensive line will our strength, and we have one defensive end back as well. We’re really concerned about that linebacker position, and we have to fill in a couple defensive backs, but again, we think we have some young men there that are going to be athletic and can do the job there. So think it’s just a matter of some young men stepping in there, and our offensive and defensive lines are going to have to really I think, at the beginning of the season especially when the skill positions are getting experience, the lines are going to have to lead the way.”

With a challenging conference slate and a very tough playoff region, Patrick Henry will have their hands full in attempting to reach the state semifinals again.

“Our league is going to be a strong league again,” Inselmann said. “Liberty Center I think is going to be the team of the league, along with us and Bryan and Archbold, and you cannot count out Wauseon. So it’s going to be a balanced league as well.

“As far as our region in the playoffs, I think our region’s going to be very strong. Personally, I think the team to beat is going to be Liberty-Benton. They’ve got a lot of people back. We played them in the regional finals last year. They made it to the final four the year before, and they have a tremendous quarterback back. Tinora’s going to be a strong team. We look for Delphos Jefferson and Wynford to be some teams that are going to be coming back, so it’s just going to be a tough region.”

Tough competition aside, expect the Patriots to be ready to go this season and to have a high level of excitement surrounding this year’s team.  

“I think they definitely are,” Inselmann said. “We want to compete for that league again. We definitely want to get into the playoffs, and we want to go as long as we can. We hope the skill kids will step up, and an offensive line is a great place to build a team for a year. Injuries will be critical; any small school like us, injuries are critical, so we’ve got to avoid those big injuries. Outside of that, we think we will find the skilled kids to be able to do good enough things to be able make us competitive and have an outstanding season.”


8/22 @ LEIPSIC         
8/29 @ SWANTON     
9/26 DELTA         
10/3 @ BRYAN     
10/17      EDON

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