COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – There’s one thing that you could guarantee from the Columbiana football program over the last two decades: Clippers Head Coach Bob Spaite standing on the sidelines come Friday nights.
But this season, Spaite says that the circumstances surrounding the crop of talent with some new faces are different than any other he has had before.
“I just feel like it’s going to be a lot different, instead of just sitting on the bleachers and watching them do their thing,” senior wide receiver and cornerback Seth Spooner said.
The Columbiana senior won’t be the only Clipper with that feeling come week one.
“It was really kind of a slow pull, you know. A lot of my friends came out so I decided, you know, flip the coin, let’s go out and play football,” senior wide receiver and cornerback Caleb Buchheit said.
Coach Spaite was able to corral some Columbiana talent that hasn’t stepped foot on the football field yet.
“Coming from playing baseball where you sprint to a base and really barely run to just running nonstop and working out and hustling and stuff, it kind of did a toll on me,” Spooner said.
Spooner is joined by Buchheit, who runs track and plays soccer and is a drum line major at Columbiana.
“They kind of ease you into it. You know, they dip your feet in the pool first, and then after that, they kind of throw you in this way,” Buchheit said.
Clipper basketball player Nick Gallo’s friendship with quarterback Joseph Guido really drew him in.
“I’ve been playing basketball my whole life, but my buddy Guido moved from Leetonia, one of my best friends, so he’s playing my quarterback so I had to come out, told him I would,” Gallo said.
And with just one less thing to worry about after transferring for senior year, Guido knows he has support around him.
“It’s a huge change for me. I have gone to Leetonia since second grade, and coming over here, it was, it was a lot,” Guido said. “Being friends with these guys before I came really helped that out. I like the chemistry that we built and that we’re building, still is going definitely in the right direction.”
“You wouldn’t know that these guys hadn’t been together for six, seven years. It’s like they played little Clippers all the way through. There’s just really a good, it’s a really good atmosphere in the locker room right now, so I’m very pleased with that, and hopefully, that’ll translate into something very positive,” Spaite said.
Fellow senior transfer Landon Lipply, who moved back to Columbiana, is feeling that it’s already translating.
“Everyone on the team kind of fits in like a little family, almost,” Lipply said. “Nothing’s personal out here on the practice field. I mean, we’re all doing it just to make each other better, so if you get run over, don’t keep the salt in your mouth, you know? Like, it is what it is.”