HS football preview: Ovid-Elsie Marauders

HS football preview: Ovid-Elsie Marauders

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HS football preview: Ovid-Elsie Marauders

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FOURCAST

PROMISING RETURNS

Even as Ovid-Elsie was watching its season end at the hands of Lansing Catholic last season in the state playoffs, it was easy to see the potential for 2014 because of all the underclassmen on the field. The Marauders look primed for a big year as they bring back 17 of 22 starters from a team that went 7-3. After a 3-6 hiccup in 2012 stopped a string of seven straight winning seasons, O-E looks to be in the process of building another playoff streak.

RUN THE ROCK

As a sophomore, Devon Kelley led the area in rushing for much of the season before being overtaken by mid-Michigan area runners whose teams advanced deep into the playoffs. Kelley made Class B all-area honorable mention and looks to be set up for another huge season, with fullback Chris Luckhurst back as well as four offensive linemen and tight end Ben Stilwell.

BACK FOUR STRONG

Even with the departure of Class B all-area defensive back Austin Loynes, O-E returns four defensive backs with starting experience. Kelley and senior Dylan Ralph will man the cornerback positions, while Hunter Alexander and Brandon Meisel are two smart senior safeties. If the Marauders can put together a solid run defense to go with this pass defense, it will be an extremely strong unit overall.

FIGHTING COMPLACENCY

Coach Travis Long said he doesn’t want a sense of accomplishment to seep into his locker room this year, and the schedule ahead will most likely not allow it. Right out of the gate, O-E faces a Portland program that won a state championship two seasons ago and a Freeland program that has beaten the Marauders three of the past four years. In their fifth game, the Marauders will face off against Saginaw Swan Valley and star running back Alex Grace, a Western Michigan commitment, in a game that might end up deciding the TVC Central title.

— Denny Schwarze

SCHEDULE

(last year’s score)

Thu., Aug. 28 …PORTLAND (L 10-35)

Fri., Sept. 5 …*at Freeland (W 21-15)

Fri., Sept. 12 …*MIDLAND BULLOCK CREEK

(W 23-22)

Fri., Sept. 19 …*at Alma (W 41-14)

Fri., Sept. 26 …*at Saginaw Swan Valley

(L 16-48)

Fri., Oct. 3 …*SHEPHERD (W 33-12)

Fri., Oct. 10 …*at Chesaning (W 23-8)

Fri., Oct. 17 …*HEMLOCK (W 27-7)

Fri., Oct. 24 …at Perry (W 33-14)

*Tri-Valley Conference Central game

COACH

TRAVIS LONG

* Age: 35

* Playing experience: Ovid-Elsie 1995-96

* Head coaching experience: Ovid-Elsie 2010-present

* Career record: 21-17

* Full-time job: Ovid-Elsie High physical education teacher

* Assistant coaches: Jeremy Palus, Brad Sutliff, Freddie Willbanks

ROSTER

NO. NAME …POSITION YEAR

2 Dylan Ralph …FL/CB…sr.

10 Brandon Meisel …FB/SS…sr.

11 Keaghan Sutliff …QB/SS…jr.

12 Tyler Gillespie …E/FS…jr.

14 Austen Jones …FL/CB…jr.

15 Ben Stilwell …TE/SS…jr.

20 Brandon Watson …FL/CB…jr.

21 Devon Kelley …TB/CB…jr.

22 Kole Stilwell …RB/SS…jr.

24 Hunter Alexander …RB/SS…sr.

25 Remi Whitman …RB/LB…sr.

28 Tyler Root …RB/LB…jr.

30 Ethan Melzer …FB/LB…sr.

32 Ken Ordway …RB/CB…sr.

33 Michael Ryals …E/DL…jr.

34 Chris Luckhurst …FB/LB…sr.

44 Forrest Nash …RB/CB…jr.

50 Collin Freeman …OL/DL…sr.

51 Blue Goad …OL/DL…jr.

52 Nathan Moore …OL/DE…jr.

54 Andrew Bosom …OL/DL…sr.

55 Haiden West …OL/DL…sr.

58 Aaron Bush …OL/DE…sr.

60 Conner Applebee …OL/DL…jr.

61 Tyler Skriba …OL/DL…sr.

62 Richard Olger …OL/DL…sr.

68 Marcus Medina …OL/LB…sr.

70 James Wilber …OL/DL…jr.

74 Alex Koyne …OL/DL…sr.

77 Dakota Taylor …OL/DL…jr.

79 Kalin Crittenden …OL/DE…sr.

81 Zack Coleman …E/FS…jr.

85 Jordan Shattuck …TE/DE…jr.

RETURNING STARTERS

(8 on offense, 9 on defense — see lsj.com)

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