Since Coach John Reed arrived in Coldwater for the 1995 season, Coldwater has been a contender for playoffs and the Div IV crown. In his first season the Cavs were nipped from the playoffs in the State Semifinals. They returned to the State Playoffs in 1998 where they lost 23-21 to Justin Zwick and his Orrville Red Riders. In 2000 they returned, but once again came up short 48-37 to Youngstown Ursuline (Louis Irizarry, Terrence Graves, Josh Swogger, Delbert Ferguson) in arguably the biggest offensive shootout in State Finals history. Two years ago they were bounced by the incredible offense of Kenton and Ben Mauk. Many thought last year was the year. The Cavs finshed as AP Champs and 10-0 during the regular season. A late season injury to All-Everything Kevin Hoyng (2800 yards passing, 1900 yards rushing) hurt their chances and Coldwater ran out of gas agasinst a solid Cincinnati Reading team. So what's the deal? Can the Cavs finally get the breaks this year and get it done? It's going to be a tough road ahead for the Cavs, but they definately have all the tools to make a long run.
As mentioned, the loss of Kevin Hoyng (Dayton) is going to hurt, but for the 5th straight season, a Hoyng will be taking the snaps. Former teammate and good friend Alex Hoyng (6'0 175) will be taking the reigns this year. Hoyng, who is so similar to Kevin's brother Kyle (QB of the '99 and '00 teams), it's almost scary. He's got a great arm and will surprise people with his feet. The thing Alex has going for him is the stable of receivers who return. 6'3 200 pound Kevin Brackman is back (15+ catches). Playmaker junior Craig Wellman is back as well (25 catches, 300+ yards, 11 TDs). He's got a handful of other guys who saw playing time last season too. Players like Derrick Forsthoffel, Ryan Lefeld, and Josh Fullenkamp will all help the new QB's step in a litle smoother. The big question on offense is the play of the line. Replacing Center and Longsnapper Mike Hay (Ball State) won't be easy. Rob Wenning has left as well (Findlay). Only 2 starters return, (6'3 220) Joe Huwer will play on both sides of the ball as will Andrew Wenning (6'3 225). Cody Dues has returned to the football team after taking a year off. Dues, a bit undersized for a lineman, is an extremely tough player. He should give the Coldwater solid line play on both sides. 5'11 275 pound OG Tony Homan will help protect Alex Hoyng in the Coldwater spread'em out offense.
The defense has some strong points and some holes to fill. The Cavs will have to replace DBs Dan Kanney and Kevin Hoyng, 6'4 230 DE Dusty Uhlenhake, and OLBs Don Gillis (Heidelburg) and Andy Moeder. Craig Wellman returns as one of the Midwest Athletic Conferences best CBs. He will most likely be joined by 6'4 190 pound Jay Miller. The safety position still looks to be wide open. The Cavs will boast their quickest linebacking speed they've had in quite some time. Super Sophomore Ross Homan (6'2 215 4.55) registered 115+ tackles as a freshman last year (first to start under Coach Reed at Coldwater). He will likely be joined by speedster Josh Fullenkamp (5'9 185 4.6). The defensive line will be anchored by Joe Huwer, Andrew Wenning and Cody Dues.
Special teams has been a strong point for the Cavs the past few years. Coldwater lost their PK last year, but has reliable Trevor Stromblad (junior) back to help out. Punter might be a big question mark in the Cavs' offense.
Coaching will again be a strong point for the Cavs. The Coldwater offense has been one of the most productive in the state the past few years. Although year in and year out the Cavs have nimerous two way starters, they are always in great physical condition. The offense should put plenty of points on the board, but will the defense be able to shut down opposing offenses? Will the special teams come up big like last season? Can Coldwater get through their meat-grinder schedule (MAC play and non-league with Kenton)? I see the Cavs going between 7-3 and 9-1 and qualifying for playoffs. No idea how far they'll go....that depends on them.
Ross Homan Craig Wellman