Updated Thu, Aug 22, 2013 12:17 pm
Editor’s Note: Three-Point Stance is Gridiron Glory’s written preview series leading up to its 15th season on WOUB. Gridiron is visiting training camps for all 32 teams in the coverage area as they prepare for the 2013 football season. The series concludes in the SEOAL, a five-school league lacking not in competitiveness.
The Jackson Ironmen come into the 2013 campaign with a few things left to prove.
The 2012 Ironmen (5-5, 3-2) were just a few scoring drives and defensive stands away from finishing atop the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League standings. Three of their five losses on the year came by seven points or less, including one- and three-point losses to conference foes Chillicothe and Gallia Academy to finish off the year.
Here are three things to know about the 2013 Jackson Ironmen:
1. Making The Big Plays
Fifth-year head coach Andy Hall knew that it would take an exuberant effort to get back above .500 and reclaim the conference crown.
“It’s all about getting over that edge and being able to make that one extra play that we weren’t able to make,” Hall said. “The experience we had with our (underclassmen) that played last year, I think they’ve learned how to (make the big plays.)”
2. Retooling the Offense
On the offensive side on the ball, junior quarterback and tailback Derek Rafferty comes in as the incumbent to take the starting signal caller role, but sophomore Hunter Sexton is also gunning for the job.
Whoever Hall makes his starter will need to mesh with a newer, smaller offensive line that lost the likes of six-foot-three and six-foot-seven tackles Brandon Gilliland and Ethan Quinn.
To compensate for the loss of size on the line, Hall plans to revamp the offense, creating a more up-tempo attack.
“We won’t be as powerful upfront, but we’ll be quicker and more athletic,” Hall said, “We’ll definitely use that to our advantage.”
3. Defending the Tide
Hall’s defensive game plan is much like his offensive attack; athletic, quick and aggressive.
Junior middle linebacker Reagan Williams, who has attracted the attention of division one programs, anchors Jackson’s defense. Williams noted that stopping the run will become more of a priority this year, but knows it will be up to more than just himself.
“Everybody’s involved; all eleven guys need to be on the same page,” Williams said.
While playing well within the conference and beating Gallia Academy are on Jackson’s “to-do” list, both Hall and Williams insisted that they are taking this season one game at a time.
Instead, both men said that they are focused on their season opener against TVC-Ohio opponent and neighbor Wellston on Aug. 31.
Follow @gridironglory on Twitter and Instagram and Like the Gridiron Glory Facebook page for continued coverage throughout the preseason. Gridiron Glory returns Friday, Aug. 23 at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB.