ATWATER, Ohio (WKBN) – Waterloo opened the 2020 season with six straight losses. The Vikings averaged 10.3 points per contest during that stretch.
However, over the course of the last four weeks, Waterloo posted a 4-0 mark and saw their offense improve to a scoring machine of 36.3 points per outing during that period.
This year, the Vikings must replace their starting signal caller (Joe Thomas) and leading rusher (Cody Stump).
Waterloo opens on August 20 at Newton Falls.
2020 Record: 4-6 (0-6, 8th place in MVAC Scarlet Tier)
Coach: Mike Devies, 7th season
Previewing Waterloo’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 20.7 (41st in Area)
Returning Starters: 9
Key Returnees: Devin Curtiss, SR/WB; Mason Duncan, SR/WR; Bobby Makin, SR/RB; Austin Wise, JR/OL
Key Losses: Cody Stump, RB; Joe Thomas, QB; Joe Ward, WR
Name to watch for: Bobby Makin, RB
With the graduation of Joe Thomas (307 passing yards, 854 rushing yards), Waterloo must find a new quarterback. The Vikings will take a look at Bobby Makin, Mason Duncan and Mason Hakin as possible options at the position.
Last fall, Makin carried the ball 58 times for 268 yards for an average of 4.6 stripes per tote. Duncan was the Vikes’ top pass catcher as he finished with 10 receptions (97 yards). Duncan also gained 167 yards on the ground while averaging 3.7 yards per carry.
“Last year in week four, we converted offenses,” said Coach Devies. “Since that point, we’ve got consistently better. So far this off-season, we’ve had a great turnout in the weight room.”
Previewing Waterloo’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 27.1 (41st in Area)
Returning Starters: 9
Key Returnees: Mason Duncan, SR/LB; Austin Wise, JR/DL
Key Losses: Joe Ward, LB
Name to watch for: Mason Duncan, LB
The Vikings front seven appears to be a real strength of the team. “We should be solid on the defensive line and at linebacker,” Devies said.
The team will welcome back Austin Wise (45 tackles, 2 QB sacks), Cadyn Driesbaugh, Owen Olymale, Justin Fox and Spencer Shepherd up front to go along linebackers Mason Hakin, Mason Duncan (117 tackles, 2 QB sacks) and Bobby Makin.
“Our defense needs to improve,” Devies said. “As an offense, we need to hold onto the ball and extend drives to help our defense out.”
2020 MVAC Scarlet Tier Standings
Springfield – 6-0 (11-1)
McDonald – 5-1 (7-2)
Jackson-Milton – 4-2 (6-3)
Western Reserve – 4-3 (6-4)
Mineral Ridge – 3-3 (6-4)
Lowellville – 2-5 (4-6)
Sebring – 1-5 (2-8)
Waterloo – 0-6 (4-6)
Aug. 20 – at Newton Falls
Aug. 27 – at Strasburg-Franklin
Sept. 3 – Malvern
Sept. 10 – Sebring
Sept. 17 – at Western Reserve
Sept. 24 – Lowellville
Oct. 1 – at Springfield
Oct. 8 – at Jackson-Milton
Oct. 15 – McDonald
Oct. 22 – at Mineral Ridge