RICHMOND, Ohio (WKBN) – In early January, Edison hired Mike Collopy as its new head football coach, the school’s fourth coach in the past six years.
Collopy is known for leading the baseball program. Now, he’ll lead the group of Wildcats on the gridiron.
He states that he wants his team to be “fundamentally sound, mentally tough, disciplined, and physical.”
“Overall, our goal is to improve every day,” said Collopy. “We want to develop team chemistry. We’re working hard on continuity, as well as being committed to our jobs as individuals in order to become the best team that we can be.”
After beginning last year with a 3-1 mark, Edison lost five of its last six games to finish 4-6.
The Wildcats open the season on Friday, August 20 against Southern Local at home.
2020 Record: 4-6
Coach: Mike Collopy, first season
Previewing Edison’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 16.9 (comparable to 47th in Area)
Key Returnees: Gage Cline, JR/QB; Jacob Cusick, SR/WR; Tyler Griffith, SR/ATH; Kolten Hanlin, SR/OL; Mason Montgomery, SO/K; Ethan Waggoner, JR/RB
Key Losses: Vinnie Marcino, FB
Name to watch for: Gage Cline, QB
“Overall, as an offense, we need to have better leadership on a day-to-day basis,” Collopy said. “We have some versatile players that can make plays. Our receivers need to run more precise routes, and our running backs need to improve their vision when hitting the hole.”
Junior Gage Cline returns at quarterback. Last fall, the 6-foot 6 signal caller threw for 776 yards (4 TDs) and scored three rushing touchdowns.
Ethan Waggoner is back for his junior season as a running back where he gained 705 yards and scored five times while averaging 4.6 stripes per tote last year. Talan McClurg was able to run for 234 yards (2 TDs) as a freshman.
The versatile Tyler Griffith, a senior, rushed for 404 yards (4 TDs) and also caught six passes during his junior year. Wide out Jacob Cusick is back after hauling in eight passes for an average of 19.9 yards per reception.
The offensive line will feature Isaac Firm at center and Kolten Hanlin and Jonah Snyder on the interior at their guard positions. The tackles will be Hunter Russell and Jayden Claney.
“We feel that we have an experienced offensive line, but we need to continue to improve in the areas of communication and working together. We need to improve our pad level by being more consistent on a play-play basis and become mentally sound tougher,” Collopy said.
Previewing Edison’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 32.0 (comparable to 55th in Area)
Key Returnees: Jacob Cusick, SR/DB; Tyler Griffith, SR/DB; Ethan Waggoner, JR/LB
Key Losses: Vinnie Marcino, LB
Name to watch for: Jacob Cusick, DB
Over their last six games a season ago, the Wildcats allowed an average of 40.3 points to be scored per game. Edison won just one over their last month and a half of the season.
The Wildcats return plenty of experience up front with defensive ends Isaac Firm (11 tackles), Hunter Russell (25 tackles, 2 QB sacks) and Matt Parsons (15 tackles) along with tackles Jamison Stiles (12 tackles) and Jayden Clancey (10 tackles).
The linebackers are solid with junior Ethan Waggoner (45 tackles) and sophomore Talan McClurg (31 tackles) both back in the fold.
The Wildcats welcome back four players who have starting experience on the varsity level in the secondary in Tyler Griffith (49 tackles, 2 QB sacks), Jacob Cusick (51 tackles, 9 TFL), Gage Cline (29 tackles) and Chase McClurg (22 tackles).
“We have aggressive, physical kids but we need to become better at our alignments, assignments and communication in order to eliminate big plays as well as being better tacklers,” Collopy said.
Aug. 20 – Southern
Aug. 27 – at Wellsville
Sept. 4 – at Steubenville Catholic Central
Sept. 10 – Mathews
Sept. 17 – at Beaver Local
Sept. 24 – Toronto
Oct. 1 – at East Liverpool
Oct. 8 – at Harrison Central
Oct. 15 – Buckeye Local
Oct. 22 – Indian Creek