Coach: Chris Hedden, first year
Last season: 3-7, 2-5 TRAC
Returning letter winners: 2
Returning starters: Offense 2, defense 1
Top players: Seniors Sam Burns, 6-3, 305, OL-DL; Kevin Greenoe, 6-2, 215, DL; Michael Wagner, 6-0, 185, RB; Antonio Wyatt, 5-10, 240, OL-DL. Juniors John Fudaz, 5-11, 205, LB; Zach Uram, 5-11, 210, DB; Tyler Knitz, 6-1, 290, OL; David Nees, 6-0, 175, QB.
Outlook: The Knights' traditionally strong program has fallen off the pace in recent years, including back-to-back losing seasons (4-6 and 3-7) the last two years under now departed head coach Mike Blochowski.
That came after a memorable 11-2 mark in 2009, when longtime coach Dick Cromwell closed his storied career with a run to the D-II regional final. Regaining that form will be the job of Hedden, who was a University of Toledo assistant for eight seasons under Tom Amstutz, and one year at Akron. Hedden has his work cut out for him with just two players back who played enough to earn letters a year ago. He will try to build around his offensive and defensive lines, but points to inexperience, a lack of depth, and unproven personnel at the skill spots on offense as possible trouble areas. The Knights were picked to place sixth in the TRAC.
"The goal of the St. Francis football program is to play the game with respect," Hedden said, "and to try to play as hard as we can every week. If we can do that, the wins will take care of themselves."
2012 ST. FRANCIS SCHEDULE
Aug. 24-Southview at UT
Aug. 31-Parma Padua at UT
Sep. 7-at Birmingham (Mich.) Brother Rice
Sep. 14-at Whitmer
Sep. 21-Clay at UT
Sep. 28-at Findlay
Oct. 5-Fremont Ross at UT
Oct. 12-Lima Senior at UT
Oct. 19-Central Catholic at UT
Oct. 26-at St. John's