Urbana High School football history will be celebrated Friday night when former coaches Bob Brenning and Ray DeCola and former team trainer Mike Simpson are inducted into the George Scott Ring of Honor prior to the opener with London.
The current and future will also be center stage Friday night when Jon Daniels takes over as head football coach of the Hillclimbers, who are coming off a 7-3 season in which they won another CBC/MRD championship.
One of Daniels’ main tasks will be replacing Nathan Mays, a four-year starter at quarterback for UHS and one of the greatest signal-callers in school history.
Levi Boettcher, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound sophomore, will start at QB for the Hillclimbers Friday night.
“Levi was Mays’ backup last season, so he learned a lot from that,” said Daniels, a Wittenberg graduate. “He’s very smart, learning as he goes and gaining more confidence every day. He will be in charge of our pistol offense.”
The running backs for UHS will be juniors Mitchell Moyer and Nick Johnson.
“They both are good downhill runners,” said Daniels. “We will have a more downhill running attack than Urbana has had for the last few years.”
Senior Sam Niswonger and sophomores Devin Trent, Alex Lohnes and Kaleb Bowdle will be sharing time at receiver.
The offensive line features three returning lettermen – seniors Keith Gale (right tackle) and Jake Angles (right guard) and junior Dillon Hasford (left tackle).
Junior John Cordle will play center and senior Anthony Burnett will play left guard.
“We’re athletic but young, and we’ve got a quarterback who can really sling it,” said Daniels.
Senior Zach Michael will line up at one defensive end, Gale and Hasford will play at defensive tackle, and Angles, Burnett, senior Jack DeLong and senior Austin Colvin are vying for playing time at the other defensive end.
Linebackers will include Johnson, senior Zach Vernon and sophomore Adam Gaver.
Junior Jared Weller and sophomore Logan Rooney will play at cornerback, and Sam Niswonger, Bowdle and freshman Max Niswonger will see playing time at safety.
“Our defense has a chance of being really good,” said Daniels. “We have a lot of young guys, but they will keep getting better. I think we’ll have a chance to win every game we’re in.”