Numbers down, confidence up


Olentangy, despite losing 15 players to Berlin, returns plenty of talent

By Michael Rich - For the Gazette



Defensive backs Hassan Radda (1) and Luke Riedel work on a drill during two-a-days earlier this summer at Olentangy.

Defensive backs Hassan Radda (1) and Luke Riedel work on a drill during two-a-days earlier this summer at Olentangy.


Ben Stroup | Gazette

Olentangy’s Caden Kaiser hauls in a reception during a practice earlier this summer.


Ben Stroup | Gazette

2018 SCHEDULE

Aug. 24 — Vs. Hilliard Darby, 7 p.m.

Aug. 31 — @ Miamisburg, 7 p.m.

Sep. 7 — Vs. Holland Springfield, 7 p.m.

Sep. 14 — @ Dublin Coffman, 7 p.m.

Sep. 21 — Vs. New Albany, 7 p.m.

Sep. 28 — Vs. Westerville South, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5 — @ Olentangy Orange, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 — @ Olentangy Liberty, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 — Vs. Westerville North, 7 p.m.

Oct. 26 — @ Westerville Central, 7 p.m.

2017 RESULTS (8-4, 3-2 OCC Buckeye)

Aug. 25 — Vs. Hilliard Darby, W, 45-24

Sep. 1 — @ Grove City, W, 21-10

Sep. 8 — @ Reynoldsburg, L, 31-7

Sep. 15 — Vs. Dublin Coffman, W, 31-14

Sep. 22 — @ Marysville, W, 21-14

Sep. 29 — @ Westerville South, W, 42-23

Oct. 6 — Vs. Olentangy Orange, L, 30-28

Oct. 13 — Vs. Olentangy Liberty, L, 28-17

Oct. 20 — @ Westerville North, W, 48-14

Oct. 27 — Vs. Westerville Central, W, 35-21

Nov. 3 — @ Dublin Coffman, W, 28-24 (D-I regional quarterfinal)

Nov. 10 — Vs. Toledo Whitmer, L, 32-29 (D-I regional semifinal)

2018 OLENTANGY ROSTER

1 Hassan Radda

2 Trent Maddox

3 Max Walden

4 Nick Boyarko

5 Luke Riedel

6 Josiah Seymour

7 Zack Kershner

8 Jordan Wilkerson

9 Mitchell Grubb

10 Caden Kaiser

11 Brennan Larrison

12 Landon Johnson

13 Kaden Doup

14 Jake Coleman

15 DeAnte Ables

16 Zach Shiblaq

17 Connor Haag

18 Daniel Kelly

19 Jace Middleton

20 Caleb Gossett

21 Brady Ramsey

22 London Parrish

23 Garret Zeune

24 Junior Jah

25 Nathan Rudawsky

26 Keegan Gupta

27 Landon McElroy

28 Anthony Boyarko

29 Max Williams

30 Luke Martin

31 Zander Held

32 Malik Wade

33 Alex Adams

34 Cade Carter

35 Michael Parsio

36 Tom Kipfer

37 Nick McCafferty

39 Gabe Bryant

41 Sam Konadu

44 Ethan Hand

45 Trevor Solis

46 Colton Little

47 Dubby Agudosi

48 Owen Billman

49 Trevor Maynard

50 Jason Feasel

51 Caleb Falk

52 Colton Doup

53 Jake Takach

54 Toby Wilson

55 Cole Krenek

56 Sami Azzam

58 Drew Matlak

59 Colin Barga

60 Tyler Barnes

61 Rylee Geyer

62 Zack Martin

63 Nick Hartman

67 Anthony DiMarzo

68 Dakota Hughes

70 T.J. Gadd

72 Jacob Dunbar

75 Ethan Wise

76 Mike Hawkins

81 Ricky Horstman

82 Alex Newman

83 Bryce Bendick

84 Ryan Petrone

85 Brady Pethal

86 Ian Drummond

87 Jeremy Callahan

88 Cameron Matzinger

The one thing the Olentangy football team didn’t lose to the new Olentangy Berlin High School is coach Mark Solis’ confidence.

“It’s as talented a group of skilled players as I’ve ever had since we’ve been here,” he said. “Collectively, as skilled athletes – the DBs, the wide receivers, the quarterback – it’s the best we’ve ever had since I’ve been here.”

He should have confidence. It’s earned.

Solis is 148-63 with 10 playoff appearances in 19 seasons as a head coach, with a pair of league titles and four playoff bids in five seasons at Olentangy.

It’d be easy to think Olentangy would take a step back because of numbers. That part is true … its numbers are down.

Olentangy has 72 players on its varsity roster this year as opposed to 77 last year, with 15 players going to Berlin. It has had to fill some of those spots with freshmen (18 this year as opposed to just two last).

“That’s been challenging,” Solis said. “We talk all the time – control the controllables. We control what we have the ability and the power to control and I think we’ve done that thus far.”

But looking around, there are a lot of familiar faces … or hands, rather.

Seniors Caden Kaiser, Ian Drummond and Luke Riedel and junior Jace Middleton were all key parts of the Olentangy offense as receivers.

He also has some new faces that should make an impact like juniors Jake Coleman and Josiah Seymour and sophomore Caleb Gossett.

“Our strength is going to be our passing game,” Solis said. “We’ve got about seven guys that we can roll out there … and they’re all gonna play. There’s hardly any drop-off … they’re all really talented.”

