Updated Mon, Aug 29, 2011 3:41 am
The Gallia Academy Blue Devils asserted their program as rebuilt last season, and this season they plan on keeping it that way. The Blue Devils finished over .500 for the first time in four years with a 7-3 overall record and a second place finish in the SEOAL. But with reigning Gridiron Glory Player of the Year Austin Wilson graduating along with star quarterback Ethan Moore, Gallia will have to change up their style a little bit to hang with the teams in this years league. Although Wilson will be strongly missed for what he brought to special teams with his return abilities, he also used his speed at the wingback position to grab over 1,200 rushing yards last season. He and Moore combined for over 2,500 yards of total offense. Although Wilson stole the spotlight in the league last season, the way Moore ran the offense may be what the Blue Devils miss most. “Primarily he was a leader. He may be the best leader I’ve ever coached in 16 years of football.” head coach Mike Eddy explained.
With their two all-stars gone, Eddy knows they may have to revamp their game plan according to their strengths. “It’s a different mentality for us, it’s more about strength and aggression, than it is about speed like last year. We want to knock people off the ball, and if we’re bigger and stronger, that’s going to work.” The Blue Devils could very well be bigger and stronger with an experienced offensive line returning this season. If they can find a playmaker to run behind the big guys, Gallia will be a strong contender for this year’s league title.
There are a few position battles going on this summer for skill positions and quarterback. Andrew Young can play receiver but will play mostly in the backfield at running back. Former wide receiver Brandon Taylor is in contention for the quarterback position and if he were to win that spot, there’s a chance the offense could be more similar to last season than coach Eddy is anticipating. With a receiver converted to a quarterback taking the snaps and young in the backfield, teams would have to account for two pure athletes in the Gallia backfield, again. Gallia could finish in the top three of the league this season if these players can assume their new roles on the team. They start their season off at home, where they’ll take on the Athens Bulldogs, August 26th, at 7:30 p.m.