Updated Thu, Aug 21, 2014 7:39 pm
Editor's Note: Over the next two weeks our reporters will be bringing you team previews for each team in the SEOAL, TVC-Ohio, TVC-Hocking, and our West Virginia teams. We continue in the MVL, where physical football is the name of the game.
After a very successful 2013 season that featured a trip to the playoffs, it would seem odd that Philo projects to be a middle-of-the-pack team in the MVL just one year later. But that is what happens when a team loses of its starters from that team.
“A lot of people are picking us to finish in the five or the six spot this year, and I really like that,” Electrics coach Dirk Lincicome said. “It takes the pressure off of us. If we get beat, we can say ‘hey, we’re young this year; we’ll get you next year.’”
Philo finished 9-3 overall last year and made the postseason for the first time since 1995, eventually losing to Indian Valley in the second round of the Division IV playoffs.
“This year we came in with a lot of unknowns,” Electrics coach Dirk Lincicome said, “but camp has been good for us. It’s kind of nice getting a new group, starting over a little bit.”
Perhaps the biggest loss for the Electrics is former ‘Gridiron Glory’ Player of the Year finalist and quarterback Zak Sheridan, who scored 20-plus touchdowns last season. However, the coaching staff believes the consistent strong leadership from that position has been passed down to the new quarterback, junior Cody Wickham.
“Cody has a stronger arm than Zac had by far,” Lincicome said. “He has some leadership qualities that you just can’t coach.”
Defensively, the Electrics were weak and undersized in the middle last season, which allowed opposing running backs to run all over them. For 2014, Lincicome has focused on adding strength to his linemen, and his few returning seniors have seen great improvement.
“Peyton Henderson Wyatt Harrop, Jacob Newlon…they’re two-way guys for us,” Lincicome said. “They’re work ethic is impeccable, they’re kids that I trust, and they’re kids that will win football games for us.”
The new-look Electrics get their first shot at writing their own legacy on Aug. 29, when they welcome in league opponent West Muskingum.
'Gridiron Glory' returns on Friday, Aug. 22 at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB. You can follow the show on Twitter @gridironglory, like the Gridiron Glory page on Facebook, and follow along on Instagram @woubsports. You can also join the conversation throughout the season by using the hashtag #gridglory.