BUCYRUS — The 2015 football season has yielded a strange feeling for the Bucyrus Redmen.
Some would call it a rebuilding year, others would call it a fluke. Bucyrus head coach Aaron Eckert simply believes it is just a rare down year for the Redmen football team. But, it is not stopping the Redmen from playing hard week in and week out.
“Hopefully we can take away some valuable lessons from this season,” Eckert said. “When you compete as a team and compete at a high level, you get the results you want and when you do not, you get the results we are getting now.”
The headline from the preseason was the Redmen would be young, but with Week 8 quickly approaching, the young excuse has been tossed out the window a long time ago. Although it has not transferred to the scoreboard, the Redmen have been making progress from week to week.
“We get better at certain things every week,” Eckert said. “I would not say that we are great at anything just yet, but we get better at different parts of the game each week. Until we can put that together, we will not be as successful as we want to be.”
Recently, it has been the defense that has stepped up and improved. A 35-0 loss to Upper Sandusky in Week 6 did not reflect the defensive effort put forth by the Redmen. The Rams scored on a kickoff return, a blocked punt and an interception return. Realistically, the Redmen defense gave up just 14 points throughout the contest.
The special teams woes continued in Week 7 with a kickoff return and a blocked punt resulted in touchdowns. Eckert says it’s back to the basics.
“It has been two weeks in a row that we have given up touchdowns on special teams and whenever you give good teams points like that it is tough to win,” Eckert said “We are going to go back to Day 1 stuff and get back to the fundamentals and learn from our mistakes.”
As the special team struggled, the offense found some life in Week 7 at Buckeye Central. The Redmen put up 19 points, their highest total since their Week 2 win at Crestline. The offense was highlighted by the emergence of sophomore quarterback Damon Parsell.
The youngster completed 14 of 23 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Parsell completed passes to seven different receivers. He also ran the football 22 times for 115 yards leading the way to the Redmen’s best offensive performance of the year as they gathered 324 yards of total offense.
“He is our quarterback as it stands right now,” Eckert said of his sophomore quarterback. “He possesses a completely different skill set than what we were used to and hopefully he will be able to build on his performance last week and mature rather quickly.”
As the 2015 season quickly comes to an end, one cannot help but to think about next year. Bucyrus will graduate 11 seniors. Most importantly, it will return the majority of its skill position players including Parsell and freshman wide receiver Harley Robinson.
Trent Dunford, Gram Dick and Gavin Lewis will all be returning as well. Eckert sees the potential but hopes to see the hard work in the offseason.
“It is in the weight room with these guys. We have some younger guys with a ton of ability,” Eckert said. “Going forward it is going to come down to their potential against how good they want to be and how hard they are going to work to get the most potential out of themselves. We have a lot of potential on the team but it comes down to how much they are willing to work in the offseason to be good. I am really looking forward to seeing that and helping these guys grow as football players.”
Expectations have always remained high when it comes to Bucyrus Redmen Football and they are sure to remain just as high for the next few years.
The Redmen will be hosting Carey on Friday night, a team that is also experiencing a down year. If the Redmen can put together a complete game, the Redmen faithful could see a glimpse into the future of Redmen Football