Solis has to decide between Connor Haag (senior), who has some starting experience, or Trent Maddox (junior) at quarterback.

“(Haag and Maddox) are kind of neck and neck right now,” Solis said. “The guy that will earn the starting position is the guy that can threaten the defense with his feet and the guy that can extend plays with his feet. They both throw the ball really, really well.”

Senior center Zach Martin is the only one back on the line with experience. Solis will mix and match between Jake Takach (guard), Rylee Geyer (guard), Mike Hawkins (tackle), Jacob Dunbar (guard) and Colton Doup and sophomore Toby Wilson (tackle) at the other positions.

Seniors Zach Shiblaq and Trevor Solis are not only going to make an impact running the ball, but on defense. Shiblaq is penciled in at one of the outside linebacker spots and Solis will play some defensive end.

Drummond (end), Takach (tackle), Doup (linebacker) and Riedel (cornerback) will also double-dip.

Seniors Nick McCafferty (linebacker) and DeAnte Ables (cornerback) are a couple of key returnees to the Olentangy defense. McCafferty is the team’s top returning tackler and Ables led last year’s squad with five interceptions.

For Solis, the goals are the same as they’ve ever been.

“We’ve kind of set a standard over the last five years that we expect to contend for championships and that’s the expectation this year,” Solis said.

Defensive backs Hassan Radda (1) and Luke Riedel work on a drill during two-a-days earlier this summer at Olentangy.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2018/08/web1_corners.jpgDefensive backs Hassan Radda (1) and Luke Riedel work on a drill during two-a-days earlier this summer at Olentangy. Ben Stroup | Gazette

Olentangy’s Caden Kaiser hauls in a reception during a practice earlier this summer.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2018/08/web1_kaiser.jpgOlentangy’s Caden Kaiser hauls in a reception during a practice earlier this summer. Ben Stroup | Gazette
Olentangy, despite losing 15 players to Berlin, returns plenty of talent

By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

2018 SCHEDULE

Aug. 24 — Vs. Hilliard Darby, 7 p.m.

Aug. 31 — @ Miamisburg, 7 p.m.

Sep. 7 — Vs. Holland Springfield, 7 p.m.

Sep. 14 — @ Dublin Coffman, 7 p.m.

Sep. 21 — Vs. New Albany, 7 p.m.

Sep. 28 — Vs. Westerville South, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5 — @ Olentangy Orange, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 — @ Olentangy Liberty, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 — Vs. Westerville North, 7 p.m.

Oct. 26 — @ Westerville Central, 7 p.m.

2017 RESULTS (8-4, 3-2 OCC Buckeye)

Aug. 25 — Vs. Hilliard Darby, W, 45-24

Sep. 1 — @ Grove City, W, 21-10

Sep. 8 — @ Reynoldsburg, L, 31-7

Sep. 15 — Vs. Dublin Coffman, W, 31-14

Sep. 22 — @ Marysville, W, 21-14

Sep. 29 — @ Westerville South, W, 42-23

Oct. 6 — Vs. Olentangy Orange, L, 30-28

Oct. 13 — Vs. Olentangy Liberty, L, 28-17

Oct. 20 — @ Westerville North, W, 48-14

Oct. 27 — Vs. Westerville Central, W, 35-21

Nov. 3 — @ Dublin Coffman, W, 28-24 (D-I regional quarterfinal)

Nov. 10 — Vs. Toledo Whitmer, L, 32-29 (D-I regional semifinal)

2018 OLENTANGY ROSTER

1 Hassan Radda

2 Trent Maddox

3 Max Walden

4 Nick Boyarko

5 Luke Riedel

6 Josiah Seymour

7 Zack Kershner

8 Jordan Wilkerson

9 Mitchell Grubb

10 Caden Kaiser

11 Brennan Larrison

12 Landon Johnson

13 Kaden Doup

14 Jake Coleman

15 DeAnte Ables

16 Zach Shiblaq

17 Connor Haag

18 Daniel Kelly

19 Jace Middleton

20 Caleb Gossett

21 Brady Ramsey

22 London Parrish

23 Garret Zeune

24 Junior Jah

25 Nathan Rudawsky

26 Keegan Gupta

27 Landon McElroy

28 Anthony Boyarko

29 Max Williams

30 Luke Martin

31 Zander Held

32 Malik Wade

33 Alex Adams

34 Cade Carter

35 Michael Parsio

36 Tom Kipfer

37 Nick McCafferty

39 Gabe Bryant

41 Sam Konadu

44 Ethan Hand

45 Trevor Solis

46 Colton Little

47 Dubby Agudosi

48 Owen Billman

49 Trevor Maynard

50 Jason Feasel

51 Caleb Falk

52 Colton Doup

53 Jake Takach

54 Toby Wilson

55 Cole Krenek

56 Sami Azzam

58 Drew Matlak

59 Colin Barga

60 Tyler Barnes

61 Rylee Geyer

62 Zack Martin

63 Nick Hartman

67 Anthony DiMarzo

68 Dakota Hughes

70 T.J. Gadd

72 Jacob Dunbar

75 Ethan Wise

76 Mike Hawkins

81 Ricky Horstman

82 Alex Newman

83 Bryce Bendick

84 Ryan Petrone

85 Brady Pethal

86 Ian Drummond

87 Jeremy Callahan

88 Cameron Matzinger

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.