Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Does Facing The Single-Wing Take Up Valuable Practice Time?

Editor's Note: Does Facing The Single-Wing Take Up Valuable Practice Time? See what the Opposition Says In The Last Two Paragraphs.
New coach, Hawks want to maintain gridiron tradition
Published: Monday, August 18, 2008 2:08 PM EDT

Hartley has been possibly the most stable job in Central Ohio, with Burchfield becoming just the third coach in 47 years.

Burchfield, a Reynoldsburg and Marietta College graduate, brings a youthful exuberance to the job that has kept the players motivated and on their toes.

The coach was most recently the head coach at Centerburg, going 30-25 in five seasons with two playoff appearances, including advancing to the state semifinal game in 2005.

The coach has served both as a defensive coordinator (Canal Winchester) and offensive coordinator (Marietta) in his career.

The Hawks set up to be a fairly young team, but Burchfield sees a group with talent, regardless of its experience level.

"We're young within the system, whether they're seniors or freshmen and sophomores," he explained. "We certainly have young players on the field. We'll have some freshmen and sophomores who will contribute, but we think they're talented players."

Sophomore Austin Underwood (6-1, 175), a transfer from Reynoldsburg, is expected to start at the quarterback position, with freshman Eric Siefert (6-1, 150) serving as his backup.

Those protecting the signal-callers up front will include seniors Nick Wahle (6-0, 190), Nick Muetzel (6-2, 215) and Cody Jackson (5-10, 195), juniors Corey McSweeney (6-3, 225) and Cody Mackey (6-1, 250), and sophomore Brandon Michalek (5-10, 180).

Sophomore Evan Jackson (6-0, 200) and junior Justin Momeyer (6-2, 210) are two other linemen who will likely see the field.

Possibly the most exciting area of the Hawks' roster is at the running back and receiver positions, where talent abounds.

Seniors Rufus Walls (6-1, 180), Malike McCord (6-1, 215), Jotham Allwein (5-10, 160) and Luke Evans (5-10, 165), junior Geoffrey Whiteside (5-10, 170) and sophomore Noah Key (5-10, 175) will all contribute at skill positions.

"We have some really good players there," Burchfield said. "I think our idea is we want to spread the ball around to as many people as we can and get the ball in their hands in as many areas as we can.

"We want to use the entire length and width of the field and make defenses defend everybody. That's the basic concept we want to have."

The defensive line will be made up of players like Muetzel, Michalek, Cody Jackson, Evan Jackson and sophomore Ramsey Breslin (6-0, 260).

The linebacking unit could include any combination of Walls, McCord, McSweeney, Mackey, Momeyer, Wahle and freshman Jarrod Zang (5-9, 170).

Players in the secondary will be Whiteside, Key, Evans and juniors Ben Currie (5-10, 165) and Matt Taylor (5-8, 165).

Coming off a 5-5 season and with the retirement of Geyer, the Hawks will look to continue keeping the program successful, while also laying the groundwork for a new foundation.

"We've set a lot of goals," Burchfield explained. "I think any time at Bishop Hartley High School you have high expectations. You expect to be excellent. That's been established here for over 50 years and that doesn't change at all.

"From a coaching standpoint, we want to see the kids get better. Fortunately, we were able to get a lot better (during preseason workouts)."

Hartley will once again compete in Division IV, with hopes of advancing to the postseason, but just wishing for that won't get the job done, according to Burchfield.

"I don't know a team at this point in the season that doesn't expect to do very well," he said. "We need to put that away and decide what it is that we need to do to get us to be good and do well.

"We need to perform well and in the end we deserve what we get."

Burchfield has also grabbed hold and embraced the fact the Hawks are part of one of the best rivalries in the area, along with Ready, the only other team in the Central Catholic League Gold Division.

"We talk a lot about the responsibility that our kids have in being a member of the Central Catholic League," Burchfield explained. "We think that's important. The CCL has the reputation for some of the best football in Ohio and there's a great deal of responsibility that goes along with that.

"We're eager to accept that responsibility. We have a great deal of respect for (Ready). It's very important to us. There's not a day that goes by, similar to Ohio State-Michigan, that we don't talk about Ready or that we don't do something to try to get ready for that game."
New coach, Hawks want to maintain gridiron tradition
Published: Monday, August 18, 2008 2:08 PM EDT

After 27 years under the direction of Dick Geyer, those in the Hartley football program could be forgiven if there were a few hiccups while adjusting to the style of new coach Brad Burchfield.

From all indications, despite putting in a new system with nearly an entirely new staff, such issues haven't been a problem.

"That's the exciting thing about coaching," said Burchfield of preseason camp. "It's an opportunity to come together and improve, jell and bond. It's about doing things better than the day before.

"Being a new coach, everything is new and that's really exciting. We have a big advantage, because the kids have been so well-coached. The tradition has been so imbedded into the kids that it's made my job better."

The Hawks won three games in a row in the series, with the Silver Knights before losing to them 24-7 last year.

Hartley is scheduled to travel to Centennial Friday, Aug. 22, for its season opener.

The game was originally scheduled to take place at Jack Ryan Field, but renovations to the complex forced the move to the Stars' home.

"It'll be exciting," Burchfield said. "I think Centennial's an improved football team. They have some talented skill players we'll need to be keenly aware of.

They run almost a single wing philosophy on offense, which is quite different from other things we've seen in scrimmages and practices.

"We will have to be very prepared and have to play well."

The Columbus Local News • 5257 Sinclair Road • P.O. Box 29912 • Columbus, Ohio 43229
Single-Wing Team: Centennial High School • Columbus, Ohio 43220

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