BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Boardman football program has posted just one playoff victory in the last 16 years. Now entering his second year heading up the program, head coach D.J. Dota is hoping to change that trend this fall.

“I feel like these guys are ready to take that next step,” Dota said. “You know, they understand the expectation now.”

Boardman players are aware of the program’s recent struggles.

“We are aware of it, actually, you know,” senior Tomas Andujar said. “We feel like this season can be that season, make that one go to two. So we’re hoping. We know that we can get there, so we just gotta keep working on the field.”

Andujar will have a lot to do with making that happen for the Spartans. As the starting quarterback last season, he passed for over 1,178 yards, rushed for 600 more, scoring 17 total touchdowns in the process. This Fall, he’ll be all over the field for Boardman at quarterback, wide receiver, and running back.

“I’m smart and I’m hard to get down,” admitted Andujar. “So I think I think we’re good with a good burst of speed behind me, too. I think it’s hard to get me down.”

Dota is excited to have Andujar leading the offense in 2023.

“The poise that he has, the dedication that he has, the determination he has, it’s contagious.,” said Dota. “You know, we couldn’t be happier having a guy like him in our football program, you know, just does all the things the right way and is a great young man.”

Boardman is loaded with skill. Junior Zach Haus is in the mix at quarterback.

Another threat is Spartan standout Willy Torres. He’ll receive plenty of touches out of the backfield after rushing for 329 yards a season ago.

“We’ve got a lot of skill,” said Andujar. “A lot of guys that can go got speed behind and go catch the ball and throw it up. A lot of people that are going to make, you know, yards after the catch.”

Boardman will kickoff the 2023 season on Friday Aug. 18 on the road at Kenston.

“I think these guys are all hungry to prove themselves,” Dota said. “I think they believe in something. There’s a lot of great love to just to play the game of football.”

Andujar is loaded with confidence heading into the new season.

“You know, it’s time I guess it’s time for this thing they’re going to see is going to flip around quick,” he added.