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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ryle football welcomes new, veteran names on offense

James Weber,

UNION – Ryle High School was 5-7 last season for football coach Mike Engler, who completed his first season as a head coach after two decades of being the offensive coordinator at Lexington Catholic.

The second-year head man, who tutored a vast array of talented signal-callers as LexCath regularly put up impressive passing numbers, has two talented quarterbacks with great potential at his disposal this season.

Junior quarterback Tanner Morgan has created a buzz in the offseason after receiving scholarship offers from Louisville, Wake Forest and Cincinnati. If he’s the starting quarterback, expect junior Aaron O’Hara to still play a role as an athlete somewhere in the Raiders’ attack.

Morgan comes in with a lot of experience already as a two-year starter, having played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Hazard High School. In two seasons, he combined for nearly 5,000 yards passing and 56 touchdowns against only 16 interceptions. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior threw for 2,536 yards and 31 TDs last year in leading Hazard to a 10-3 record and a berth in the Class 1A state quarterfinals. The previous year, Hazard was 11-2 and reached the same round. Morgan completed 63 percent of his passes combined.

In limited snaps last year, O’Hara completed five passes for 158 yards last year, 31.6 yards per completion, with two touchdowns. He has drawn some Division I interest as well.

Grant Arnwine, who had the bulk of the receiving yardage last year, graduated.

Senior running back Collin England is poised for a monster season after rushing for 1,144 yards and nine touchdowns last year while dealing with multiple injuries.

Senior linebackers John Meiman and Tyler Selby should anchor the defense. Meiman, also a state champion wrestler, finished third on last year’s team with 96 tackles.

The development of the Raiders’ offensive and defensive lines will be crucial in determining their success against the top teams on their schedule, but having experience in the form of 31 seniors should help.

Ryle has tough tests to start the year, beginning at Covington Catholic Aug. 21 (5:30 p.m. kickoff), then Engler returns to his old stomping grounds as the Raiders play at Lexington Catholic Aug. 28. Ryle’s first home game is Sept. 4 against county rival Boone County.

In the newly reconfigured KHSAA alignment, Ryle is in Class 6A, District 5 with county rivals Conner and Cooper.


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