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18 Letterwinners Return To AHS Gridiron




Letterwinners returning for the Blue Streak football team are, first row from left: Ryan Christman, David Rupp, Breon Price, Jake Fidler, Kyle Stipp, Chad Rufenacht. Second row: Shem Neuenschwander, Christian Goering, Eric McQuillin, Cameron Yontz, Jared Leininger, Trevor Meyer. Third row: Josh Penrod, DJ Lersch, Josh Meyers, Collin Walker, David Dominique. Absent: Jacob Badenhop.-  photo     by Mary Huber

Letterwinners returning for the Blue Streak football team are, first row from left: Ryan Christman, David Rupp, Breon Price, Jake Fidler, Kyle Stipp, Chad Rufenacht. Second row: Shem Neuenschwander, Christian Goering, Eric McQuillin, Cameron Yontz, Jared Leininger, Trevor Meyer. Third row: Josh Penrod, DJ Lersch, Josh Meyers, Collin Walker, David Dominique. Absent: Jacob Badenhop.- photo by Mary Huber

Eighteen letterwinners return to John Downey, Archbold head coach, when the football season kicks off, Friday, Aug. 22 as the Streaks host Ayersville.

AHS hopes to build on a successful 2007 season when they went 7-4 overall with a postseason appearance, and 6-2 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League.

Downey has been on the AHS sideline since 1979 and has compiled a 213-96 record.

Skilled Positions

The Streaks have some big holes to fill.

Gene Goering, who broke every passing record last year and led the team in rushing, is gone. So is last year’s top receiver, Jimmy Dunning.

David Rupp, a senior letterwinner, returns as the quarterback. No stranger to that position, he completed 18/20 passes last year for 294 yards and three touchdowns.

Rupp also was the secondleading rusher last year, with 225 yards on 35 carries.

Jake Fidler, a senior, could be the workhorse this season. He caught 49 passes last year for 854 yards and 11 touchdowns, and was third on the rushing chart with 188 yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries.

He was just behind Dunning in yards caught. Dunning caught 67 passes for 971 yards with 12 touchdowns.

Fidler led the team in punt returns, averaging 25 yards per return and 24 yards on kickoff returns.

The senior also averaged 34 yards punting and led the team in kickoff returns, averaging 23 yards per return.

He looks to become the alltime career leader in receptions and yards early this year. Dunning holds the record, with 108 career catches for 1,565 yards. Fidler has 101 receptions for 1,546 yards.

Fidler holds the record for career receiving touchdowns (19).

Breon Price, a senior, returns as a wide receiver. He caught five passes last year for 84 yards and one touchdown.

Eric McQuillin and Collin Walker return as wide receivers; Christian Goering is also is a wide receiver.

Defensive Side

On the defensive side, David Dominique, a senior, led the team in total tackles last year, with 87.

Trevor Meyer, a senior defensive tackle, registered 72 tackles. Chad Rufenacht, a senior defensive tackle, had 61 tackles.

Kyle Stipp could see action on both sides of the line; he notched 50 tackles last year.

Rupp also saw action on the defensive side last year and recorded 78 tackles from the safety spot.

Rounding Out The Returnees

Rounding out the senior returnees are Ryan Christman, Jared Leininger, and DJ Lersch. Leininger, a wide receiver/ linebacker, accounted for 49 tackles and led the team in kickoffs, averaging 38.4 yards.

Josh Meyers, Cameron Yontz, Josh Penrod, Shem Neuenschwander and Jacob Badenhop, juniors, are also returning letterwinners.

Strengths, Weaknesses

Downey said among his team’s strengths are the defensive line, and the defense in general; the offensive line; very good special teams, and that the team has the capability to make big plays.

Weaknesses include a lack of depth, especially at quarterback, and the team’s second-half toughness must be improved.

Assisting Downey are Bryan Miller, Dave Walker, Josh Rufenacht, Joe Furko, John Culler, Baldo Quintanilla, Cameron Thompson, and Brandon Behnfeldt.

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