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Tornadoes back after another NOL?title

August 30, 2013
By Tony Maluso - Sports Writer ( , The Advertiser-Tribune

The memories of 2012 are probably still fresh in the minds of Columbian faithful. A 10-0 regular season and Northern Ohio League title don't get forgotten easily.

But for Brian Colatruglio, those memories are just that. The 2013 Tornadoes are a new group looking to make their own mark.

"What I enjoy the most about high school football is that every season is a completely new experience," he said. "New group of kids, new group of leaders. We got some new coaches. Everything we did last year, the last three years, is all great. We're pleased to win the NOL and go 10-0, but this is a completely different group. They got their own personalities, their own strengths and weaknesses."

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Colatruglio doesn't like using the word "defend" when talking about the NOL. He prefers to look at is as his team trying to win the NOL title, rather defending last year's title.

"(Alabama coach) Nick Saban says all the time 'you don't defend anything.' This is a new year," Colatruglio said. "We're going to try to win the NOL. We're going to try to make the playoffs. We're not defending anything."

That being said, winning the league title a year ago does put a target on the backs of this year's squad. But Colatruglio said that just comes with being a part of one of northwest Ohio's top programs.

Fact Box

Columbian Tornadoes
2012: 11-1, 5-0 Northern Ohio League.
Head coach: Brian Colatruglio.
Assistant coaches: Brent Berrier, Jim Dempster, Paul Dunn, Cody Myers, Jason Bish, Nate Colatruglio, Brad Snyder.
1Russ Yeast5-10148WR/DB9
2Cody Kimmet5-6131WR/DB10
3Donovan Walker5-10155QB/DB12
4Stone Simmons6-2183QB10
5Josh Flint6-0165WR12
6Jake Adams5-10182QB/LB11
7Jacob Bupp5-6139WR/DB10
8Aaron Steyer5-9145WR/DB11
9Nate Hoyda6-0187WR/DB12
10Cole Johnson5-10164WR/LB10
11Justin Jarrett5-11151QB/DB10
12Jace Hurt5-11190RB/LB12
13Ross Pauly5-9155RB/LB10
14Jeffrey Crawford6-1162WR/DB12
15Jacob Dickman5-11187WR/LB12
16Matthew Zirger5-8144WR/DB11
17Aric Recker5-10152WR/LB11
18Zane Schank5-10165WR/DB10
19Kane Richardson6-0150WR/DB11
20Isaac Theis5-10204WR/LB11
21Zach Russell6-0164WR/LB11
22Cliff Miller5-11170RB/LB11
23Josh Briggs5-11153WR/DB11
24Dominic Cruz5-10163RB/DB10
25Jacob Reyes5-9147DL11
26Tim Hassinger5-7168RB/DB10
27Brandon Perry5-7140WR/LB10
28Ryan Lynch5-11185RB/LB12
29Trevor O’Conner5-10160WR/DB11
30Aaron Sostaric5-8165RB/LB10
31Andy Schwartz5-10180RB/LB12
32Brandon Rhoades5-8204RB/LB11
33Spencer Franklin5-7153RB/LB11
34Roman Williams5-9158WR/LB11
35Nick Fitch5-8178DL10
36Tyler Gillig5-11212FB/LB12
50Dominic Latona5-5180OL/DL10
54Nevin Lantz5-11215OL/DL11
56Jaron Burns5-11205DL10
57Codey Chance5-9297DL12
58Kaleb Tyree6-0290OL/DL10
59Justin Akers5-10211OL/DL11
60William Hurt6-1215OL/DL11
61Joey Moore6-0296OL/DL11
62Jacob Parrott6-2200DL11
68Dominic SanGregory5-8200OL/DL11
69Frazier Daniel6-2282OL/DL10
71Austin Thallman6-2287OL/DL11
72Cole Ludwig6-0268OL/DL11
73Chase Keller6-0205OL/DL12
74Andrew Lucius5-9266OL/DL10
75Isiah Moore6-4310OL/DL12
76Ian O’Donnell6-0273OL/DL11
77Reid Vaughn6-2303OL/DL11
80Derek Dryfuse6-5210TE/DE11
81Cole Daughenbaugh5-7175WR/LB11
82Peyton Hartenstein5-10151WR/DB10
83Zach Young5-9200TE/DL12
84Spencer PaulyK12
85Clayton Dryfuse6-3200TE/DL10
86Cole Pierce5-11159WR/DB11
87Ryan Cline5-10180WR/DB12
88Cordell Gilliland6-1192WR/DL12
Aug. 30CLYDE
Sept. 13at Anthony Wayne
Sept. 20at Norwalk
Sept. 27at Sandusky
Oct. 11at Willard
Oct. 25at Marion Harding

"It comes with being a part of Tiffin Columbian football," he said. "We're always going to have a target on our back in our league. The tradition that's been established here the past 20 years is pretty strong. That's part of the responsibility of being part of this team."

