An up-and-down 2016 season for North left the Rangers wondering, “What if?” in late October after finishing with a 4-6 record.
The year started with a last-second loss to Westlake – a team North beat in a similar fashion the year before. North evened its record at 1-1 with a convincing win over Normandy in Week 2. The Rangers entered WRC play at 1-2 and ended up 3-4 in conference highlighted by a 28-22 overtime win against Mayfield. The season ended with a tough 14-9 loss at home to Madison.
North coach Shawn Dodd is eagerly anticipating the 2017 season. When a coach has a team with the Rangers’ personality and work ethic, that type of excitement is understandable.
“This is just a great group of guys that are fun to be around and I hope that translates to their play on the field because they deserve success,” Dodd said. “Our weight room was full this entire offseason and we have guys that look the part physically. And I know they won’t back down. Now we just have to go out and prove it on Friday night.”
The offense starts with QB Jake Tanski, who accounted for almost 2,000 total yards and 19 total TDs in 2016. Tanski will have weapons to go to with running back Chase Valletto and Nate Rummel and Kenny Streb catching the ball. Dodd expects big things from his offensive line as well – a physically strong unit.
Defensively, the Rangers allowed 27 points per game, but were a big-play unit that had flashes of brilliance in 2016. North limited a dangerous Riverside team to eight points in a Week 5 victory.
The Rangers have a new look in 2017 after changing its scheme a little from a year ago to a four-man front after the graduation losses of several key players. Lou Severino and Brad Burrows are expected to make a major impact for the Rangers on defense.
Brett Payne and Devin Kleinhenz are experienced leaders. Tyler Dodd is a versatile athlete who will be called on to make plays on both sides of the ball.
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