Waterloo returns 15 starters; Vikings’ seeking a winning season

Sports

Coach Mike Devies is set to begin his 6th season at the helm of Viking football

Waterloo Vikings High School Football

Credit: Moussa81/iStock/Getty Images Plus

ATWATER, Ohio (WKBN) – This year marks the fourth year that the Vikings have been a part of the MVAC. They’ve been able to accumulate a 7-14 record in league play during that time. Waterloo is in search of their first winning season since 2011 (7-3).

A different off-season in Atwater. “Obviously (due to the Coronavirus),” Devies says. “It’s not the way we would like to interact with our kids. We’ve kept in touch a little (through all different platforms).”

2019 Record: 3-7 (3-4), T-4th place in MVAC
Head Coach: Mike Devies, 6th season

2019 Stats
Scoring Offense: 23.2
Scoring Defense: 34.8

Returning Starters
Offense: 8
Defense: 7

What you need to know about Waterloo’s offense
-The Vikings graduated their QB Caleb Francis, who threw for 1656 yards and tossed 15 touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 789 yards and 11 scores. One of his favorite targets, Brad Bragg, also departed the program after catching 26 passes for 221 yards.

Cody Stump is back as the leading returning rusher (306 yards, 5 TDs). Kyle Shockley and Joe Thomas caught 40 and 21 balls a year ago. Shockley made 11 touchdown receptions and turned his catches into 709 yards. Thomas gained 253 yards through the air. Thomas also completed a pair of passes for 25 stripes.

“We have to replace a few talented skill position players,” says Devies.

What you need to know about Waterloo’s defense
-Senior linebacker Cody Stump will be welcomed back in the fold after making a team-high 91 tackles. Bobby Makin was involved on 87 tackles as well. Hunter Allen closed out the 2019 season with 8 stops for a loss. Kyle Shockley intercepted 5 passes.

Logan Robinson, the team leader with 10 tackles for a loss, graduated this past spring. “Our focus this summer,” says Devies. “is going to be stopping the run.”

Waterloo’s Key Player(s)
-Senior Kyle Shockley caught 40 passes a year ago for an average of 17.7 yards per catch. He also hauled in 11 touchdown receptions. Having a player with that pedigree could help any offense – whether with an experienced quarterback or not.

2020 Schedule
Aug. 28 – Newton Falls
Sept. 4 – at Strasburg-Franklin
Sept. 11 – Cleveland VASJ
Sept. 18 – at Sebring
Sept. 25 – Springfield
Oct. 2 – at McDonald
Oct. 9 – Western Reserve
Oct. 16 – Mineral Ridge
Oct. 23 – Jackson-Milton
Oct. 30 – at Lowellville

The Big game on the schedule
September 25 – vs. Springfield
…The Vikings get a visit from Springfield (state finalist) in week five. Last year, Waterloo lost 51-0 in New Middletown.

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