COVINGTON – Bruce Kozerski returns for his 12th season as head coach. Kozerski, the former Bengals offensive lineman, seeks a return to glory at Holy Cross after the team went 1-10 a year ago.
The lone win was over Brossart, and the Indians fell 26-19 to Gallatin County in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs. Holy Cross also had a tough district loss to Newport in overtime, 37-36.
The Indians return six starters each on offense and defense but will have to replace its top player in running back Jalen Beal, who rushed for 1,354 yards and scored 17 of the 27 touchdowns accumulated by the Indians last year.
Top returnees start with junior quarterback/defensive back Hamilton Scott, junior receiver/defensive back Damien Serrano, senior offensive lineman Rick Zion, senior offensive lineman Mike Gerrein, senior two-way lineman Justin Gangwish, senior linebacker Braxton Foote and sophomore running back/linebacker Xavier Abernathy.
Scott threw for 470 yards a year ago and rushed for 495 in his first year under center. Abernathy rushed for 428 yards.
With the athletic Scott a year wiser under center in the spread attack and with several large linemen in front of him, and at the front of the 4-3 defensive scheme, the coach believes he has a good foundation for success.
“We will mix a group of senior linemen that we need to be the heart of this team with a very good group of underclassmen that we need to take the ball and run,” Kozerski said. “Success by the stats will be seen through the younger players, but our linemen must lead.”
Key leadership responsibilities fall to Gangwish, Gerrein and Zion and senior tight end/defensive lineman David Lampke. Gangwish, a 6-5, 245-pound masher, Lampke, Scott and Serrano are two-way starters. Foote is a leading returning tackler followed by junior linebacker Joe Wilder.
Holy Cross starts the season with rival Holmes Aug. 22, then hosts Simon Kenton Aug. 29 and Beechwood Sept. 12. All 2014 opponents are the same as last year.
Follow James Weber on Twitter, @JWeberSports