Hopewell-Loudon leaning on new faces to carry on winning tradition

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Bascom Hopewell-Loudon Chieftains

Bascom Hopewell-Loudon is no stranger to success. But this season some new Chieftains will be trying to get a taste of it. After a 49-5 run the last four years that includes state final
(2007), state semifinal (2005) and regional final (2006) appearances,
H-L will have some holes to fill. The Chieftains lost five All-Ohio players from last year’s squad that went 14-1 and fell in the D-VI state
final to Newark Catholic (28-14).


PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Tyler Brown (6-5, 210, Sr.); WR/DB Andrew Brickner (5-10, 175, Sr.); WR/DB Jay Yost (5-11, 170, Sr.); RB Aaron Kapelka (5-8, 175, Jr.); OL/DL Ian Kuhn (5-10, 210, Sr.)

SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 14-1, State Runner-Up

Bascom Hopewell-Loudon is no stranger to success. But this season some new Chieftains will be trying to get a taste of it.

After a 49-5 run the last four years that includes state final (2007), state semifinal (2005) and regional final (2006) appearances, H-L will have some holes to fill.

The Chieftains lost four first team All-Ohio players and one second teamer from last year’s squad that went 14-1 and fell in the D-VI state final to Newark Catholic (28-14).

Overall, H-L returns four starters on both sides of the ball.

“We have very high standards and through hard work we hope to continue our success of the past,” head coach Brian Colatruglio said. “We have a lot of new guys but the expectations are the same.”

A lot of those expectations will rest of the sturdy shoulders of standout senior quarterback Tyler Brown.

Arguably the state’s top small school quarterback, Brown (6-5, 210) took full advantage of his first year as a starter last season when he threw for 3,009 yards and 32 touchdowns en route to completing 60-percent of his passes.

“He’s one of the best QBs in the state,” Colatruglio said. “We hope for him to have a big year.”

Like last year, Brown will throw a lot of passes to returning senior receivers Andrew Brickner (5-10, 175) and Jay Yost (5-11, 170). Brickner had 41 catches for 661 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago, while Yost caught 32 passes for 420 yards and score.

Senior Ian Kuhn (5-10, 210) is the lone returning starting lineman.

“We need some inexperienced lineman to develop quickly to allow us to have balance on offense,” Colatruglio said.

Last year, running back Adam Brickner rushed for over 2,000 yards en route to the state’s offensive player of the year honor. He’ll be replaced this season by junior Aaron Kapelka (5-8, 175), who rushed for 430 yards as a back-up.

Defensively the Chieftains didn’t allow more than 16 points until the state semifinals and final last season. Colatruglio said that unit’s “No. 1 priority” is replacing three-year starter Lukas Schalk at free safety. Andrew Brickner did have six interceptions last season, while Yost had had two interceptions and 10 pass break-ups.

The Chieftains open the season with back-to-back home games against Bloomdale Elmwood and Kansas Lakota. After that they hit the road five of the next six weeks. Included in that stretch are road games at Midland Athletic League challengers Sycamore Mohawk, Carey and Tiffin Calvert..

“If our O-line and D-line develop we will be very competitive with the teams on our schedule,” Colatruglio said. “With only four starters back on each side of the ball we will need some young, inexperienced guys to step in and contribute right away.

“After last season we will also have to battle extremely high expectations and we always get our opponents’ best effort.”

SCHEDULE

8/22 ELMWOOD (BLOOMDALE)
8/29 LAKOTA (KANSAS)
9/5 @ GIBSONBURG
9/12 @ MOHAWK (SYCAMORE)
9/20 @ ST JOSEPH CENTRAL CATHOLIC (FREMONT)
9/26 SENECA EAST (ATTICA)
10/3 @ CAREY
10/11 @ CALVERT (TIFFIN)
10/17 NORTH BALTIMORE (NORTH BALTIMORE)
10/24 ST WENDELIN (FOSTORIA)

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