McDONALD, Ohio (WKBN) – Experience will be the name of the game for McDonald this season.
“Fifteen seniors and you like to have that older group of kids that are going to be out there, battling every Friday night,” said McDonald head coach Dan Williams.
It is a loaded group of returnees for the Blue Devils. Four out of five return on the offensive line as they will pave the way for running back Nate Gilligan and Big 22 alum Dominic Schadl.
Schadl, who is entering his senior season, accounted for 30 touchdowns last season at quarterback and will look to add onto that total this year.
“He is like having an additional tailback in your backfield,” Williams said. “He is stronger, faster and willing to take on the load again this year.”
“We weren’t satisfied with 6-5 last year,” Schadl said. “So coming into this year, we are excited and ready to get to work.”
One thing Schadl has been working on this offseason is making his arm more of a weapon.
“Last year, I know every time we threw the ball, I got a little nervous before the play,” he said. “But this year, I have a lot more confidence than I did last year because I got a lot of snaps last year. So a lot more confidence and I am happy about that.”
“They are just going to have to be on their toes, really,” said senior lineman Kaden Crown. “Whatever Dom feels like doing that time. He is a talented kid that can make whatever he wants happen.”
The expectation is always the postseason for McDonald, but one thing this senior class is trying to do is reach the playoffs for a third-straight year. That is something the Blue Devils haven’t done since they capped off five straight trips in 2010.
“The years that have had 12, 18, 20 seniors are the ones that have had the successful seasons,” Williams said. “That would be a really great accomplishment for this group of kids.”
“Last year, we felt like we fell short against Lucas,” Crown said. “We are holding that on our shoulders, we are feeling revenge coming. We all have three main goals — playoffs, win the league outright and, hopefully, state. It would be an honor to go three straight years.”