Veteran coach Phil Mauro takes over leadership of a Carrollton Warriors football program that finished the season with a .500 mark last season.
The 2017 squad, 39 players strong, returns some key players and an experienced defense, but also lost several players to graduation, including the starting quarterback and a record-holding kicker.
The Warriors lost quarterback Adam Shaw, kicker Taylor Keefer, running back and outside linebacker Brenton Miller, wide receiver and defensive back Jacob Knipp and offensive lineman Jacob Grubbs.
Miller was a first team Northeastern Buckeye Conference (NBC) selection last year. Grubbs and Shaw received second team NBC recognition last season and Knipp received honorable metion status.
The team returns the top running back from last season, senior Chase Flanagan, who became the 8th Warrior in Carrollton history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.
Flanagan was a first team NBC selection.
Other returning lettermen include:
Seniors: Parker Crim, (WR/DB), Jose Diaz (WR/DB), Tavis Rutledge (OL/DL), Storm Carson (OL/DL), Brandon Myers (OL/DL), Brandon Bolanz (RB/LB), Kyle Amstutz (OL/DL) and Brice Weiland (WR/DB/LS).
Juniors: Connor King (OL/DL), Calob Dalton (WR/DE), Brandon Daniels (RB/DL), Teagin Mohn (WR/DB), Trevor Boggess (WR/DB), Jaret Lane (TE/DE) and Jacob Kopko (TE/OLB).
Sophomores: Bryce Carte (RB/LB) and Connor Clark (QB/LB).
Dalton was a second team NBC pick last season and Daniels received honorable mention NBC honors.
“Our strengths this season will come from our experienced players on defense, overall team speed and senior leadership” said Mauro.
The coach is looking for good things from two seniors, two juniors and four sophomores who joined the team.
Seniors Eli Kulin will play on the offensive and defensive lines and Eli Geiser will play tight end and on the defensive line.
Juniors Jacob Kopko is expected to contribute as a tight end and outside linebacker and Braden Wells will play wide receiver and linebacker.
Sophomores Austin McIntire will play on the offensive and defensive lines, Colby Moore at tight end and outside linebacker, Ryan Walker at running back and outside linebacker and Brady Renner at wide receiver and defensive back.
Coach Mauro said the team’s lack of game experience on offensive is one obstacle the team must overcome as well as finding a replacement for Keefer at the kicker position.
As to who Coach Mauro expects to be contenders for the Northeastern Buckeye Conference title, he said, “Louisville and Marlington. They have been traditionally strong in the NBC.”