ST. PARIS – Graham will have some experienced “skill” position players back this season, but the offensive and defensive linemen will almost all be new to varsity football.
“As a team, we just want to improve every day,” said second-year GHS Coach A.J. Woods.
Junior Gage Braun returns at quarterback for the Falcons, who went 3-7 a year ago.
“Gage has one and a half years of varsity football under his belt,” said Woods. “He is very intelligent and is a very good leader.”
Another key returner is junior wide receiver Tyler Powell.
“Tyler is a good kid and a very good route runner,” said Woods.
Also returning on offense for Graham are juniors Austin Brayton (running back) and Michael Shook (guard) and senior running back John Hess.
“We’ll have a brand new center, guard and two tackles, and we’re transitioning to a shot gun Wing T offense, so we’ll need everybody to understand their responsibilities,” said Woods. “We have a lot of guys playing football this year, so we’ll see who wants to make the most of the opportunity of playing on Friday nights.”
Only three players return on defense for Graham – Powell (defensive back), Hess (defensive back) and junior Lane Thompson (linebacker).
Key newcomers for GHS will be junior Matt Williams (offensive guard/nose guard) and sophomores Nick Yoh (offensive tackle/defensive tackle), Cam Van Hoose (linebacker) and Johnny Shafer (tight end/defensive end).
“We’re going to run a 5-2, 3-4 look on defense,” said Woods. “We want 11 guys playing fast and playing physical at all times.”
Woods said he believes Indian Lake is the team to beat in the CBC/MRD this season.
“They have a lot of talent back from a team that went to the playoffs last year,” he said.
Graham opens the season by hosting Tipp on Friday night.
Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @udcstout