BATH TOWNSHIP – The last Bath football team to reach the playoffs was the 2003 Wildcats. Ryan Reindel was an all-district wide receiver on that team.
Now Reindel takes over a Bath program that hit bottom last year at 0-10 (0-9 in the Western Buckeye League).
In fact, since Bath went 7-3 in 2015, the Wildcats have compiled a mark of 4-26 over the last three years.
Reindel said it’s not a matter of “returning to the glory days at Bath,” as much as establishing a new tradition.
“These kids who are playing now have no recollection of any (playoff) success that we’ve had at Bath,” Reindel said. “A lot of them weren’t even born the last time we made the playoffs. So we can’t bring back the old traditions. We have to build anew. That’s what we’re trying to do.
“We’ll tie in with some of the stuff we did when I was playing that was fun and built that winning culture. But we’re not going to tie to it and say these guys did this, and this is how it is. We’ll build a winning culture and use the foundation that I played under and grew up watching. But we have to build a new winning tradition and it starts with these guys.’’
Reindel said it starts with discipline.
“Everything we do will be with a purpose,” he said. “As we approach the practice field or the classroom, it’s 110 percent, max effort. That’s how this program is going to be built. … We’re trying to build this program from the base foundation, and we want to be 1-0 each day. We’re trying to improve each day.’’
Reindel, a 2004 Bath grad, went to college at Wright State. He’s spent the last nine years as an assistant at Bath, including six years as the defensive coordinator and last year as the offensive coordinator.
It was actually midway through last season in which Bath scrapped its option attack in favor of a one-back, four-wide receivers spread offense.
Reindel brings the shotgun-formation, spread attack back this season. He’ll have eight returnees to run it on offense.
Overall, the Wildcats will roll out a 51-man roster, with only five seniors.
Quarterback Cyrus Burden has left for Tiffin Columbian after throwing for 710 yards and six TDs last year.
Lex Boedicker started last year at quarterback but was moved to wide receiver after Week 2 when he was injured.
The junior Boedicker, a first team all-WBL shortstop in baseball, returns to quarterback this season and has grown to 6-foot-1, 200 pounds.
“Lex is the best fit for us (at quarterback), athletically, as well as skill-wise throwing the ball,” Reindel said. “He’s a strong arm. Being a shortstop, he’s used to throwing on the run. He’s used to being off-balance when he makes throws. He can navigate the pocket, make throws and find windows.’’
Sophomore Carter Parliapiano returns as the lead running back. He ran for 700 yards last year.
Trey Johnson was a running back last year but moves to fullback/tight end this year.
Sophomore Ian Armentrout, the Wildcats’ top wide receiver last year, returns to lead the receivers. Also back is tight end R.J. Cortez.
Three return on the offensive line, which will be a huge key running the spread. Carter Butler moves from guard to tackle. Kanyon Poling is back at center and Derek Grigsby returns at left tackle.
Offensively, Reindel looks for balance.
“We have to throw the ball, as well as run the ball,” he said. “And we have the weapons to hand the ball off and throw the ball. But we have to be better up front.’’
The defense will line up in both a 3-3 and a 4-2-5 look.
Defensively, there are nine starters returning.
Up front, there will be Poling at nose guard, with Cortez and Lucas Prichard back at ends. Grigsby will also see time at end.
Johnson, Armentrout and Parlapiano will fill handle the linebacker position, with Parlapiano on the inside.
Boedicker will be a strong safety and Zach Simpson returns at cornerback.
Keaton Liles is a veteran sophomore kicker.
“Defensively, we have to run and have to cover and be physical up front,” Reindel said.
The Wildcats have lost 19 in a row. Bath opens against Allen East, the team’s last victory two years ago.
“It will be 735 days on Week 1 (since Bath’s last win), just so you know,” Reindel said. “Week 1 is very important for us to get off and running.’’