In football, all young men have a chance of success. In football, the more talented player is not always the best player. In football, with the correct attitude and work ethic, any young man can compete. In football, leaders are born and confidence is built. In football, attitudes can be adjusted and low self-esteem can be lifted. In football, all young men get a chance at success.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

NKY 6A...Ryle

Ryle's Lex Sowards is one of Northern Kentucky's top returning linemen.
Photo by: Michael Noyes
By Dan Clasgens | Managing Editor
The 2011 season was one full of surprises in Northern Kentucky’s Class 6A football. Campbell County started year 0-5, but got hot at the right time and claimed the school’s first district title in 31 years. Boone County made some serious noise in the postseason, but struggled for consistency. The injury bug bit Ryle and created some serious holes the Raiders were unable to overcome. Dixie Heights and Simon Kenton turned in disappointing campaigns.

District 6 always provides some of the state’s greatest competition and this year will be no different. While every team possesses some reasons for optimism, none of the schools enter the 2012 campaign without serious question marks. It should make for some thrilling Friday nights in the year ahead.
Class 6A, District 6
Head Coach: Bryson Warner (68-39 @ Ryle, nine years, 68-39 overall)
2011 Record: 7-5, 3-1

Overview: After watching star running back Travis Elliott go down to a season-ending knee injury in a Week 3 loss at Colerain, head coach Bryson Warner and his staff had to adjust quickly in 2011. However, as the injuries continue to mount the Raiders were spread thin and eventually faded. Last year’s lumps should pay big dividends in 2012.

The Raiders will lean heavily on dual-threat quarterback Nathan Davis, who rushed for 1,112 yards and 14 touchdowns and threw for 926 yards and six more scores as a junior. The offensive line enters 2012 with some question marks, but will benefit from the experienced play of Lex Sowards and Mitch Howles. Ryan Hill made a splash as a sophomore by rushing for 406 yards and six touchdowns and should only get better as a junior. Nick Salmen is the most experienced player back at receiver and he only caught four balls a year ago.

Defensively Ryle’s strength comes in the secondary with Hill joined by Daniel Osborne and Nick Kennedy. There are major questions at the linebacker position which should lead to some interesting preseason battles for the Raiders. The unit will need for some playmakers to emerge quickly with so many good-running football teams on the schedule. Howes will be joined on the defensive line by a cast of characters, including Daniel Loschiavo.

Senior Garrett Mead is one of the Tri-state’s most experienced kickers. He has 60 points during his varsity career having knocked down 3-of-6 field goals and 51-of-57 extra points.


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