Twenty-one letterwinners return to an Archbold football team that finished 8-1 last year and advanced to the Division VI Region 22 regional semifinals, where the Streaks lost 34-20 to Columbus Grove.
Archbold won the Northwest Ohio Athletic League with a 6-0 record.
With the season schedule changed because of the Coronavirus, the Streaks never played Patrick Henry because the playoffs started after the sixth week.
AHS opens the season at Genoa, Friday, Aug. 20.
Returning letterwinners include seniors DJ Newman, quarterback/defensive back; Cayden Alvarado, tight end/ linebacker; Charlie Krieger, tight end/defensive end; Gavin Bailey, wide receiver/defensive back; Hunter Cullen-Lemley, wide receiver/defensive end; Spencer Simon, tackle/defensive lineman; Donmonic Simpson, wide receiver/defensive back; and Quinn Cline, guard/defensive lineman.
Juniors back are Carson Dominique, running back/ linebacker; Devon Morris, guard/defensive end; Karter Behnfeldt, wide receiver/defensive back; Hayden Dickman, tackle/defensive tackle; Krayton Kern, defensive back, kicker; Kaleb Gigax, wide receiver/ defensive back; Gabe Chapa, guard/linebacker; and Chase Cornell, guard/defensive end.
Sophomore letterwinners are Brian Burrowes, center/ defensive tackle; Josiah Gomez, running back/defensive back; Mason Siegel, tackle/ defensive end; Jack Hurst, wide receiver/defensive back; and Stephen Diller, wide receiver/ defensive back.
Newman was a First Team All-NWOAL selection, while Dominique was a Second Team All-NWOAL pick. Morris, Dickman, Alvarado, Krieger, and Behnfeldt were named honorable mention All-NWOAL.
Lost to graduation was fouryear letterwinner Noah Gomez; three-year letterwinners Carson Meyer, Antonio Cruz, Brandon Taylor, Caleb Hogrefe, Caleb Ranzau, Jayden Schulze, and Josh Richer; and two-year letterwinners Gavin Schaffner, Zeke Miller, and Biship Tuckerman. All received league recognition in the post-season.
Offensively, “I think one of our main strengths…will be at the skill position. We return our starting quarterback along with a running back, tight end, and wide receiver crew that was able to gain valuable experience throughout the season last year,” said D. Dominique.
“As a whole on offense, we will have very good team speed across the board, which we must utilize to our advantage. Our main concern on the offensive side will be the lack of experience on the line.
“Our main defensive strength will be our front six. We return three starters in this group, and they are a physical group of guys.
“We feel that we will have some depth at these positions and will try to get as many of these guys on the field as possible to stay fresh into the second half.
“A concern for us defensively will be the lack of experience in our defensive backfield. We lost three quality seniors here, so that is never easy to recover from, but I think the younger guys were able to gain valuable insight and experience playing behind them last year.”
As far as special teams, “we return both our kicker and punter, so this should help us on the special teams side of things,” said D. Dominique.
“This will be Krayton’s (Kern) second year as a kicker, so I feel that he will be more comfortable and can be a good weapon for us.
“The biggest thing we must do is get the new faces acclimated to the speed and physicality of varsity football as quickly as possible.
“Along with this, we must keep our players healthy heading into the second half of the season.”
Assistant coaches include Jack Downey, Baldo Quintanilla, Todd Ranzau, Jacob Elting, Derrick Baksa, Garrett Grime, Evan Wyse, Norm Beck, Brock Thiel, Tony Grime, and Andy Dominique.
In a pre-season NWOAL coaches poll, Wauseon and Archbold each received three first-place votes to win the league title.
“I look for Liberty Center, Wauseon, and Delta being at the top of the league, but also could see other teams like Patrick Henry and Bryan push for the top spot,” the coach said.
“In my mind, the team that is able to stay the most healthy will be the one you see at the top after week 10.”