FOOTBALL COACHING SERIES
Mark Bless of Avon
How do you build off last season's success?
Last season was an excellent season and we had a very enjoyable group of seniors who were very good students, very good football players and strong leaders. I think they set a great example for the team we have this year. Our guys know that the cornerstones of our success are Team Unity and work ethic and I think that’s one thing our current players learned from last year’s team.
Bryant Fitzgerald is a great football player. Talk about him as a player?
Fitz is an amazing football player. He has great strength, explosiveness and quickness. When he plays defensive, I believe he has developed a keen sense to be able to anticipate the play that’s coming at him before it has developed. He is crucial to our defense, which is the position he prefers, but we will continue to utilize his athletic ability on offense as well.
It was remarkable that you had 2 freshmen (Addison Batton and D.J. Bowles) playing such key roles as starters on your O-line. Good news is you have 3 more years of them?
Yes that is true. I think they came to us at the right time last year with an experienced and talented group of seniors. They certainly had the physical tools to contribute and they quickly learned the mental aspects of playing on the OL on Friday nights. Both DJ and Addison work extremely hard and have a strong desire to be successful. Both guys also have a great demeanor about themselves, they are fun to be around. We look forward to watching them develop as student-athletes.
You lost a D1 signal caller in Brandon Peters. How is the process finding a replacement going?
Brandon Peters was a special player for us and those kind of guys don’t come around very often. We are extremely proud of what all Brandon accomplished for himself and for us, but we have to move on without him. Cameron Miser (Junior) was Brandon’s back up and our JV QB last year. He has had a tremendous off-season and has certainly made great strides in being a solid high school QB. Cam will be fine for us the next couple of years.
Who is the most underrated college prospect on your team?
That’s a good question because we have some juniors who are pretty good, but didn’t get to see too much varsity time last year, so we’ll see who is able to make a name for themselves. Our DL has two returning starters in CJ Hunt (Bowling Green commit) and Gunnar Larson (State Runner-up at 220 in Wrestling last year) who we expect big things from. Our sophomore RB, Sampson James is also expected to have a solid season.
Who is the one player who no one knows about yet, but will??
Sampson James RB
Who is one guy on your team who might not be a high level recruit, but is a great football player?
Luke Shayotovich Junior WR
In what way has recruiting improved since you first started coaching??
Probably being able to reach out to so many different players due to social media.
What are the negatives about the current recruiting process?
Social media is both good and bad. I get bothered when college coaches offer players before they make an attempt to communicate with the high school coach. Most still communicate with us first, but there are some that have the HS coaches as the last to know about offers. Also the fact that college coaches are over offering players, which has turned into an uncontrollable game between some of the elite players and college football programs.