Rodenberg era begins at Cincinnati Moeller

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Cincinnati Moeller Crusaders

John Rodenberg steps in as the new Moeller coach following the departure of Bob Crable. Rodenberg has 15 years of experience as a varsity head coach, including stays at Cincinnati McNicholas, Covington (Ky.) Catholic and last year at Cincinnati Roger Bacon.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

FS Kelly Barnes (6-1, 175, Sr.), LB Nick Galvin (6-1, 230, Jr.), DT Sean McClelland (6-4, 255, Sr.), C Cameron Schelder (6-2, 245, Sr.), TB Patrick Blanks (6-1, 185, Sr.), WR Tony Harris (5-8, 165, Sr.), QB Andrew Hendrix (6-1, 185, Jr.), QB David Whitehead (6-2, 170, Jr.).

SEASON OUTLOOK

John Rodenberg steps in as the new Moeller coach following the departure of Bob Crable. Rodenberg has 15 years of experience as a varsity head coach, including stays at Cincinnati McNicholas, Covington (Ky.) Catholic and last year at Cincinnati Roger Bacon.

“I started my career as an assistant at (Cincinnati) LaSalle,” Rodenberg said. “I am real excited to go to Moeller. It is a great opportunity. My goal is to come in and continue the success they have had and take it up a notch or two.

“When you have competed like they have at the Division I level and made the playoffs like they have and won state championships, that is everybody’s goal. I am just glad I am here. I am real happy.”

Moeller has seven state playoff championships, but the Crusaders have not won a crown since 1985. But Rodenberg believes Moeller can get back in the race.

“If you look at Moeller and at the younger levels, they have been winning at the younger levels,” Rodenberg said. “There is some good talent coming up. This is a great situation. We are installing things comparable to what they were already doing so the learning curve will not be that bad.”

Rodenberg will have five starters back on offense and four on defense. Galvin was a star last year as a sophomore with 9-1/2 sacks and an interception. Harris had 42 catches with nine TDs. Hendrick and Whitehead will compete for the vacant quarterback spot.

“The way we look at it the quarterback position will be a great situation for us,” Rodenberg said. “They will go in and compete. We feel competition creates a healthy society.”

The nonconference schedule is extremely competitive. It begins with an Aug. 23 match-up against Cincinnati Princeton in the Crosstown Showdown. It also includes a game against Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell in the Kirk Herbstreit Ohio vs. USA Challenge. Moeller also visits Mentor and will host Centerville and Lakewood St. Edward.

“The Princeton game renews an old rivalry,” Rodenberg said. “Montgomery Bell is a state championship team from Tennessee. Centerville is supposed to be very talented once again. And you know that St. Ed is always up there at the top.”

In addition to contending on a state level, Moeller will also look to get back on top of the heap in the GCL South.

“Any time you go into a situation, you look at who won the league recently and what you’ve got to do to beat those guys,” Rodenberg said. “Right now, St. Xavier has been very successful. That will be a great challenge. We have a lot of respect for them and we will be shooting for them.”

2008 Schedule

Aug. 23 vs. Cincinnati Princeton, 8 p.m. (Crosstown Showdown at UC’s Nippert Stadium)

Aug. 31 vs. Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy, noon (Kirk Herbstreit Ohio vs. USA Challenge at Paul Brown Stadium)

Sept. 6 Centerville, 7 p.m. (at UC’s Nippert Stadium)

Sept. 13 Findlay, 7 p.m. (at UC’s Nippert Stadium)

Sept. 20 at Mentor, 2 p.m.

Sept. 26 at Cincinnati LaSalle

Oct. 3 Cincinnati Elder (at UC’s Nippert Stadium)

Oct. 10 Indianapolis Cathedral Prep (at UC’s Nippert Stadium)

Oct. 18 Lakewood St. Edward, 2 p.m. (at UC’s Nippert Stadium)

Oct. 24 at Cincinnati St. Xavier

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