Team photo from left:
Row 1: Brian Morse, Devon Woolford, Jack Maison, Lucas Mayo, Alec Hullibarger, Brad Boss, Jeremiah Harris, AJ Simpson, Drayke Cowell, Austin Riedmaier
Row 2: Brandon Sondergeld, Brad Hatch, Nick Hoskins, Sal Pizzo, Colton Durbin, Jake Williams, Brandon Gamble, Holden Tincher, Tyler Roytek, Connor Clements, Trevor Purcell
Row 3: Collin Carter, Ivan Oraha, Nick Amos, Alex Welniak, Alex Johnson, Brandon Brown, Rudy Rivas, Justin Shafer, Louie Vogel, Jacob Smith, Steven Varnes
Row 4: Jordyn Copciac (trainer), Jon Hoskins, Dan Chang, Casey Pollins, Christian Ormsby, Dillon Folk, Adam Ortman, Cole Hoffman, Dan Travis, Matthew Legg, Trent Santiago, Drew Garcia, Katie Holt (trainer)
Row 5: Megan Blake (trainer), Ian Deye, Parth Patel, Chad Kledzik, Tom Shepherd, Charlie Gifford, Jared Dawson, Derek Shepherd, Justin Strickland, Dylan Stewart,
Anthony Santus, Christian Brown, Isabella Schulz (trainer)
Row 6: Coaches Joe Ayers, Joe Moore, Steve Bowers, Geoff Skibinski, Leroy Wood, head coach Jeff Wood, John Phillips, Jeff Potter, Dave Potter, Mike Blake, Jim O'Brien, Jack Luettke
ABOUT THE TEAM:
Coach: Jeff Wood, sixth year
Last season: 6-4, 3-2 Southeastern Conference Red Division
Returning letter winners: 38
Returning starters: Offense 8, defense 5
Schemes: Flexbone veer option/4-2-5
Top players: Seniors Brad Boss, 6-1, 190, QB; Alec Hullibarger, 6-1, 195, RB; Collin Carter, 6-3, 180, SE; Trent Santiago, 6-5, 185, SE; Alex Johnson, 5-10, 235, C; Alex Ortman, 6-4, 280, G; Jeremiah Harris, 6-5, 240, DE; Austin Riedmaier, 6-3, 210, DE; Tyler Roytek, 5-10, 190, LB; Jack Maison, 6-1, 185, LB; Turner Clements, 6-0, 185, FS; Lucas Mayo, 5-8, 145, SS.
Outlook: The Mules are riding a string of four straight playoff appearances under Wood, who is 36-16 and very optimistic for this season.
The Mules have 38 seniors, 17 juniors, and 38 sophomores, and there are 39 freshmen in the program. With eight offensive starters, Bedford’s tradework Flexbone attack appears poised to click off significant yardage and points.
Boss rushed for 946 yards and passed for 840 last season. Hullibarger added 920 rushing yards, Carter had over 400 receiving yards, and Riedmaier, as a defensive end, is the team’s fastest player, running a 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds.
Wood likes his team’s ability to be physical on defense, and lists depth, experience and the kicking game as other strengths. His top concerns are the transition to a new defensive scheme, and some inexperience and questionable depth in the secondary.
Bedford should contend for the SEC Red Division title along with Monroe and Saline.
“These kids have been waiting for this moment for four years,” Wood said. “Leadership is not a problem. This is the strongest and fastest team we’ve had in five years. It’s a testament to how hard they’ve worked in the weight room.”
Aug. 30-Utica Ford
Sep. 6-St. Francis
Sep. 13-at Ypsilanti Lincoln
Sep. 20-Ann Arbor Huron
Sep. 27-at Saline
Oct. 4-Ann Arbor Pioneer
Oct. 11-at Ann Arbor Skyline
Oct. 25-at Monroe Jefferson