Hardin Northern comes in with high expectations


By Jose Nogueras - jnogueras@aimmediamidwest.com



HARDIN NORTHERN

Coach: Travis Rettig

Years at school: 2

Last year’s record: 5-5

Division: VII

Returning letterwinners: Kaden Carpenter (Sr.), Kobee Hooker (Sr.), Nevin Robson (Sr.), Cody Warmbrod (Sr.), Brandon Henicle (Jr), Colby Curtis (Jr.), Connor Curtis (Jr.), Kaiden Sedlock (Jr.), Carter Curtis (Soph.), Justin Reffitt (Soph.) Cooper Thomas (Soph.)

Promising Newcomers: Branson, Grindell, Sean Kuhlman, Michael Pizzuti, Dylan Bacon, Kruz Curtis, Caleb Emerine, Kameron Frank, Kaden Guinn, Bodi Hipsher, Nolan Hopson, Cody Spearman, Xander Wilson.

Season Outlook: We want to finish with a winning record and compete in the top half of the NWCC

SCHEDULE

Aug. 20 — Arcadia

Aug. 27 — at Riverdale

Sept. 3 — Ada

Sept. 10 — at Ridgedale

Sept. 17 — at Perry

Sept. 24 — Elgin

Oct. 1 — at Upper Scioto Valley

Oct. 8 — Crestline

Oct. 15 at Ridgemont

Oct. 22 — Waynesfield-Goshen

All games begin at 7 p.m.

ONLY ON LIMAOHIO.COM

Check out our 2021 high school football preview section.

DOLA – With a number of skilled players and talent, Hardin Northern came into 2020 with high expectations. However, injuries hampered the Polar Bears efforts and they finished with a 5-5 overall mark.

Coming into 2021, Hardin Northern comes in with those same expectations and Polar Bear head coach Travis Rettig is hoping to avoid the injuries that befell his team last year.

Even though the team has four seniors, a total of 11 returning letterwinners are back on a team that features 31 total players.

“We had a really good group going into the year and were optimistic, and I am not making excuses, but we faced a lot of injuries with a small roster size,” Rettig said. “By the end of the year we had 20 guys and this year we have 31 starting out so our numbers are up and we are pretty happy with that.”

Rettig added that each week it was one or two guys getting hurt and then Rettig and his staff had to fill the hole, often times with players out of position.

“When you have 22 guys it becomes who is the next man up and a lot of times that was a freshman who maybe is a secondary player and now they have to play linebacker for us and that is not really a recipe for success but props to those kids and it helps us with returning letterwinners coming backs. Those guys filled those roles when they weren’t necessarily ready to fill those roles.”

Senior Nevin Robson highlights the returning Polar Bear players. ON offense he was the quarterback and on defense he was a standout defensive back where he received all-league and all-state honors. Robson recorded 43 tackles and eight interceptions. He was also an all-league kicker.

As a passer, Robson threw for 1,501 yards and 20 touchdowns with seven interceptions and rushed fr 258 yards and four touchdowns.

“We are going to continue to run more a spread look with a little more tight end sets this year,” Rettig said. “In the past we have been more two by two or three by one with more tight end sets.”

Back in the receiving corps are Colby and Connor Curtis who combined for 253 yards and two touchdowns in five games.

Anchoring the running game will be the sophomore Carter Curtis who showed he can be a standout runner as a freshman. The fleet-footed Polar Bear rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns and aveeraged 4.3 yards a carry.

Rettig said he feels they have a solid number of skilled positions back but understands that they need the blocking to succeed and that is one of his primary concerns,

Also back for the Polar Bears is Kobee Hooker, an honorable mention all-NWCC selection on the offensive and defensive line.

“We have a lot of question marks along the line,” Rettig said. “Kobee Hooker has been a four-year starter for us on the offensive and defensive line and he will be our go-to guy there but we still have a lot of question marks. For the most part, it is going to be our line play. They don’t get a lot of glory but that is where games are won and lost. We are just hoping to develop some guys there and hopefully not get into the freshman class but if they have to they have to.”

Seniors Caden Carpenter and Cody Warmbrod will be playing in the trenches, along with junior Brandon Henicle, Kaiden Sedlock and sophomore Justin Reffitt.

Defensively, the line remains an issue, but Rettig is confident with the linebacking group due to the valuable experience gained last year when they were thrust into playing time. IN the Delphos St. John’s playoff loss last year, the Polar Bears started three linebackers with four games of experience among them.

“We think the guys that are returning are going to be solid,” Retting said. “Carter Curtis is going to be there and his brother Connor. We also have some younger guys like Bo Bame and Cooper Thomas that might get some reps there. Kobee Hooker saw some time at linebacker but he may be moving back to the line depending on how camp goes.”

In the secondary, Robson anchors the secondary but Rettig said they will be looking for two new cornerbacks and Colby Curtis will be moving to safety.

Rettig said feels his team has a good chance of competing if they play good, solid fundamental football and, of course, avoid the injuries.

“I think we have the guys,” Rettig added. “From a team standpoint, I think we need to come together as a family and I think they have done that pretty well through the summer. It’s about cohesion. It is not just one guy. It is not just one guy and I think they really have come together and accepted that mentality that it is a team game and it doesn’t matter who is scoring touchdown or getting the ball and what matters is the team.”

By Jose Nogueras

jnogueras@aimmediamidwest.com

HARDIN NORTHERN

Coach: Travis Rettig

Years at school: 2

Last year’s record: 5-5

Division: VII

Returning letterwinners: Kaden Carpenter (Sr.), Kobee Hooker (Sr.), Nevin Robson (Sr.), Cody Warmbrod (Sr.), Brandon Henicle (Jr), Colby Curtis (Jr.), Connor Curtis (Jr.), Kaiden Sedlock (Jr.), Carter Curtis (Soph.), Justin Reffitt (Soph.) Cooper Thomas (Soph.)

Promising Newcomers: Branson, Grindell, Sean Kuhlman, Michael Pizzuti, Dylan Bacon, Kruz Curtis, Caleb Emerine, Kameron Frank, Kaden Guinn, Bodi Hipsher, Nolan Hopson, Cody Spearman, Xander Wilson.

Season Outlook: We want to finish with a winning record and compete in the top half of the NWCC

SCHEDULE

Aug. 20 — Arcadia

Aug. 27 — at Riverdale

Sept. 3 — Ada

Sept. 10 — at Ridgedale

Sept. 17 — at Perry

Sept. 24 — Elgin

Oct. 1 — at Upper Scioto Valley

Oct. 8 — Crestline

Oct. 15 at Ridgemont

Oct. 22 — Waynesfield-Goshen

All games begin at 7 p.m.

ONLY ON LIMAOHIO.COM

Check out our 2021 high school football preview section.

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