Team photo from left:
Row 1: Albert Guerra, Bobby Arriaga, Jack Raymond, Colin Timmons, Mac Flanagan, Jordan Smith, Kyle Below, Shaw Wright, Julian Boose, Josh Kirkpatrick
Row 2: Spencer King, Andrew Ferree, Josh Short, Mason Wagner, Austin James, Jordan Jaso, Chase Streaker
Row 3: Levi Breckford, Chris Fillhart, Hunter Greiner, Madison Jaso, Gabe Boose, James Knallay, Dakota Bowling
Row 4: Coaches Nick Petroff, DJ Dyer, head coach Dave Vodika, Dustin Nejedly, Ryan Brooks
ABOUT THE TEAM:
Coach: Dave Vodika, second season
Last season: 2-8, 0-7 MAL
Returning letter winners: 16
Returning starters: Offense 7, defense 7
Top players: Seniors Jordan Smith, 6-1, 225, OL-DL; Mac Flanagan, 6-5, 250, OL-DL; Jack Raymond, 6-4, 204, C-DL; Colin Timmons, 6-0, 175, QB-S.
Outlook: The Raiders have just 26 players, so maintaining health will be key as the program tries to take a step forward. A handful of players in back-up roles left the team, depleting an already thin layer of depth.
Those who stayed, said Vodika, have been faithful to the team’s offseason strength training program.
"Not everybody wanted to invest, but we have upped the stakes as far as a greater commitment," Vodika said. "These kids who are with us have made that commitment. We had to get tougher here and we’ve done that."
Key will be the smoothness of the offense’s transition from the I-formation to the Wing-T. Also, the Raiders must find a way to run the ball without graduated seniors Tiger Jaso (573 yards) and Kody Brewer (472).
The offensive line, which returns all but one player, should help in that regard. Smith earned All-MAL second team last year.
Timmons, who took over at quarterback late last season, is back, and will switch to safety from linebacker on defense.
Sep. 6-at Gibsonburg
Sep. 13-Cardinal Stritch
Sep. 20-at Tiffin Calvert
Oct. 4-at Fremont St. Joseph
Oct. 18-at Mohawk
Oct. 25-at Seneca East
Nov. 1-North Baltimore