DELPHOS – It was another playoff season for Delphos St. John’s in 2014.
But, looking back, it wasn’t a year to remember for the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays finished 4-7 and lost to Arlington 28-0 in the first round of the playoffs.
“We don’t make excuses (with a tough schedule) in that 4-7 is not where we want to be,” St. John’s coach Todd Schulte said, “and being shut out three straight times to end the season, with Coldwater, Marion and Arlington. … That’s not where you want to be, and it does leave a little bit of sour taste in your mouth. Hopefully the kids feel the same way.”
Last year the Blue Jays scrapped their power running game and went with an option attack.
“It’s the same stuff (this year),” Schulte said. “We used to be the power and option team; that’s who we were. Just with our personnel, we’re not the power team we used to be. We’re an option team, and we’ll try to spread the ball around the field a little more by throwing it.”
Six starters return on offense, including three on the offensive line.
Returnees up front are guard Brett Vonderwell, center Jaret Jackson and tackle Trent Closson.
Three wide receivers are also back, including the team’s leading receiver from last year junior Eric Vogt (25 receptions, 234 yards). Also back are Aaron Reindel (12 receptions, 153 yards, 3 TDs) and Jordan Mohler.
Another receiving option is 6-foot-7 junior tight end Tim Kreeger.
Gone is option quarterback Nick Martz, who threw for 760 yards and led the team in rushing with 744 yards with seven TDs.
The quarterback will be 6-2 junior Jacob Youngpeter.
“He does that (run the option) very well,” Schulte said. “… He also has a nice arm. He’s accurate and throws the ball well.”
Also gone is running back/wide receiver/punt returner/kick returner/defensive back Evan Hays.
Taking Hays’ spot at running back will be senior Evan Mohler (5-9, 170) and sophomore Troy Schwinnen (5-9, 170).
“We’ll do a little bit of running back by committee,” Schulte said.
Defensive, the Blue Jays will continue to play the 3-3 they rolled out last year.
Veteran Blue Jays on defense are Reindel at defensive back, Kreeger at end, Mohler at rover and Closson at tackle.
All three linebackers need to be replaced.
With close to eight players going both ways, Schulte said the team must stay healthy.
“And with only eight seniors, we’re going to be young,” Schulte said. “It’s going to boil down to how long does it takes us to gain playing experience.”
Reach Tom Usher at email@example.com or on Twitter at @Lima_Usher.