Being a Heidelberg graduate and a former assistant at that school, coach Jim Kubuske is at least a little familiar with the Tiffin area. Now, one of the big challenges in taking over the Tiffin Calvert football program is getting familiar with his new players, coaches, and the expectations involved.
Tiffin Calvert (5-5)
* Outlook – Being a Heidelberg graduate and a former assistant at that school, coach Jim Kubuske is at least a little familiar with the Tiffin area. Now, one of the big challenges in taking over the Tiffin Calvert football program is getting familiar with his new players, coaches, and the expectations involved.
Kubuske met his prospective squad for the first time on July 6 after taking over for Keenan Leichty, who left to take over the top spot at Lorain Brookside. Coming in at such a late date has provided some definite obstacles, but with 27 years of head coaching experience, Kubuske appears ready for the task.
“The biggest thing is that we are teaching 44 kids and the coaches- everyone is learning on the run,” Kubuske said. “It is a new routine, new schemes, new offense, and a new defense. The big challenge is to get everybody on the same page, doing the same thing, and doing the right thing.”
“We were at a 7 on 7 at Genoa,” Kubuske continued. “And all 20-some kids were learning the same thing, both young and old. The older kids can’t help the younger kids with mistakes right now.”
However, as coach Kubuske gets to know his players, he is excited with what he sees.
“Adam Zahner, who will play wide receiver and free safety, is an outstanding athlete. He has speed, hands, and a lot of ability.”
Vinny Pardi who returns at quarterback has also caught Kubuske’s eye.
“He has outstanding speed, quick feet, and great mobility,” Kubuske stated. “We will look to use those skills in our offense.”
A number of other athletes have caught the coach’s eye in the early going. Running backs Jeff Stover, Dillon Kwiat and Bo Poland have stood out, and receivers Derek Fry and Matt Frank give the Senecas some athletic options to go along with Zahner.
Tight ends Brandon Ritzler and Rush Arbogast will line up with some experienced offensive linemen. Chase Turner, Joe Fowler, and Aaron Francis give Calvert some size and strength up front.
“Offensively, we will look to establish the run,” Kubuske said. “We may be a little more conservative than in the past. We will use some I-sets and Wing T sets, and use the play action pass. This will allow us to play to our quarterback’s strengths, rolling out and getting him on the edge to be a double threat.”
On the defensive side, coach Kubuske is introducing a change over what Calvert has used in the past.
“We are going to change over to a 4-3 from the the 4-4 that has been used,” he commented. “I believe this will give us some versatility to defend the spread and the different things we will see. Also, I think our strength is our athletes in the secondary, and the 4-3 allows us to take more advantage of that.”
As is the case with most small schools, Kubuske sees a lack of depth, and he foresees a lot of kids going both ways. Most of the same names who will contribute on offense will also be key pieces of that defense, and there is some good experience that should allow them to adapt to the new schemes rather quickly.
Kubuske likes the competitiveness of the Midland Athletic League and some of the natural rivalries that exist. “Everyone knows about the recent success of Hopewell-Loudon, and Carey has the big kid, Dennis and the veer attack, so that will be a big challenge.” He also cited some familiarity with Woodmore and Lakota from his days in the SLL with Lake. From there he looks forward to the new challenges the schedule and taking over the Calvert program presents.
“The tradition of Calvert football is special,” Kubuske said. “There are high expectations, and we would like to carry on that torch of Tiffin Calvert football like Buzz (Kirkhart) and Toby (Hammond) did before us. We plan on doing a good job and moving the program forward.”
8/28 @ MC COMB
9/5 ST PAUL (NORWALK)
9/11 WOODMORE (Elmore)
9/25 @ NORTH BALTIMORE
10/3 @ ST JOSEPH CENTRAL CATHOLIC (FREMONT)
10/10 MOHAWK (SYCAMORE)
10/16 @ HOPEWELL-LOUDON (BASCOM)
10/23 LAKOTA (KANSAS)
10/30 @ SENECA EAST (ATTICA)