Ross, trip to Port Clinton; Gibsonburg, Clyde at home
Clyde graduated 22 seniors from last year’s football team.
Don’t be surprised if one of them comes back in a few years to join Ryan Carter’s staff. And then never leave.
“It’s a big part of what we do,” Carter said. “We’ve had turnover, but the majority of the staff have been here the whole time I have. That consistency with our kids is huge. I have one of the best staff in Ohio. They work hard, they are selfless and they show up for everything.
“People don’t stick to things today. I was very lucky.”
Wade Noftz, Derek Gray, Ryan Greenslade, Aaron Wilson, Jake Jenne, Konner Garcia, Brian Farrar, James Andrews, Danny Michaels, Jerry Phillips, Chris Beacher, Al Kauble and of course Carter himself graduated from Clyde. David Marty, Matt Flewelling, Jake Strayer and Paul Johnson are also on Carter’s staff.
“They bond with Clyde with that pride of coming back and coaching the same program they played for,” Carter said.
The program is firing all of its coaches from last season, from varsity to biddy. He lost three valuable college coaches on good terms for family and professional reasons five years ago.
“We have great kids and great parents and support in the community,” Carter said. “They let us coach the kids hard. Football is tough. It takes time and shouting. Sometimes your kid gets pushed hard. We’re lucky to have people who allow us to do that.
“We have the support of the administration and we train in the way we think we will get the best out of the kids. That doesn’t happen everywhere.”
Football ties are often family ties. Clyde’s coaches act like brothers.
“We talk in our coaching circle, we do it for each other,” Carter said. “We like each other. We give each other a hard time. We spend time together off the pitch. I have quality people coaching me and they’re doing it for the right reasons.
“They engage all year. Continuity trickles down to the kids. Same coaching job and same guys every year. Freshman, sophomore, junior, senior. He sees and hears the same lingo and the same type of conditions.
“Consistency and keeping the guys around helps the team.”
Especially with so many new arrivals.
“When you’re graduating 22 seniors, big players and only bringing back a few big starters, it’s hard to have that leadership and stay on the path that you’ve been on,” Carter said. “It’s a bit of a challenge with 22 players, all playing.
“Expectations don’t change for us and the kids are ready to prove they are ready to play. We expect a lot, effort and time. If we get that, wins and losses will happen by themselves. .”
Clyde graduated 20 seniors after Carter’s first season at the helm and another big group five years later.
“We’ve been through it before,” he said. “One thing about the program, we have enough kids invested, we don’t play a lot of freshman and sophomores. The kids are waiting their turn. The kids are putting in the time and relying on Freshman and JV.
“That’s the mark of a good program, you don’t have to play with young kids. There aren’t a ton of first-year players at Clyde. We develop them.”
Senior Abe Morrison steps in at quarterback.
“He played a few snaps last year and two years ago,” Carter said. “He’s a very capable quarterback. He had a great offseason and fall camp. A basketball injury set him back. He worked hard to get himself in a position to be ready.
“We questioned him for a while. He was going to play and be at full speed.”
He will start again as a linebacker.
“I don’t like my quarterback playing defense,” Carter said. “He’s one of the few to get the green light. He’s so dynamic, I can’t help but have him on the pitch in defence.”
Senior Jay Plummer takes over at running back. He started at the corner last season.
“He had litters,” Carter said. “We had depth and some good ones. He’s ready.”
Senior Cole Schwochow, juniors Ben Wott, Jayvin Sheffield, Chancey Miracle and second Brennan Wilson are among the receivers. Plummer is also there.
“The kids have shown the ability so far, we’ll see when the lights come on,” Carter said. “We have capable children.”
Only senior Jordan Lee returns along the offensive line. He will play tackle and cross.
Senior Mason Ash gained college experience last season. Seniors Cy House and Brady Frankhart, and juniors Colbyn Daniel and Blake Hershey take on new roles.
Wilson is a defensive safety. Sheffield takes on sophomore Kam Shortridge for defensive back.
Senior Adam Kauble is a linebacker after a backup role last season. Senior Austin Carter and second Cedric Messer are also on defense.
“I’m excited because of the work ethic in the offseason,” Carter said. “The willingness not to worry about who gets the ball, who gets the throw-ins, who does the tackles. Several seniors mainly play special teams. I can’t wait to see them there.
“Landon Bailey does everything we ask. It’s selflessness.”
Program of week 1
Fremont Ross to Tiffin Columbian
Adam Hrynciw captured the game-winning two-point conversion in a thrilling 37-36 win to start last year’s season. The Little Giants won eight games last season, including North Royalton in the first round of the playoffs.
Toledo Saint Francis to Clyde
St. Francis came back to beat Clyde 21-14 in Game 1 last year. Clyde has won 10 games, including Galion and Shelby in the playoffs. The Fliers shared the Sandusky Bay Conference Lake Division crown with Bellevue.
Port Clinton to Bellevue
Port Clinton won a 49-44 shootout last season. Port Clinton won 13 games and advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in program history. He won the SBC Bay Division crown. Eric Leuthold takes the helm. Bellevue won eight straight games last season and qualified for the playoffs. He shared the SBC Lake Division championship with the Fliers.
Ottawa Hills to Gibsonburg
Gibsonburg won 14-10 last season. The Golden Bears won seven games and qualified for the playoffs.
Fostoria at Oak Harbor
Oak Harbor went 47-0 shutout last season. The Rockets won five games last season.
Woodmore in North Central
The teams did not play last season. The Wildcats didn’t win a game last season.
Central Catholic St. Joseph in Miller
The teams did not play last season. The Crimson Streaks had two wins last season.
Monroeville to Lakota
Lakota won the game 42-20 to start last season. The Raiders won seven games for the second time in program history and earned the first tip for the playoffs without an automatic bid.
Genoa to Archbold
The Comets lost the game 27-0 last season. Genoa have won six games, including North Union in the playoffs last year.
Vermilion in Margaretta
Margaretta lost the game 30-28 last season. The Polar Bears have won two games. Gary Quisno takes the helm as head coach.