2013 Football Preview
The Holy Innocents’ football team has advanced to postseason six years in a row. Though the 2013 roster looks strong and the experience is there, perhaps the biggest obstacle for Coach Ryan Livezey & Company could be the schedule.
“Our schedule is probably as challenging as anybody’s,” Livezey said. “Our first four games feature two 5A schools, a Class AA school and a top-10 single A squad. After that we open our region schedule against the defending state champs. We also face Landmark, a perennial power, and Pace and OLM, both much improved teams over last year. After all that, hopefully we’ll have put ourselves in a position to have an extra game.”
The Bears open Friday, August 23rd at home against 5A Lakeside, a team they beat on the road to open last season. Livezey’s squad finished the 2012 campaign at 6-5 and with a first round playoff loss to Savannah Christian.
A major positive for the new season is that Livezey only graduated seven seniors from last year’s roster. “This team is an interesting mix of a lot of experience with some guys that are brand new to varsity,” he said. “With that said, I still feel we’re right where we need to be going into the season.”
Perhaps the most skilled area in his 2013 group is his backfield. “I feel this group is a strong as we’ve ever been across the board,” Livezey added. “We have everybody back from last year.”
Among them are quarterback Luke Wright, who has already verbally committed to Cincinnati, tailback and last year’s leading rusher Clay Pfohl and wingback Owen Penn. At the fullback position will be the combination of Rod Davis and Will Morton. All of the above are seniors except for Davis, a junior.
Looking at the receivers, seniors Jack Palmore, Ben Asbury and Sam Fallon are all back after putting in good time last year. “They’ve all had good preseasons and I expect them to be a presence on the outside,” Livezey said.
Perhaps the biggest question mark could be the young line of scrimmage, as the Bears have only one returning starter in sophomore guard Jay Rolader. Tackle Connor McClain and center Corbin Bailey saw some action last year and joining them will be senior guard Michael Young – a converted receiver – and tackle Benjamin Maitski, a freshman.
The defensive line will feature most of the same names with the addition of Asbury, who should start at a defensive end slot.
The linebacking corp returns plenty of experience and should be a strength, as Morton, Martin Williams, Dillon Armstrong and Davis will be the inside backers and will be joined by Pfohl or Fallon on the outside.
In the secondary, Palmore is expected to play a key role at safety while sophomore Max Walton and junior Connor Dolan will start at the corners.
The special teams are also a strong spot with returning junior place kicker Walker Thomas and with Penn, the returning senior punter.
Going into the year, Livezey added compliments regarding his four captains – Wright, Pfohl, Palmore and Asbury. “They’ve done a great job with their leadership,” he said. “They’ve kept the guys focused this summer and at camp and I’ve been pleased with the job they’ve been doing.”