The Middies did an about face, going from 3-7 in 2010 to 8-2. They scored an average of two more touchdowns a game and shaved 67 points off the number scored against them, doing so with what had to be considered a tougher schedule from the year before.
Yet there’s an unmistakable atmosphere around the school on Capel Road that something is missing.
“Last year was a successful season, but it also wasn’t a successful season,” said Steven Best, a two-year starter on the offensive line. “It wasn’t successful because we didn’t win the conference or get to the playoffs.”
Midview came within four points of beating Avon for the West Shore Conference title. The team took care of its business on the final weekend of the regular season by demolishing archrival North Ridgeville, but needed help from elsewhere to reach the Region 6 playoffs.
The Middies did not get that assistance.
“It’s been in our minds all year, starting when we found out the next morning that we didn’t make the playoffs,” fullback Edd Johnson said. “It made us hungry.”
Added linebacker Brett Bartone: “It was a bunch of what-ifs. What if we had made this play or that play? What if we had done this differently? We need to get rid of the what-ifs.”
The Middies insist that nothing less than a new trophy for the case and/or an extra week of practice would be acceptable.
“Our goal is to win the conference,” said Bill Albright, who is in his 27th year coaching the Middies. “That’s every team’s goal, but we think we have the personnel to do that. We also want to go deep in the playoffs. We felt last year that if we could have gotten there we would’ve made a nice run. I think we have the personnel to compete with anyone.”
Any talk about personnel begins with junior quarterback Cody Callaway.
“Cody’s a good one,” Albright said. “He has gotten a lot of recognition around the state and he has deserved it.”
Callaway (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) has been recognized outside of Ohio, too. He is already drawing interest from Division I college programs and is considered one of the rising stars in the Class of 2014 in Ohio. As a sophomore, Callaway threw for 1,983 yards with a 57.3 completion percentage, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
“He makes great decisions on the field,” Albright said. “He has a strong arm and an accurate arm, so he does well in the long passing game and in the short game. And he’s a leader. Teammates trust him. He’s definitely a keeper.”
Callaway’s favorite receiver, senior Eric Lauer, returns. Lauer (6-3, 190) led Midview in receptions (36), yards (696), yards per catch (19.3) and touchdown receptions (nine).
Lauer and Callaway were third-team Division II All-Ohio selections in 2011. Lauer is heading to Kent State University next year on a baseball scholarship.
Midview has one other starter back on offense. Joining Best, Johnson, Callaway and Lauer is center Patrick Forrer, a 240-pound junior.
“We have our work cut out for us,” Albright said. “We have to replace three interior linemen. We’re nothing without pass blocking. Luckily, we have good kids.”
Forrer and senior Evan Branzel are the heaviest of the blockers.
“We weren’t big last year, either, but we moved well,” Albright said. “We’re athletic. I would rather have guys with quick feet than size without quickness.”
Albright says he likes what he has seen so far from Jacob Asmus, Don Rader and Anthony Jalowiec, who are expected to fill the holes on the line. He is also impressed with big (6-5, 205) receiver Jack Duffner, one of the new guys in Midview’s spread offense.
The Middies run a 3-4 defense. Like the offense, five starters are also back — senior linemen Zack Frambach and Andrew Carlson, senior cornerback Zach Bates (three interceptions in 2011), and inside linebackers Bartone, a senior, and Devon Crum, a junior.
Also like the offense, the defense isn’t enormous. Evan Reising, a projected starter on the line, tops the weight list at 215.
“We want a defense that can fly to the ball,” Albright said. “We hope we can stand up to the power-football teams. We’ll find out this week against Avon Lake (scrimmage).”
Both kickers, Sylvester Messiah (29 extra points, four field goals) and Brendan Matcham (10 extra points), are back. Lauer will again do the punting.
“If the six (new starters) we plug in on offense and defense can do the job, we will be a pretty good football team,” Albright said. “Potentially, we have the players who can fill those spots.”
- CONFERENCE: West Shore
- 2011 RECORD: 8-2, 6-1
- COACH: Bill Albright, 27th year
- RETURNING LETTERMEN: 20
- RETURNING STARTERS: 10
- FAST FACT: Midview made a huge leap in passing statistics from 2010 to 2011. The Middies hiked the yards from 675 to 2020, the completion percentage from 45.7 to 57.2 and the touchdown passes from four to 19.
- Aug. 24: Lorain
- Aug. 31: at Amherst
- Sept. 7: Elyria
- Sept. 14: Rocky River*
- Sept. 21: at Vermilion*
- Sept. 28: at North Ridgeville*
- Oct. 5: Avon*
- Oct. 12: at Lakewood*
- Oct. 19: Elyria Catholic*
- Oct. 26: at Bay*
*West Shore Conference game
All games start at 7 p.m.
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Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.