By: Nate Calvin
The Stryker Panthers begin their second season of varsity football and will do so with a new head coach. Kent Holsopple took over leading the program in the spring when then head coach Justin Sonnenberg left to become the girls basketball coach at Patrick Henry.
Obviously last season had plenty of growing pains has they try build the program. “The coaching staff has hit the ground running. Implementing new offensive and defensive schemes that will complement our players skill sets is our priority”, said Holsopple. Stryker does return 9 letterwinners at several key positions which Holsopple thinks combined with excellent team chemistry and hard working attitudes will be strengths of this year’s team.
Stryker does return their quarterback in Payton Woolace who was 30-96 throwing last year for 515 yards, 4 TDs, and 9 interceptions to go along with 15 tackles from his defensive back position. Wyatt Short WR/LB, Carter Zimmerman WR/DB/K, and Gabe Littin WR/DB are all back at the skilled positions and figure to be targets of Woolace in the passing game.
Stryker also adds seven freshmen along with juniors Brandon Bowers, Kaleb Holsopple, and Brayden Tilley which Holsopple hopes will help their offensive line depth and the need to replace some of their top tacklers from last season. “We plan to move the program forward in a positive manner and build fierce competitors who will represent our school and community with great pride and honor”, commented Holsopple when speaking about the overall outlook for this year’s team.
Northwood and Edon look to be the contenders for the TAAC title according to Holsopple, but he expects the rest of the conference to be very balanced which should make for an exciting league season.
ABOUT THEIR SCHEDULE: The Panthers schedule will feature a pair of 8-man games including their season opener at home against Holgate on August 30th. The other one will be on October 11th at Toledo Christian. The Panthers will start league play on September 20th at Ottawa Hills.
Nate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org