When the hometown football fans head to Orrville High School Red Rider Stadium on Aug. 31 to watch the Red Riders play the Triway Titans in the gridiron home opener, they’ll not only see the new synthetic field turf that was installed this summer, but also an almost completely different Orrville team from the one that posted an 8-4 overall record and advanced to the second round of the Division IV playoffs last season.
The Red Riders return six total starters – two on offense and four on defense – from the 2011 squad that was bounced from the Ohio High School Athletic Association state tournament by eventual state champion Norwayne.
Such a daunting rebuilding process at most schools would likely signal a season full of setbacks, but not at Orrville, where the Red Riders have made 22 postseason appearances.
Seventh-year head coach Doug DaVault knows his team’s youth will present a unique set of challenges throughout the 2012 campaign, but expects his team to uphold the program’s proud tradition by playing hard each and every game.
Orrville travels to Canal Fulton Northwest to kick off the season on Friday.
DaVault recently answered questions about this year’s squad and its upcoming season for WKYC’s usatodayhss.com Web site.
WKYC’s usatodayhss.com: What is your team’s motto this season? What is its significance?
Orrville football coach Doug DaVault: “Relentless Effort.” We won’t be favored and will need to be tenacious to compete each week.
WKYC: What is the biggest question/uncertainty you have about your team that you hope to have answered by the start of Ohio Cardinal Conference play?
DaVault: We will be young and inexperienced. Depth will be an issue.
WKYC: What are your goals for your team this season?
DaVault: Compete each week and give ourselves a chance to win.
WKYC: What must happen for your team to be able to accomplish those goals?
DaVault: Great effort, great focus and great energy.
WKYC: Who are some of your team’s veteran players that you expect to contribute significantly this year?
DaVault: Junior linebacker/tight end Trevor Summers, junior running back/strong safety Joel Zook, senior wide receiver/defensive back BJ Johnson, senior linebacker Chase Infield, senior quarterback/defensive back Kyle Lichti, senior offensive lineman/defensive lineman Zane Vierheller, junior offensive lineman/defensive lineman Harrison Brown and senior wide receiver/defensive back Tyrone White.
WKYC: Who are some of your team’s newcomers that you expect to contribute this year?
DaVault: Sophomore quarterback/wide receiver/defensive back Bryce Short, junior wide receiver defensive back Kyle Ritchie, sophomore running back/linebacker Martavius Dyson, sophomore running back/strong safety Kayronn Inman, sophomore tight end/linebacker Corre Shaffer, sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Lincoln Ballinger and sophomore wide receiver Elijah Coleman.
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