Posted: Jul 16, 2014 9:56 AM
|8 / 22||St. Francis Borgia||Away||Loss||12 - 48|
|8 / 29||Blair Oaks||Home||Loss||0 - 42|
|9 / 5||Cuba||Away||Win||35 - 8|
|9 / 12||St. James||Home||Win||29 - 28|
|9 / 19||Hermann||Home||Win||19 - 16|
|9 / 26||Pacific||Away|
|10 / 3||Union||Home|
|10 / 10||Sullivan||Away|
|10 / 17||St. Clair||Away|
|10 / 24||Districts|
Coming off a 1-9 season in 2013, Coach Dale Long is only concerned about one thing: the future of Owensville football. One can easily get bogged down in the youth of a program, those 50/50 games that tipped out of your favor, or the devastating losses due to injury -- or a team can simply lick their wounds and move forward, trying to put a competitive team on the field week after week. Such is the case for Coach Long and his Owensville squad. Unwilling to make excuses, or look backwards in disappointment, Owensville hopes to regenerate a winning attitude by staying competitive and playing "hungry football." Although they were competitive in 2013, Owensville must find a way to create opportunities to win football games in 2014 to resurrect their dismal seasonal record and that all starts in the off-season. The drive to be better -- the desire to "turn things around" is apparent this summer during camp as both players and coaches alike set the bar for higher expectations this go-around. A much needed adjustment if they plan to stay competitive with the likes of Sullivan and Union in the Four Rivers Conference. The goal is understandably lofty; yet, certainly not out of the question as Coach Long and his coaching staff might be the very reason this program escapes a losing season. Coaches do not win football games on their own; it is rather the work, determination, and execution of plays by each player every Friday night. However, there is a great deal to be said about what a coach instills in his players -- and perhaps Coach Long has that winning philosophy.
On offense, Owensville looks to greatly improve their running game, which ultimately falls on the shoulders of the O-Line, which is anchored by All-Conference senior Derek Diekmann (5-10, 250). He will be joined by sophomore newcomer Deric Rugen (6-3, 230) playing both OL and DL. High expectations fall however on running backs Devon Dowler (5-8, 160) and junior All-Conference player Tristian Crofford (5-10, 170). If Owensville wants to compete and be successful in their pistol formation, they must generate big numbers out of these experienced backs. They will be joined by youngster running back Devon Ridenhour (6-1, 165). Handing off to those three backs will be senior quarterback Jesse Lowder (5-8, 185), bringing experience and poise to the position. Senior tight end Chris Dolles (6-2, 185) also looks to add to the offensive weaponry on specific plays. For the passing game, look for sophomore newcomer wide receiver Austin Mayberry (6-0, 160).
Running a 4-2 defense, Owensville "looks to be more physical and explosive at the point of attack" says Coach Long. He adds: "We will need to play down-hill and aggressive if we want to be successful on defense." There are areas of concern however on the D-Line as two-way player Derek Diekmann makes up the entirety of returners; but in the backfield, Owensville will rely on their experienced linebackers and defensive backs. Those linebackers include: Jesse Lowder, Chris Dolles, and Matt Pohlmann (5-7, 150). Devon Dowler and Tristian Crofford continue to explode onto the field defensively as they fulfill their secondary roles with the hopes of accomplishing two major goals this season: solid tackling and creating turnovers. A feat sometimes more easily said than done.
Coach Long and his Owensville squad undoubtedly have a giant mountain to climb this season -- especially on the heels of a rather disappointing 2013 season. Yet, with a new core of hungry players and a positive attitude during the off-season leading into late August, perhaps this team will witness a much needed shot-inthe- arm in order to perform above .500. Theoretically, the team appears ready; but whether or not they can stay healthy and execute every Friday night is a far different story -- one of which has plagued this team in recent seasons. Yet, they bring with them a positive attitude to both camp and the regular season -- and with that mindset and solid performances, a balanced seasonal record might not be too lofty a goal. They must also learn to find leadership from their stars, Crofford and Diekmann, for therein lies the challenge of struggling team trying to make themselves respectable and competitors once again.
Pigskin's Pick: 3-6