Coaches talked for almost 45 minutes combined Monday morning about their football teams, coaching staffs, and the 2011 season. Here's some of what each off them had to say in the order they spoke:
SMCC (1-9, 0-7)
20 returning lettewinners; 40 total players
15 returning starters (7 offense, 8 defense)
“We were 1-9 or 0-7, so what does that mean? ... We’ve got some experience. For the first time we’re over 20 juniors and seniors total, which for us is big because we can finally get some competition at practice," coach Ryan Wikel said. "Not having the kids at practice to push the other players when they have positions handed to them, that’s the issue. Right now we have some competition which is nice to have... We had a good offseason, probably the strongest offseason we have. We have 11 seniors... they’re good kids, they hang out together, they work together. We think this is the class that can get us moving up a bit.”
Edison (5-5, 2-5)
11 returning letterwinners; 58 in grades 10-12;
10 returning starters (5 offense, 5 defense)
“I think last year brought an end to a really special group of kids we had,” coach Jim Hall said. “We’re going to reload, but I think that kind of signaled an end last year.” ... Of Edison’s eight seniors, one is a kicker and one has never played football ... “I’m not quite sure what to expect myself, but the exciting thing for us is we’re going to put 11 kids on the field that are going to compete. They’re going to be excited to play and they’re going to get after it.”
Perkins (3-7, 3-4)
54 in grades 10-12
13 returning starters (7 offense, 5-6 defense)
Perkins graduated a lot of good players, but the staff feels it has a special group coming back. “Realistically, it doesn’t mean much if we don’t bond together,” coach Jason Ziegler said. Perkins went to a three day camp Thursday-Saturday. “The practices were great. We got a lot accomplished. The most important was that bonding together, getting that family and togetherness. I feel that’s really going to pay off for us this year.” ... Weight room and conditioning numbers have been fantastic, Ziegler said, but that doesn’t matter until Aug. 1 when preseason practices begin. “The big focus this is year is getting better every play, every game,” Ziegler said.
Port Clinton (3-4, 5-5)
45 in grades 10-12
“I can throw most of this away, but I have to control myself since we’re on the internet,” coach Toby Hammond said at the start of his speech. "I think I would tell you we had a great season last year for us. We were are one time 5-3... Just the fact kids weren't looking toward basketball in the eighth or ninth week of football was just a big step toward where we’re going.” ... P.C usually has some skill kids returning, but that isn’t the case this year. "The big key is how we develop our wide receivers and defensive backs, because we’re out of them,” Hammond said.
Margaretta (6-4, 4-3)
39 in grades 10-12; 22 freshmen
“We were really pleased with our season last year. We thought we really turned the corner. The way we practiced every day I think really changed, and our upcoming junior class we think had a lot to do with that,” coach Rock Farlow said. “I think we can work a little more on football instead of practicing hard enough.” ... Farlow might have been the only head coach who was discouraged Devin Jones graduated. Jones was voted the league’s Outstanding Performer last fall, and is playing football at Ohio University. ... Farlow said there are some highly recruited kids coming into next year.
Huron (7-4, 5-2)
73 in grades 10-12; 43 freshmen
“We’re going to have 43 incoming freshmen. Bill (Needham) was the eighth grade coach. That ought to tell you the kind of job he did, and he loses his job. Figure that one out,” Legando said. ... Offensively the Tigers may play more up-tempo and will open their offense even more than usual, and defensively want to be more aggressive than a year ago. ... Huron has nine returning starters from a year ago.
Oak Harbor (7-3, 5-2)
11 returning starters (3 offense, 3 defense)
43 in grades 10-12
The Rockets just missed the playoffs a year ago, but are hoping a switch in divisions might propel them into the postseason. “We were fortunate enough to move to Division IV,” coach Mike May said. “I think last year if we were in Division IV we would have been in the playoffs.”... May felt the 2010 season was a way for Oak Harbor to get back on track. It was his first winning season in three years with the program. ... Brian Mallernee and Austin Weigand will compete for the starting quarterback position. ... This is the final year Oak Harbor will play Springfield in the non-conference schedule. ...
Clyde (10-2, 6-1)
Eight returning starters (2 offense, 6 defense)
45 in grades 10-12
The heart of the Clyde defense will be in the middle of the field with returning linebackers Thomas Glick and Bennett Brown, who was the leading tackler as a freshman and sophomore. Three linebackers are back, as are two players in the secondary, but head coach Marc Gibson will leave the defense to his cordinators. “I work a little more with the offensive side. Since I’ve been there I haven’t touched the defense,”Gibson said. “I’ve got some phenomenal coaches who know what they’re doing.” ... Quarterback Ryan Meyer, who stands six feet tall, has upped his weight to about 200 pounds. ... Clyde must identify and replace a kicker and punter (Jordan Colson) — something new for the staff — it’s top two receivers (Mac Wilkerson and Colson), its leading rusher (Gabe Gilbert), its top defensive lineman (Trevor Strickland), and four of its five offensive lineman. ... The Fliers will open the season against Tiffin Columbian — the team that knocked them from the playoffs in Week 12. ... Clyde, usually with 18-19 seniors, has 12 this year. There are about 13 sophomores. But Gibson isn’t sure the Fliers have lost a tremendous amount of talent. “It’s not about numbers. It’s about the quality of kids," Gibson said.