Photos by John Schaffner
If experience is as important of a teacher as some people suggest it is, the Port Clinton Redskins should get benefit from the growing pains they endured in 2013.
Last season, Port Clinton played a plethora of underclassmen and struggled to an 0-10 season, but they did accomplish some things along the way. They were able to get a lot of their younger players experience while seeing the potential in some star players like Nathan Stubblefield, Brandon Moore and Emerson Lowe.
With 20 returning starters, 11 on offense and nine on defense, the ‘Skins are primed for a turnaround.
Operating out of a no-huddle, four-wide, one-back set that features the quarterback in the pistol formation, Port Clinton should be able to utilize its talent and athleticism. Head coach Beau Carmon is hoping to get guys like Stubblefield, Tristan Mallory, Aidan Rospert, Darius Daniels and Stefan Daniels out into space, something that will enable them to make plays. Lowe and Moore, meanwhile, should be able to provide a potent rushing attack, something that will take pressure off Moore when he goes to air it out. Corbin Winningham could also see some time in the backfield.
But more than anything, Carmon is hoping to establish control at the line of scrimmage.
“We put the kids in positions that we believe can make us a good team,” he said. “Even though we are spreading it out, we still believe in the run. In high-school football in Ohio, we believe you’ve got to establish the run.”
Carmon will not be calling the plays this year. He’s decided to turn those duties over to new offensive coordinator Marcus Rimboch, a man in which he has great confidence.
“We did a lot of studying,” said Carmon, now in second season coaching in Port Clinton. “Last winter, Marcus and I we sat down and thought about what we wanted to do and use our personnel to the best of our runners. You can do anything you want out of (the pistol). We can (run the offense) on the fly. We try to take advantage of that. We put an emphasis on our conditioning.
“Everything we did in the offseason is geared to what we do on offense and defense. A lot of teams run the no-huddle. We have six or seven teams on our schedule that run the no-huddle and you have to gear your kids to that. You’re trying to create mismatches and get guys out on the edge. We did not have the firepower or the strength to finish off football games last year. That’s been an emphasis for us — finishing everything we do.”
The Port Clinton Redskins return 18 lettermen for the 2014 season. They are (kneeling l-r): Aiden Rospert, Jesse Escobedo, Brandon Moore, Cole Araguz, Cal Laurel, Zach Kokinda, Nathan Stubblefield, Emerson Lowe, Jack Warner. (Standing l-r): Stone Scott, Eric Wheeler, Tristan Mallory, Trenton Williams, Andrew Cline, Collin Salyers, Keegan Lowe, Stefan Daniels, Jordan Kleinhans.
The offensive line is much more experienced this year, something that wasn’t the case in 2013. Colin Salyers, who started three games last season, anchors the line at center with Stone Scott and Eric Wheeler at the guards and Andrew Cline and Trenton Williams at the tackles.
Despite the ’Skins’ firepower on offense, it is defensively where the team’s success will be determined.
On the defensive line, six players will consistently see action with the ends, Wheeler and Russell DeMarco, being complemented by Scott, Williams, Cline and Mallory. The linebackers, meanwhile, consist of Keegan Lowe in the middle, Stefan Daniels on the strong side and Cal Laurel on the weak side.
The secondary will see six players rotate in at the four spots with Rospert and Cole Araguz playing cornerback. Moore, Stubblefield, Joey Brenner and Cole Araguz will occupy the safety positions.
For now, Carmon is hoping that the experience gained last year and the effort the team put forth during the offseason will pay off.
“I think we had 3-4 kids that could bench press over 200 pounds last year, and now it’s about 14 kids,” he said. “The difference between your sophomore and junior year (for an athlete) is tremendous.”