Columbian brings back a good amount of experience, especially on the line. But, there are several holes in the skill positions that need filled. Jack Jacoby, who has been a fixture in the Columbian backfield the past two years graduated, as did Mike Rohrbach, last year's starting quarterback.

Rohrbach's duties will be turned over to sophomore Stone Simmons who Colatruglio says is the same sort of drop-back passer. He even compared Simmons to a former quarterback of his at Hopewell-Loudon who was with Colatruglio in two state finals appearances.

"He's a young guy but he's got a big arm," Colatruglio said. "He's more like Mike, and at this age he reminds me a lot of Tyler Brown that I had at Hopewell. He's the tall, strong-armed pocket quarterback. I think we're going to look a little bit different than what we've probably looked the last couple years."

Ryan Lynch, the team's second-leading rusher from a season ago, moves up to become the primary ball carrier. Spencer Franklin and Jace Hurt also will get carries and Tyler Gillig will be the fullback, giving Columbian a good set of backs.

"We got some real quality depth at running back," Colatruglio said. "Ryan's going to be our workhorse for sure, but we got some other guys. Spencer Franklin is going to be a nice change of pace. He's a little bit smaller, a really quick kid, got great feet. He will give us a little different look in the backfield."

Wide receiver is an area where the cupboard was left pretty bare.

"We don't have a starting receiver that caught a ball in a varsity game last year," Colatruglio admitted. "We have two senior starters at split end - they just haven't played - in Nate Hoyda and Jeffrey Crawford. But they're solid. They waited their turn; they sat behind two two-year starters. They're ready to go."

Derek Dryfuse will start at right end while sophomore Cody Kimmet and freshman Russ Yeast will be the slot receivers. Colatruglio admitted it isn't often a freshman gets such a prominent role at Columbian, but he feels Yeast can handle the job.

"That will be the first freshman that I've started, but he's earned it. He can be a special player," Colatruglio said. "[A freshman starting] hasn't happened since I've been here. I know coach Gilbert had a few, but it's a pretty short list. He's earned it. He's ready to play at that level."

The offensive line in anchored by Isiah Moore, who Colatruglio says is "probably the best football player I've ever coached."

The senior has already received offers from Toledo and Kent State and Colatruglio says more are likely to come in.

"He's just a big time football player," Colatruglio said. "It's not very often a player can dominate a game of football from the offensive line position, but he's somebody who can. There's no secret, we're going to run left a lot."

Moore is joined on the line by Austin Thallman at left guard, Nevin Lantz at center, Ian O'Donnell at right guard and Frazier Daniel at right tackle.

"It's the strength of our team," Colatruglio said of the line. "As good as we were the last two years, this group is bigger and stronger and more athletic than those two groups that we've had. This could be the best offensive line that we've had here, and that's saying something 'cause we've been pretty good, but these five guys are extremely talented. We're going to be fun to watch."

Colatruglio says there will be more rotation of bodies on the defensive end of the ball. Dryfuse and Chase Keller will start as defensive ends with Zach Young also seeing a lot of time. Reed Vaughn and three-year starter Codey Chance will anchor the line as tackles.

At inside linebacker, Colatruglio has what he says are four solid seniors who can all be effective in Lynch, Gillig, Hurt and Andy Schwartz.

Jacob Dickman and Ross Pauly will start at outside linebackers with Issac Theis and Roman Williams rotating in.

Crawford, Trevor O'Conner and Josh Briggs will man the corners and Hoyda returns as the starting free safety.

Columbian will have to get through the first three weeks of the season without senior Donovan Walker, who will sit out due to disciplinary issues. But once on the field, Walker will bring another dynamic to the Tornado offense.

"He's one of our most talented players," Colatruglio said. "Offensive we're going to put him in a position to get the ball in his hands."

The early schedule, though, will be a good measuring stick to see where this Tornado team stacks up. Clyde is back as the week 1 opponent, but Mansfield and Fostoria are off the schedule, replaced by Maumee and Anthony Wayne.

"Our non-league schedule, this is the best we've had 1-2-3," Columbian said. "With Clyde, Maumee and Anthony Wayne, we gotta be ready to go. Those are three good football teams. Some really good programs that play in good leagues. We're going to have to be ready to go from the start."



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