The Archbold Bluestreaks will look for defense to lead the way in 2018, fresh off a 2017 campaign which saw their football program reclaim dominance in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League. The Streaks finished last season with a 9-3 record and 6-1 mark in the league.
“Overall, I feel that our returning starters (7 on defense – 4 on offense) and promising newcomers give us a chance to compete each and every week in our tough league and non-league schedule,” said fourth-year coach David Dominique. “Key factors for us will include being consistent in our preparation each week and as always, staying healthy on both sides of the ball. We must find ways to utilize our speed and quickness in order to make up for our lack of size up front, while also playing physical football.”
They will have to replace some key pieces, including a pair of all-state athletes.
Gone for the Streaks are Gabe Petersen (NWOAL POY, first team all-district offense, third team All-Ohio), Nic Rodriguez (first team All-NWOAL, first team all-district defense, honorable mention All-Ohio), Sam Petersen (second team All-NWOAL, honorable mention all-district), Ben Zimmerman (second team All-NWOAL, second team all-district defense), Gavin Grime (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Andrew Beck (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Cash Gericke (second team All-NWOAL, second team all-district offense), Trevor Short (honorable mention All-NWOAL) and Logan Roth (second team All-NWOAL, second team all-district defense).
“We are an undersized team so we must utilize our speed and quickness in order to compete every week in the NWOAL and our non-conference slate,” said Dominique on the Streaks’ main weakness heading into the season. “A second weakness of our team this year is a lack of depth at key positions. With lower numbers than years past, we must find a way to have quality practices each day while avoiding injuries.”
The Streaks do have 16 returning letter winners to help them try and duplicate last year’s success.
Back are Zach Rocha, Caleb Hogrefe, Isaiah Gomez, Tony Grime, Noah Gomez (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Izzy Reyes (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Kasyn Schaffner, Shane Eicher, Aiden Warncke (second team All-NWOAL, honorable mention all-district), Matthew Gladieux (second team All-NWOAL), Mason Babcock, Clay Nafziger, Holden Galvan (second team All-NWOAL, honorable mention all-district), Owen Roehrig, L.J. Tijerina (honorable mention All-NWOAL) and Brayden Hall.
They also have nine newcomers to add depth to the roster. Those athletes are Antonio Cruz, Brandon Taylor, Elijah Zimmerman, Carson Meyer, Adrian Juarez, Josh Richer, Zoey Tuckerman, Brooks Behnfeldt and Spencer Short.
“A key strength for our football team this year will be our returning experience on the defensive side of the ball,” said Dominique. “We return 7 defensive starters from last year’s squad along with a number of others who saw significant time, and we are looking to play fast, physical football each week.”
Last season was Archbold’s first league title in seven years. Now they have the pleasure of defending their title in 2018.
“As always, I look for the NWOAL to be very competitive every single week of the season,” said the Bluestreak coach. “Overall, I think the league will be very balanced and every week will be a battle.”
Archbold opens the season by hosting Hicksville Friday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010