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Key players return for Cougars

Kenton Ridge High School coach Joel Marratta and his squad are looking to build on last year’s 6-4 record this season with a team full of experienced players led by 11 seniors.

“I think our biggest strength this season will be our starters’ experience, especially the guys up front. All of the number ones, they all played really young last year and this year that in-game experience should be their biggest strength,” said Marratta, whose team from last year lost nine seniors, six of which were heavy contributors.

However, those juniors that were on the team last season still had plenty of playing time and that’s key in-game experience that will help them this season.

Marratta did expressed his concern about the lack of depth that his team has shown. “This year if we plan on having success we have got to stay healthy. Our roster is only at about 80 percent right now numbers wise,” he said, “so after our first team, if we have to deal with a lot of injuries, with the numbers situation that we have, we will be a little weak and inexperienced in some areas.”

The Cougars will put numbers on the board with offensive coordinator Ross Girth and returning quarterback Mitchell Schneider, who together run the flashy and oft talked about spread option offense, which when run correctly can be lethal and fun to watch.

On the defensive side of the ball coordinator Tyler Christello is confident. “We really don’t have any individual standout, but the juniors and seniors we have in our linebacking core are very talented, but our defense is really one unit,” he said.

“Everyone is going to be a defensive player and everyone is going to have to contribute. We don’t really have anyone that’s lights out who can really excel on the next level so we just have to play smart and play together football.”

The Cougars open their season at 7 p.m. on Friday at Northwestern.

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