Prep football preview: Lansing Catholic Cougars

Prep football preview: Lansing Catholic Cougars

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Prep football preview: Lansing Catholic Cougars

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PDF: Preview the Lansing Catholic Cougars

Schedule, coach, roster

(home games at Holt Junior High School except *at Lansing Catholic)

8/24 PEWAMO-WESTPHALIA

8/30 at Saginaw Nouvel Catholic

9/7 STOCKBRIDGE

9/14 at Corunna

9/22 (Sat.) *LAKEWOOD

9/28 WILLIAMSTON

10/5 at Portland

10/12 BRANTFORD (ONTARIO) ASSUMPTION

10/19 at Alma

JIM AHERN

* Age: 65

* Playing experience: Owosso St. Paul 1961-63

* Coaching experience: Ithaca 1972-2003, Lansing Catholic 2009-present

* Career record: 225-134-6

* Full-time job: retired teacher

* Assistant coaches: Mike Doran, Jim Wenson, Elbert Payne, Jodie Clemons, Hub Waite, Lou Boyer, Mike Ahern, Lee Vickers, Paul Stornant, Chris Rett, Mike Sevenski, Mike Taranova, Jim Baker, Dave Wolff

NO.NAMEPOSITIONYEAR

1 Mitch Vorce WR…sr.

2 Jack Swain Back…sr.

3 Caleb LaPointe Back…sr.

5 Rory Liesman Back…sr.

7 Austin Schertzing Back…jr.

8 Alex Enriquez Receiver…sr.

9 Alec Shelton Back…jr.

13 Brock Rucinski Back…sr.

14 Adam Babcock Back…sr.

17 Jack Fox Back…jr.

20 Bronson Russell Receiver…jr.

21 Jordon Smith Back…jr.

23 Austin Krause Back…jr.

26 Luke McVeigh Receiver…sr.

40 Nick Statly Back…sr.

45 Danny Neugent Receiver…

46 David Poljan Receiver…jr.

48 Peter Atkins Receiver…jr.

51 Tim McKay Line…sr.

53 Adam Zarotnay Line…jr.

56 Brennan Wolff Line…jr.

57 Adam Distel Line…sr.

60 Kole Kletke Line…jr.

62 Ryan Shannon Line…sr.

63 James Richardson Line…sr.

64 Jacob Haskell Line…sr.

66 Dan Palmer Line…sr.

67 Zach Brown Line…sr.

70 Travis Kulpa Line…sr.

71 Dametrius Brainerd Line…sr.

72 Brad Ruddock Line…jr.

74 Ryan Clark Line…jr.

76 Ethan Leppanen Line…jr.

78 Zach Whitney Line…sr.

84 Josh Baker Receiver…sr.

88 Will Ward Receiver…sr.

Returning starters

4 on offense

5 on defense

OFFENSE

Jack Swain, 5-11, 205, sr. RB/WR

Ryan Shannon, 5-11, 210, sr. OL

Tim McKay, 5-11, 225, sr. OL

Adam Zarotnay, 5-11, 210, jr. OL

DEFENSE

Ryan Shannon, 5-11, 210, sr. LB

Tim McKay, 5-11, 225, sr. DL

Jack Swain, 5-11, 205, sr. DB

Rory Liesman, 5-11, 210, sr. SS

Adam Babcock, 5-6, 150, sr. DB

OTHER

CONTRIBUTORS

Offense

Josh Baker 6-2, 170, sr. WR

Dan Palmer 6-4, 255, sr. OL

Brock Rucinski, 6-2, 195, sr. QB

Defense

Zach Whitney, 5-10, 170, sr. DL

Mitch Vorce, 6-2, 170, sr. DB

Alex Enriquez, 5-10, 155, sr. DB

Fourcast

BUILDING BLOCKS

It was an unbelievable season for the Cougars in 2011, as they smashed offensive records and racked up 13 wins before falling in the Division 5 state championship game to Flint Powers Catholic. Lansing Catholic was able to move farther through the playoffs than it did in 2010, where it lost to Williamston in a district opener. The key now is trying to capitalize on the momentum , which includes as many wins in the past two years (22) as the Cougars had from 2005-2009.

REPLACING RUSH

Senior Brock Rucinksi will take over for the graduated Cooper Rush, who moved on to Central Michigan after setting numerous marks during his career at Lansing Catholic. His production in Jim Ahern’s offense was astounding, and Rush showed the skill that would be missed when he was named the Most Valuable Player of the Michigan High School All-Star Game at Alma College in June. Rucinski will have to be sharp if the Cougars are going to come close to approaching the near 43 points per game they averaged in 2011.

EXPERIENCED LINE

One thing helping Rucinski will be the offensive line, a unit that returns three starters. Ryan Shannon and Tim McKay each earned All-CAAC White honors last year for the Cougars and junior Adam Zarotnay, who was the starting center for Rush as a sophomore, returns to help Rucinski.

DO-IT-ALL

One of the lone weapons returning offensively for the Cougars is running back/receiver Jack Swain. The senior is back after an all-league junior campaign. Lansing Catholic will need Swain to help lessen the loss of Matt Macksood, who put himself in the MHSAA history books with 94 catches for 1,585 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. He’s now a walk-on at Michigan State. Senior receiver Josh Baker, who started about half of Lansing Catholic’s games last year and was named all-league, will also be needed to contribute.

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