August 31, 2007

Q&A with coach Darwin Seiler

Q. How would you describe the state of your program?

A: "Our numbers are down. That's the first time in three or four years that's been the case. I feel good abut the skill kids that we have returning, but I'm worried about the depth that we have up front. I feel like we made strides last year, but we have to get one 'W' to validate it all."

Q: How would you sum up the 2006 season?

A: "Like I said, we made some strides by the end of the season. I felt like our returnees got some invaluable experience and we were able to get some sophomores in there for some playing time."

Q: Who are your top returning skill position players?

A: "Terrell Rickard returns as our quarterback. He is a fabulous athlete and throws the ball about as well as anyone. Fullback Ian Smith led us in rushing last year and had 500 yards in the final five games of the season. Tyler Swope is a running back who was hurt last year. He was playing defense for us, got injured and had trouble coming back, but he has some real speed. Aaron McKenzie is a physical wide receiver who is 6-2 and is a great blocker with great hands. Nathan Minnich is a fourth-year tight end who is 6-3 and 262 who can run and catch the ball."


Q: Who are the top returning players at these positions?

Offensive line:

A: "John Stupps was our center last year and might be a tackle this year. Evan Reed returns at guard."

Defensive line:

A: "Minnich and Reed both return. Minnich is an inside lineman and is big and runs well. He's the whole package. Reed is a defensive end playing on the weak side who can run and reads well."


A: "Dylan Spangler is an inside linebacker who is a great blitzer. He is a big physical kid. McKenzie is an outside linebacker who is big and moves well and is a deceptively good athlete."


A: "Nathan Kauffman is a junior at safety who seeks the field well and is smart. David Gray starts at the corner and is real physical."

Q: Who is the one departed player who will be the most difficult to replace?

A: "J.T. Spangler was second in tackles for us and he played wide receiver. He's a two-way player and those are tough to replace."

Q: Who are the "unknown" or new players who could make an impact in 2007?

A: "Marvin Gaskill, a 285-pound nose guard, Brandon Robinson, an offensive guard, and Robert Atkinson at linebacker. They are all sophomores who have been pleasant surprises."

Q: "What is the biggest challenge your team will face this season."

A: "I'm concerned with our depth up front and how we develop. We will grow and progress, but it's a matter of what pace we do it at."

Q: What things must this team do to improve over the 2006 season?

A: "We have to play better defensively, control the ball offensively and capitalize when we are given opportunities."

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