BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Boardman football team has seen its fair share of turnover in the last few years — three head coaches in the last three seasons.

Now, it is D.J. Dota returning to the head coaching ranks to lead the Spartans, hoping to bring some stability to the program and their first winning season since 2018.

“I am excited to come to practice every day,” says senior lineman Tyler Terlesky. “This guy has fire and I am excited to play for him every day.”

“It transfers, you feel the obsession with football and you get right into it,” says senior lineman Tyler Cherne. “A lot of energy and we all try and match it.”

Dota returns to the sidelines as a head coach for the first time since 2018 when he left the West Branch program where he won 38 games in eight years.

“Great opportunity, good just to feel back in motion,” says Dota. “Doing the things, teaching the kids what they need to know in life, not just in football but life too. Really excited about this opportunity this year.”

Boardman graduated a slew of skill position starters from a year ago, but does have several upperclassmen filling the void. The line should be the start spot, returning four of five up front.

“We have returning skill guys, we have guys that will know what they are doing,” says Cherne. “But for the linemen, we are the returners and we have to set the precedent.”

“On offense and on defense you win up front,” says Dota. “So we feel good with that foundation that we already have built there.”

Dota’s focus now is to bring stability to the Spartans and make them a contender again in Division 2.

“Nothing we want more than to win and build the culture around here,” says Terlesky. “We need to build it from the foundation up.”

“When you have all that instability, I do now know how much you are going to have success,” says Dota. “Hopefully we are going to build that. I feel for where they have been, they have been through a lot, had to deal with a lot of adversity but are sticking to their guns and we are going to build a program here and build off that.”