The D Zone

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Troy Athens Red Hawks 2017 Football Preview




City / County: Troy / Oakland
School Mascot Name: Red Hawks
2016 Record: 2-7
Conference/Division: OAA Red
2017's Expected Division for Playoffs: Division 1
Record last 3 seasons: 9-18
Record last 5 seasons: 13-32
Record last 10 seasons: 29-62

Head Coach: Josh Heppner (TE’s/O-Line/D-Line)
Head Coaching Experience: 8th year
Assistant Coaching Staff:
Neal Mozdzierz
Matt Rawlik
Joe Shields
Rick Bouch
Jeff Cavazos
Jake Spinek
Matt Fitzpatrick
Steve Culp
Bo Bilinski
Dave Kenan
Elie Sassine
Captains: TBD
Returning Starters on Offense: 6
Returning Starters on Defense: 8
Returning Key Players:
- Class of 2018:
Patrick Graham: 6’2’’ 225: Patrick is a very big and physical player. He moves very well for his size and started for us at both MLB and TE. He brings a great work ethic to the table as well. Patrick has a nose for the ball. He’s a very instinctive Middle Linebacker that is destined to play at the next level. Patrick has a true passion for the game.

Andrew Yan. 6’2’’. 205: Two words: Beast Mode. You are going to love this young man. He can play any position at LB and will bring the thunder when blocking at FB. He has solidified himself as a very physical, yet humble leader and Sam LB in our program.

Jake Cavazos. 6’ 185: Tremendous competitor. Jake plays like he’s 260. Jake played every position it seems on both sides of the ball. He played Wildcat for us at QB and did a tremendous job. So good in fact, we will be using that as our primary offense next year. He runs with purpose and has tremendous vision. Jake flat out runs over people when he has to. In our 4-3 Defense, he played boundary corner because of his ability to lock receivers down.

Nathan Oprinca: 6’2’’ 215: Nate Dogg, Warren G, Regulators Mount up!!! Nate is another big, fast, and physical player for us. He saw some time with Patrick at TE, but definitely locked in the other Defensive End spot for us. He is very tough and just great to have on the team. You will love what Nate has to offer.

Josh Eckerle: 6’1’’. 250: Josh was a major impact player for us on the Defensive Line. He’s a big, tough, physical kid who has the right personality to be a successful D-Linemen. You’re going to love his tenacity.

Brody Fitzpatrick: 6’. 185: You are going to love this dude. Put him anywhere on the field and watch him go. Tremendously physical player. Brody has unbelievable vision and loves to hit. He was a perfect fit for us at SS in our 4-3 defense. Brody has great speed as well. He was our utility guy on offense. Brody saw time at both RB and our inside slot. This young man - along with all these other young men – is a true competitor. He loves the grind.

Christian Aurand: 6’3’’. 185: Very reliable and sneaky Wide Receiver. Sneaky, meaning he has a great snack to get open and runs very crisp routes. Christian made some big plays for us this year. You will love his physicality as well. He does a great job blocking down field during the run. He was very raw at this position this year, but developed into a great player for us.

 - Class of 2019:
David Deman: 6’4’’. 235: David dominated at the Left Offensive Tackle position for us as a Sophomore last season. He has completely transformed himself into a force to be reckoned with over the last two years. David has competed at the state level and has finished in first place both his Freshman and Sophomore year for Power Lifting. I don’t see him slowing down any time soon. David would be a steal for any team if they can get to him early.
Team Strength(s) for 2017:
Accountability/Work Ethic
Experience
Speed
Strength
Athleticism
Biggest Shoes / Holes to Fill in 2017:
Depth in our O-Line/D-Line
2017 Season Outlook:
With the Red Hawks coming off of a rough 2016 football season we are looking to bounce back with a considerable amount of returner starters with a ton of experience. Our program numbers have seen a spike in participation, which is something we’ve struggled with in the past. Much of the off-season has been spent building relationships with our players and coaches that will carry us back to the level of play expected of championship football teams. Once again, we embraced the saying by Joe Ehrman stating that, “A team is a group of individuals building relationships for a common cause.” We have done a great job keeping our returning players – at all levels – connected throughout the year. Our players have built great relationships with their teammates this off season. From what I’ve seen this winter/spring/summer, I’d say we have that type of never-say-die mentality among the players in this program. I can’t and won’t predict the future of this season, but you can count on a head coach/coaching staff and team from Troy Athens that will never say die as well. We are a committed team that will exhaust every opportunity to ensure the success of this program one week at a time. We have to main phases in our program. 1. “W.E.”... “Win Everything, Because Everything Matters.” That’s how we plan to prepare/play every week both in the classroom and on the football field. A consistent level of work by the players and stakeholders must, and will be put into this program to ensure Athens is one of the top programs in the state. 2. Obstacles = Opportunity. This does not allow us to get frustrated when we face tough times throughout the season. Any time we are faced with a challenge, it simply means that we have an opportunity to learn from it and grow.

- 2016 Troy Athens preview
- 2015 Troy Athens preview
- 2014 Troy Athens preview
- 2013 Troy Athens preview




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