Wauseon football will likely undergo some transition this season under first-year coach Shawn Moore, a Wauseon alum and longtime coach within the program. Nevertheless, Moore does have some athletes returning.
The offense will be somewhat different from what the Indians ran under previous coach Travis Cooper. They will utilize four to five receivers on each play and not have a tight end. Moore also said there won’t be as many pre-snap motions like previous years.
Leading the way on offense is senior quarterback Cody Figy. “He’s been working hard all offseason. Lifting and throwing with all the guys. Being a leader, making sure everybody’s coming to things,” said Moore. “So far in practice, he’s been looking really good. He’s making all the right throws and competing at a high level right now for us.”
As the Indians look to spread things out more this season, Figy will have many options to choose from.
Returning are Noah Tester, Sean Brock (honorable mention All-Northwest Ohio Athletic League), Connar Penrod (honorable mention all-league), Jonas Tester and Tyson Britsch. Davon Ramos will also see time on the outside for the Wauseon offense.
“We’ve got a lot of kids that can catch the ball,” stated Moore of his receivers. “So we are going to be looking to get them the ball in space. Allow them to make some moves and hopefully get some good yards for us.”
Penrod, who began the 2018 season at quarterback, will be sort of a do-it-all type of player. “He’s gonna be out there at wide receiver. He’s definitely taken some reps at quarterback for us. He can do a lot of different things. We’ll move him around the ball on the field, wherever we feel he’s gonna help us the most,” said Moore.
Isaac Wilson and Thomas Leahy will rotate at running back for the Indians. Having multiple skill position players back should help Moore when calling plays this season.
“We’ve got a little bit of depth there. So we can rotate guys – keep them fresh,” he said. “Just knowing that, hopefully we can just flick it out to those guys and let their athleticism take care of the rest for us.”
The Indians have the potential to be good on the defensive side, returning most of the back-end of their defense.
“Defensively our strength will be our defensive backs. We’ve got a couple of good linebackers (Wilson and Britsch) in there (also),” said Moore. “All those guys in the defensive backfield coming back with Connar, and Noah, and Jonas back there, is gonna be a huge benefit. Davon Ramos, a senior, playing this year, is really quick and fast. He’ll be out there. So those guys will be the leaders.”
Noah Tester made first team all-league defense and second team all-district in 2018, while Wilson was second team all-league defense and honorable mention all-district.
But, Wauseon will have some holes to fill with players graduating on both sides of the ball.
The most impactful loss is likely that of Trevor Rodriguez who was first team all-league defense and second team all-league offense, along with being first team all-district defense and special mention All-Ohio. Furthermore, Joey Shema was first team all-league and all-district as a specialist, and special mention All-Ohio.
Also gone is Miguel Gomez who was second team all-league defense and honorable mention all-district, as well as Xavier Torres, Zeb Smith, Garrett Demaline, Sam Frank, Jaiden Falke and Zac Carroll who were each honorable mention all-league.
Wauseon opens the season on the road at Fairview Friday night. They finish the non-league slate at home against Tinora Sept. 6 and at Napoleon on Sept. 13. In week four, the Indians welcome Bryan to begin the league season.
This week’s game will tell a lot about Wauseon’s playoff chances. Fairview is coming off a 9-4 2018 campaign where they were regional runners-up in Division VI, Region 22. They also have Wauseon’s former coach, Cooper, on Doug Rakes’ staff.
“It’s a trophy game for us so it’s always been a big game. You always want to start off the season on the right foot,” said Moore of the matchup. “And so those things with them, having a really good year last year and making that run in the playoffs. They’ve got a lot of guys coming back. We want to go out there and prove ourselves. That’s gonna be one of the biggest tests of the year.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010