McGUFFEY — Josh Spencer enters his fourth season as the head coach at Upper Scioto Valley with hopes of a successful season.
The Rams have only four seniors on the roster, so how quickly some of the younger players develop and fit in will be a key to success.
Spencer points to very good overall team speed and an athletic offensive line as strengths for the Rams this season.
USV does return a standout running back in junior Austin Sloan, who totaled 1,812 all-purpose yards for the Rams as a sophomore. Spencer expects big things from him this season.
Quarterback duties will be handled by sophomore Jason Moots, who will run the offense out of the flex bone attack. Moots will be counted to utilize playaction with Sloan and also find junior wide receiver Chase Rose, who presents an outstanding target at 6-foot-3.
“He is a real weapon,” Spencer says of Rose. “He is a really nice receiver with good hands.”
The Rams lost seven starters on the defensive side of the ball, so developing depth there will be a big key and point of concern.
Blake Stephens, a 5-10 senior safety, will anchor the defensive backfield for the Rams. Sophomore Kolton Keith will be counted on to stop the run from his line-backer position.
“We will operate defensively out of a base 5-2,” Spencer said. “We also can mix that up when we have to.”
The Rams’ No. 1 goal for this season is to compete for the Northwest Central Conference title. Spencer knows they must be able to compete against the top echelon teams in the NWCC to accomplish that goal.
“I look for Riverside, Lehman Catholic and Fort Loramie to be at the top of the NWCC again this year,” Spencer said. “We look to improve on last years’ 4-6 record with a good combination of size and speed on both sides of the ball.”