This fall brings back the first organized high school sports games since the world came to a halt in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adrian was fresh off the euphoria of a thrilling victory for the Kansas City Chiefs in Superbowl LIV in February followed by the victory parade a few days later. It’s only fitting that a football-crazed town tries to get a taste of normalcy this Friday as the Adrian Blackhawks travel to Butler to take on the Bears. The game has become quite the rivalry and a great way to kick off the season. Nobody knows if there will be a complete season. An outbreak of positive cases could bring a premature end to this season so each game is not only a gift but possibly the last time this talented senior class put on the pads for the Black & Gold.
Matt Cochran is Adrian’s head coach in his 29th year of coaching with the last 24 being at Adrian. He will be assisted by Matt Davis, Caleb Noland, and Colter Schacher. Last year Cochran’s team went 10-2 winning the last 11-man WEMO conference title. Adrian will play in the West Central Football Conference this fall as all WEMO schools outside of Adrian and Midway opted to go to 8-man football. Lost to graduation was Kyler Six, Brody Ford, Cooper Mead, Ryen Glaser, Noel Martinez, Bryant Burkes Chris Freeman, and Jayce Bunch. Returning lettermen are Colton Bass, Andrew Bruno-Willis, Aaron Cochran, Keaton Cook, Case Doody, Gage Harris, Kellen Preston, Hutton Pruitt, Grant Stacey, Lukas Stone, Owen Tallman, Jack Tenholder, and Jayke Welcher. This year’s strengths will be at quarterback, offensive and defensive lines, passing, and receiving. The defense as a whole and enthusiasm for the game along with overall team speed and depth will be added strengths.
Probable Starters (class, postseason honors): Offense:
QB: Jr – Colton Bass – 1st team all-conference WR, WEMO Conf. Offensive Player of the YearRB: Jr – Korbin KisnerRB: Fr – Hunter BaileySB: Sr – Grant Stacey, Sr – Gage Harris, So – Mason TalleyWR: Sr – Owen Tallman, Jr – Lukas StoneC: Sr – Jayke Welcher – 2nd team all conferenceG: Sr – Andrew Bruno-Willis, Sr – Drew Burris, So – Clayton Bridges, Fr – William BrownG: Sr – Case Doody – 2nd team all conferenceT: Sr – Keaton Cook – 1st team all conferenceT: Sr – Aaron CochranTE: Sr – Jack Tenholder – 2nd team all-conference
DT: Sr – Jayke Welcher, Sr – Case DoodyDT: Sr – Aaron Cochran – 2nd team all conference; 1st team all-districtDE: Sr – Hutton Pruitt DE: Sr – Jack Tenholder – 1st team all-conference; 1st team all-districtLB: Sr – Kellen PrestonLB: Sr – Keaton Cook – 1st team all-conference; 1st team all-districtLB: Jr – Korbin KisnerLB: Sr – Gage Harris – 2nd team all-conferenceDB: Sr – Owen Tallman – 2nd team all-conferenceDB: Jr – Colton Bass – 1st team all-conference; 1st team all-district; 2nd team all-stateDB: Sr – Grant Stacey
Manager: Sr – Trevor Newport
Coach’s CommentsOur schedule will be much different than it has been in the past. Our non-conference schedule consists of five Class 2 schools. That will help us in the long run. Our conference has changed, too. Our conference schedule will consist of Midway, Lone Jack, Crest Ridge, and Wellington-Napolean. We look forward to the competition these new schools will provide. We have a lot of returning lettermen and there are several young players that could see some time on the field. We have some good depth at certain positions which will help. These seniors have a high school won/loss record of 31-6 so they are used to winning. That being said, we have a lot of work to do to be ready for the season. All the parts are there, they just have to be meshed together. With the COVID virus going around, we don’t know how long of a season we will get As I tell the seniors –we have to enjoy every moment in practice and games because you never know when it will be your last. They could pull the plug on football at any time. Just enjoy being out there with your friends doing something you love. We are all looking forward to the upcoming season.
This information is courtesy of Adrian News Leader