By Ryan Kaczmarski
Head coach Tom DeLuca is now in his second year at the helm of the Olmsted Falls High School varsity football team. The lessons learned in last year’s difficult 1-9 initial campaign (1-5 in the Southwestern Conference) will mean marked improvement for the Bulldogs, as both the offensive and defensive schemes have been ingrained throughout all levels of the program.
While the Bulldogs will find it hard to replace free safety Mike Hansinger (first team All-SWC and third team All-Ohio in 2013), who was lost to graduation, Olmsted Falls has many players returning in key roles for the upcoming season.
The key returning lettermen on this year’s roster are wide receiver Kevin Meehan (6-4, 200), who was second team All-SWC in 2013, wide receiver and cornerback Brian Candow (5-10, 165), left tackle and defensive end Ryan Sosic (6-1, 230), who was All-SWC honorable mention last year, center and defensive tackle aaron Volle (5-10, 215), quarterback Nick Fritz (5-10, 165), running back Matt Garett (6-0, 180) and defensive back Tim May (5-11, 175).
Sosic, Candow, Volle and May will serve as team captains this season.
“Our captains have been great role models for the younger classes,” DeLuca said. “They have bought into the program and provided excellent leadership.”
Key newcomers to varsity this year include wide receiver and defensive back Matt Archual, offensive and defensive linemen Patrick Simon and offensive lineman Chandler Laird.
“Our team motto is, ‘Win the day,’” DeLuca stated. “Our biggest game of the season will always be the one right in front of us.”
The Bulldogs will rely on playing together as one unit to be successful this season, but will have to find depth on the roster if there are any injuries. They will continue to run the spread offense and use the 4-2 defense as their base set.
“We will take the season one day at a time,” DeLuca explained. “If we continue to improve each day, we will have a successful season.
“I feel we are a much improved team this season. Our kids are hungry and eager for Friday nights.”