Second-year Bedford St. Peter Chanel High School football coach Brad Demmerle knew before the start of fall practice this week that the Firebirds would be returning enough talented and experienced players to produce a banner season in 2012.
The Firebirds return 22 letterwinners from the 2011 squad that posted a 3-7 overall record and a 2-3 mark in the North Coast League White Division.
With two-a-days now underway, Demmerle will quickly find how dedicated his players are to living up to their potential and achieving their collective goals of beating rival Trinity, winning the division title and qualifying for the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division V playoffs.
"If we have guys that are going to be selfish, then we will struggle," Demmerle said when describing his message to the team at the start of training camp on Monday. "If guys are willing to be selfless and do what is best for the team, then we have a chance to have a very good football team."
The Firebirds employ a zone-option spread offense and a 3-4 defensive scheme.
Demmerle recently answered questions about this year's squad and its upcoming season for WKYC's usatodayhss.com Web site.
WKYC's usatodayhss.com: What is your team's motto for the season? What is its significance?
Bedford St. Peter Chanel football coach Brad Demmerle: "Together We Will." Everyone on the roster plays a very key role in the success of this year's team.
WKYC: What is the biggest question/uncertainty you have about your team that you hope to have answered by the start of league play?
Demmerle: Are we tough enough to compete at a championship level?
WKYC: What must happen for your team to be able to accomplish its goals this season?
Demmerle: Put the team first, stay healthy, establish a physical and mental toughness and be willing to play six seconds as hard as you can.
WKYC: Who are your team's projected leaders this season? What do you expect each to bring to the team?
Demmerle: Offensive lineman/linebacker Charles Miller, offensive lineman/defensive lineman Marvis Hood, wide receiver/outside linebacker Joe Hines, wide receiver/outside linebacker Dan Bailey and wide receiver/defensive back Brionne Duke. They all need to set a great example on how to practice and how to prepare during the week to win games. They must be able to lead by example, get on kids when necessary and be able to communicate with the coaches any issues with the team.
WKYC: Which newcomer(s) on your team has the greatest chance to become a household name by the end of the season? Why?
Demmerle: Junior quarterback Aaron Ivory got injured in week four last year and missed the rest of the season. He has done a great job of learning the offense this offseason and is starting to take control on the field. He has a chance to be a very good quarterback if he continues to work at it. Junior running back/cornerback Rodell Golphin was injured on and off last season, but we are expecting big things from him. He runs very hard with breakaway speed and has shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He has a chance to have a great season, as other teams focus on our other skill guys.
WKYC: What do you expect to be your team's greatest strength this season?
Demmerle: Experience, overall team speed and a lot of versatility, which will allow us to get the matchups we want, especially on offense.
WKYC: What is your team's biggest weakness right now?
Demmerle: Overall numbers and we are not tough enough right now.
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