Cincinnati Moeller has ‘expect-to-win’ attitude this season

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Cincinnati Moeller Crusaders

John Rodenberg stepped in as the Moeller
coach last year and led the Crusaders to a playoff berth. Moeller dropped its
first-round game to Colerain 17-10. Rodenberg’s team could be poised to go
deeper in 2009 with seven starters back on offense and eight returning on
defense.


Cincinnati Moeller (6-5)

* Players to Watch – LB Nick Galvin (6-1, 230, Sr.),
QB Andrew Hendrix (6-3, 220, Sr.), DE Marcus Rush (6-3, 235, Sr.), OT Jeff
Tanner
(6-4, 280, Sr.), TE David Schneider (6-3, 245, Sr.), OG Ali Kassem (6-4,
330, Sr.).

* Outlook – John Rodenberg stepped in as the Moeller
coach last year and led the Crusaders to a playoff berth. Moeller dropped its
first-round game to Colerain 17-10. Rodenberg’s team could be poised to go
deeper in 2009 with seven starters back on offense and eight returning on
defense.

“We were excited with the way we got into the playoffs,”
Rodenberg said. “We beat St. Xavier and Lakewood St. Edward. Unfortunately, we
got in there and lost to Colerain. We have a lot of guys coming back. We hope
they can play up to their potential. We have some super juniors as well. Our
region is extremely tough, but if they can do that we could be in the thick of
it this year.

“We are excited to have that many starters back. That puts
me under a lot of pressure I guess,” Rodenberg joked. “We’ve got to get that
expect-to-win mentality. In our league and our region, there are no gimmes. You
look at Elder and St. X and they each have a lot of Division I prospects.”

All eyes will be on Hendrix, who verbaled to Notre Dame in
late June. He threw for 1,609 yards with 11 touchdowns against seven
interceptions last year.

“He’s got phenomenal arm strength and release,” Rodenberg
said. “He is very intelligent, he makes great decisions and he is a humble
leader. He is 11th in his class academically.”

Rush is a Michigan State verbal and Tanner has pledged a commitment to Wake Forest. Both are Ohio High top 100 prospects in the 2010 class, respectively.

Galvin tallied 9-1/2 sacks as a junior.

Moeller opens against Winton Woods in the Skyline Chili
Crosstown Showdown. More key nonconference games include Hamilton, Centerville,
Findlay, Highland Park (Mich.), Mentor and Lakewood St. Edward.

“Winton Woods was a regional finalist in Division II last
year,” Rodenberg said. “Hamilton will be much improved. Centerville is always
tough and they should be up there again in Region 4. Highland Park is just a
one-year contract as a fill-in.”

And, of course, Moeller will battle with Greater Catholic
League divisional rivals St. Xavier, LaSalle and Elder.

“Our schedule is tough, but I don’t think it’s as tough as
it has been in the past,” Rodenberg said. “We’re not playing several nationally
ranked teams, as we have the last few years. But this schedule is tough enough.”

Schedule

Aug. 29, vs. Cincinnati Winton Woods (Skyline Chili
Crosstown Showdown at UC’s Nippert Stadium), 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 4, at Hamilton

Sept. 11, at Centerville

Sept. 19, at Findlay, 7 p.m.

Sept. 26, Mentor, 2 p.m.

Oct. 3, Highland Park, Mich., 2 p.m.

Oct. 9, at Cincinnati Elder

Oct. 16, Cincinnati LaSalle

Oct. 24, at Lakewood St. Edward, 2 p.m.

Oct. 30, Cincinnati St. Xavier

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