Sparks, Dayton and Spring Creek once again dot Wooster’s football schedule. But the Colts will more than merely play a Division I-A schedule.
After two years as an independent, the Colts last winter were awarded full membership in the I-A classification (formerly 3A) in football only. It means they’re no longer the redheaded stepchild. Players are now eligible for postseason recognition and the team is playoff-eligible.
“It changes quite a bit of our mentality,” Marlon Lopez, a senior middle linebacker, said. “Last year, we wanted to win games but this year we want it more because we actually have a chance to go to the playoffs. We have a lot to prove.”
Wooster would not have made the Northern 3A playoffs either of the past two seasons even had it been eligible. The Colts won two games in 2010 and one last year. But they now have a new carrot dangling in front of them.
“We worked hard last year. We’re just picking it up a little more this year because we have something to look forward to,” returning quarterback Josh Carnemola said.
Second-year coach Vince Johnson said it’s good to have the postseason as a goal but that his team still has much work to do.
“It gives us hope that we can do something that we haven’t done in a long time. We didn’t have that hope last year,” Johnson said.
“We have a lot of question marks. This next week and a half will answer those question marks, hopefully.”
Which questions exactly, coach?
“Can we run the ball? Can we throw the ball? Can we stop the run? Can we defend the pass?” Johnson said. “And will we be good on special teams?”
One thing is for certain. Johnson and his players are much more comfortable with each other than at this time last year.
“It was hard learning a new way of doing things,” linebacker Alfred Salas said. “We know what we’re doing now and we’re moving at a faster pace.”