2013 Montpelier Locomotives
Row 1: Chase Steffes, Hunter McKelvey, Jared Lyons, Devin Nemire, Tyler McDaniel, Keegan Hitzeman, Nate Buehrer, Levi Croft, Jake Dewire, Jared Shoup, Jared Sargent, Nate McCord, Cody Caudill
Row 2: Dallas Royer, Ivan Moor, Nolan Stratton, Max Hulbert, Gunnar Matson, Logan Hutchinson, Austin Cook, Wyatt Beck, Keaton Byers, Kyrin Schuman, Alex Zuver, Jordan Birdsall, Simon Wang, Zech Thompson
Row 3: Robert Ruppert, Devin Dockery, Tyrone Taylor, Zac Mason, Nick Buehrer, Dylan Gyurnek, Michael Blake, Bryce Cooley, Caleb Haines, Trevor Prekop, Lane Strubberg, Jacob Earle, Colin Rockey, CJ Roth
Row 4: Aiden Higby (manager), coaches Joe Brigle, Troy Roth, Blayne Bible, head coach Stephen Brancheau, Anthony Coleman, David Bauer, Martinelli, Landon Brigle (manager)
ABOUT THE TEAM
Coach: Steven Brancheau, second year
Last season: 2-6, 3-7 NWOAL
Returning letter winners: 7
Returning starters: Offense 1, defense 7
Schemes: Pistol flexbone/4-3
Top players: Seniors Nathan Buehrer, 6-0, 215, OL-LB; Keegan Hitzeman, 5-10, 155, QB-DB; Levi Croft, 5-8, 150, WR-LB. Juniors Cody Caudill, 5-10, 155, WR-DB; Jared Sargent, 5-7, 180, OL-LB. Sophomores Jordan Birdsall, 5-10, 155, RB-LB; Dallas Royer, 5-5, 140, FB-LB; Simon Wang, 5-11, 170, WR-DB.
Outlook: The Locomotives have reason to be encouraged about where the program is heading.
However, the lineup lost a key player — quarterback Tyler Benner — to graduation and must find a replacement for the playmaker who led the team with 1,194 rushing yards and 353 passing yards.
Hitzeman and Buehrer, both three-year letter winners, are the senior leaders and will be counted on. But with only three seniors the Locomotives are calling on the juniors and sophomores to step up.
Sargent and Birdsall represent a few of the returning lettermen that Brancheau believes can make a difference for a team that returns only one starter on offense.
"We're going to be young all the way around," Brancheau said. "But we have some talent. We hope to learn as we go."
Royer (69 carries for 389 yards, two TDs) and Caudill (six receptions, two TDs) also have some experience.
Aug. 30-at Hilltop
Sep. 6-at Liberty Center
Sep. 13-Patrick Henry
Sep. 20-at Swanton
Oct. 11-at Wauseon
Oct. 18-Delphos Jefferson
Nov. 1-at Delta