Ottawa Hills captains, from left, Cole Ferguson, Jonathan Rodriguez, Matt Knetchel-Bernath, and Will Longthorne.
Coach: Chris Hardman, 15th year
Last season: 7-4, 5-2 TAAC
Returning letter winners: 16
Returning starters: Offense 8, defense 7
Schemes: Multiple sets/4-3
Top players: Seniors Will Longthorne, 6-0, 190, RB-LB; Michael Geiger, 5-9, 180, WR-DB-PK; Jon Rodriguez, 6-0, 145, QB; Judah Wollenburg, 6-0, 180, QB-DB; Matt Bernath, 6-2, 175, OL-DL; Cole Ferguson, 6-1, 175, WR-LB.
Outlook: If heavily favored Northwood has any challenge in the TAAC chase it may come from this talented and experienced Green Bears squad, which is led by its group of 18 seniors.
Ottawa Hills, which was picked to place second, has high expectations with players like Longthorne (1,103 rushing yards, 21 TDs) and Rodriguez (1,141 passing yards, 16 TDs). The multiple-threat Geiger is the nation's second-rated placekicker, and has committed to Boston College. Hardman points to his team's lack of overall size, but hopes their quickness can offset that possible disadvantage.
"We plan to build on some of the successes of 2011," Hardman said. "We must utilize our skill players wisely, and compete on both lines. We want our special teams to shine."
2012 OTTAWA HILLS SCHEDULE
Aug. 31-at Ayersville
Sep. 14-at Gibsonburg
Sep. 21-at Hilltop
Oct. 5-Cardinal Stritch
Oct. 12-at Danbury
Oct. 19-at Northwood
Oct. 26-Toledo Christian