ADA - Ada’s football team struggled in 2018. The Bulldogs ended up 2-8, 1-6 in the Northwest Conference.
Under second-year head man Shawn Christopher, the Bulldogs have plans to rebound in the upcoming campaign.
“We had a lot of young guys that were forced to play major minutes due to injury. We had a lot of guys that maybe weren’t ready to play forced to step into the lineup,” Christopher said. “We have a lot of those guys back, a year bigger and stronger. We’ve looked fantastic during the off-season and two-a-days. I like where we are right now.”
In the Ada spread offense, two major assets Christopher emphasizes are size up front and depth in the skill positions.
“Our line is as big as we’ve had in quite some time. With our veteran quarterback (Brandon Hull, 5-11, 185, junior) and his ability to beat you with his arm and legs and running back (Keagan Hull, 5-10, 185, sophomore), we will probably run the ball more,” Christopher said. “With two potential 1,000-yard receivers in veterans Zac Swaney (5-10, 175, junior) and senior Phillip Coulson (6-2, 180), we are well-stocked there. Plus, we feel we have seven guys we can put out there in our four-wide offense, so that will make us tougher to deal with.”
Veteran starters up front include left tackle Carter Nelson (6-4, 280, sophomore), left guard Logan Conrad (6-2, 195, senior), center Bryce Paul (5-10, 190, senior) and Dylan East (5-11, 185, senior) and a newcomer in right tackle Devan Cole (6-1, 245, junior).
Kyle Zimmerly (6-2, 200, senior), Cayden Murphy (6-3, 165, sophomore), Luke Westover (6-3, 170, junior), Daniel Mattson (6-1, 160, junior), Will McBride and Tyson Moore (5-6, 140, senior) will help outside.
“Defensively, we will play a multiple-front scheme. We know with the offenses we play against, we have to be able to adapt quickly,” Christopher said. “I will be calling the defenses. We have two offensive coordinators. Jake Blevins allowed me to give up the playcalling last fall — when does that happen? — and (former player) Zach Dysert will help. They have worked hard and know their stuff when it comes to offense, which allows me to focus elsewhere.”
Back to the defense are Coulson at safety, Swaney at cornerback and Holden Perry (5-10, 175, senior) at middle linebacker, along with possible contributors such as Brandon Hull, Blankenship and Paul at linebacker, T. J. Miller (6-3, 195, senior), East, Conrad and Nelson up front and defensive backs Murphy, Zimmerly, Mattson, Keagen Hull and Moore.