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2021 Football Media Day Quick Quotes

Area teams flocked to Empowered Sports Club on Friday for the 2021 rendition of Media Day. Here are some quick quotes.

Concordia Lutheran Cadets

On what they like about Coach Mike Eshman’s new playbook…

Eli Mattox: “It’s really big, and we run a lot of different stuff. I think it’s gonna give defenses a hard time this year. It’ll be a lot of fun passing concepts. I like the new playbook a lot.”

Xander Pratt: “We’re definitely going to be able to outsmart teams. We don’t have the biggest guys, or the most skilled, but we’re gonna be able to outsmart people.”

Bubba Craig: “For the guys up front, the playbook is looking good to us. We’re getting more adaptable with it. If they send random blitzes, we’ll know what to do, and we can let Eli know. Mostly, it’s about communication with each other, and we’re getting it down pat. We got a lot to prove this season and we have the right people to do it.”

Dontrell Johnson: “Our running game, I think, is especially gonna surprise people. Along with the passing, just the mix of it, it’s gonna surprise people. I think our defense is gonna surprise too because we have people who love to tackle and play physical. They get down to it. We’re gonna shock a lot of people this year.”

North Side Legends

On the young, explosive receiving corps…

Rodney Woods: “The receiving group is the core of the team, where the most playmakers are. They’re gonna be the most exciting.”

Jordan Turner: “Expect a lot of growth from our younger guys. Yes, sir. A lot of growth. We trained with them in the offseason, and mentored them. We made them better and they got us better. And you’re gonna see a show Week One. We want to entertain. We are the team that you’ll look to for entertainment. We’re going to put on a show for the fans that are gonna tune in.”

On that Week One matchup…

Turner: “[Snider] thought last year was a fluke. Our biggest thing this year is to prove that we can really compete in the SAC, put North Side back on the map for football. August 20th is a really big statement game because of how big and historic a program Snider is. We want that respect. We’re going to have to put on a show because we know they’re going to bring theirs.”

Woods: “We got to make a statement. Everybody thinks we’re going to lay an egg Week One, but you’ll see. They’re doubting us. That’ll be great competition, for both of us. I can’t wait.”

Snider Panthers

On their young core…

Luke Haupert: “We can trust each other, and that’s gonna show on the field. We had a lot of sophomores that got their first year under their belt last year. Coming back the second year, it’s gonna be different. They’re experienced, and they’re just gonna play. We’re ready, and they’re gonna be great.”

On how they feel entering August…

AO Rogers: “Where we’re at right now is wonderful. We’ve been pounding and pounding every week so this Snider team lives up. We still got a whole bunch of room to work, but where we need to be in 13 or 14 weeks, we’re gonna be there. We’re feeling really good right now. We have a senior class that’s pushing everybody. There’s still way more room to grow, but we have grown a lot.”

South Side Archers

On the differences between last year’s team and this year’s team…

Quincy English: “I feel like last year, we would just get down, and then we’d get on each other. But we’re not the same team we were last year. I’m looking forward to the turnaround. We’ve got so many athletes. We’ve got so much talent on both sides of the ball. So many weapons on offense. So many things we can do on defense. There’s gonna be a lot to watch, a lot to take in.”

Jaylen Lattimore: “You’re going to see a sound group, a hard-working group, a more disciplined group than last year. You’re gonna see a lot of guys that want to play for each other, that care for each other. I really want to go out and win and prove everyone who doubted us wrong.”

East Noble Knights

On their experience in the trenches…

Kainon Carico: “Since everybody’s coming back on the O-Line, we’re gonna have more time in the pocket to throw. We have the experience for that.”

Bryce Charles: “We had a lot of juniors on the offensive and defensive line last year, so this year, all those guys are seniors. They’re some big-time leaders who made big-time plays last year. It should be a good year for those guys.”

On how that experience especially impacts the offense…

Chris Hood: “We definitely have a lot of talent coming back and a very explosive offense. Our defense is great, but our offense is explosive. We’re gonna rack up tons of points each game. We’re gonna be able to run the ball. We only lost one guy on offense, and that was our running back. We got the whole offense coming back. The trenches are something we’re gonna be able to dominate each game, and we’ll be able to run the ball so much better and go for so many yards each game.”

Leo Lions

On the state of their defense…

Rylan Crawford: “Last year we were the #1 defense in the state, all classes, statistically. The fact that we’re bringing the majority of that defense back is so exciting. We graduated two inside linebackers. We’ll have a couple sophomores fill those spots, but they’re really good. They filled in last year when we had a COVID issue in the sectional championship, and they did their job. They held up really, really well. With that game under their belt, and then seeing them this summer, I think they’ll definitely fill in really well.”

Northrop Bruins

On their secondary…

Rashawn Boone: “We’re quick back there, with a lot of great footwork. A lot of shutdown guys. I think CJ Davis is the best safety in the state, actually. He can cover the whole field, sideline to sideline. He can attack everything. He can blitz. He can react. He can do it all. He could switch to corner and play the same way.”

On their running game…

Amarion Collins: “Demarius [Cowen] was a fast guy. Those are some pretty big shoes to fill, but we got a couple sturdy running backs that I think can handle that. And I think we have the best left tackle in the SAC, Damon Baney. We definitely trust running behind him. We trust him a lot.”

Wayne Generals

On playing for Head Coach Sherwood Haydock…

Aidan Meek: “Playing for Coach Haydock, it’s rock and roll. It’s AC/DC and Alicia Keys. That’s the best part. You always expect to go into practice listening to music. And then just his love for the game. If you don’t love the game, you won’t get along with him. He takes things seriously.”

Tizelle Thomas: “He’s very passionate. It’s gonna be fun playing for him this season. We always have potential, but this year, it’s different. Coach Haydock has put the weights on us. We got a bunch of 300-pound benchers, and we’re fast. We have one DB who benches 300 pounds, and he’s like 160 pounds or something. It’s a scary sight. It’s all coming together.”

Bishop Luers Knights

On this group’s experience following a State Title game appearance…

Sir Hale: “The way to describe us? Experienced and confident. We only lost four seniors that really played, so we got almost everybody back. And they got replaced fast. The guys filling in, they’ve already played varsity time. They filled in even when [last year’s] seniors were playing. I’m very confident they’re gonna do their job. They’re ready.”

On the return of fans…

George Buday: “I’m excited for the fans to be back in the stadium. They bring a lot of energy and it’s gonna be a good time on Fridays. I missed them a lot. Those first two weeks didn’t even feel like real games. We were just playing in from of some blank bleachers. This year, Week One, it’s gonna be a different story.”

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