MADISON TWP. — The transition phase is beginning to settle for the Madison High School football team.
The Mohawks are ready to dig into the 2022 season.
“We’ve been after it the last couple of weeks,” second-year Madison coach Dan Baker said. “They know that it’s the first year for our guys where they can say they’ve got the same coach two years in a row. From that standpoint, it’s an ability to put the foot forward and look at this season and not really dwell on what happened last season. Because these guys are coming around with a lot of excitement, and they’re working their butts off.
“It’s new rules and expectations,” added Baker, whose Mohawks went 0-10 last season. “Collectively, we had to figure out how things go. And that’s the big difference this year that I’ve already seen.
“We’ve made major leaps and bounds,” Baker continued.
Leading the way on the offensive side of things is junior quarterback Brady Haas.
“Anytime you have a kid back there with that many years of experience, you should see some maturity,” Baker said of Haas, who throw for 1,050 yards and eight touchdowns as a sophomore.
Baker said to keep an eye out for seniors Davin Adams, Damario Pendleton and John Harrison, who will be coming back to anchor the offensive line. They are three of four seniors on the roster, according to Baker.
“Those guys took quality reps on defense, too,” Baker said of the trio. “I think that’s how the season is going to go based on how those guys lead and how they get the juniors and sophomores in the right direction. I’m excited to see what they do this season.”
The other senior is Lane Byrd, who has “taken the role of being a leader and making sure that things are done the right way,” Baker said. Byrd will be mainly a tight end and linebacker.
Junior Qwenton Rhodus came in last season and gave the Mohawks some quality time in the offensive backfield in 2021.
“He got the rock about 20 to 25 times a game when he was in there,” Baker said of Rhodus, who rushed for 335 yards and two touchdowns last season.
Sophomore Kaleb Miller, who according to Baker, was “one of our best weapons for a good portion of the season last year.”
Miller led the team in receptions with 27 and had 259 yards.
Other players to look out for, according to The Report, are junior Jaylin Pendleton, junior Jordan Perry, junior Ryder Williams, sophomore Devin Lindsey, sophomore Bryant Tinch, sophomore Peyton Neal, sophomore Brayden Ketcham, sophomore Bryson Moore, junior Ryan Brown, sophomore Elijah Sams, junior Aiden Grooms and junior Garrett Webb.
“Adversity — that’s the thing that has characterized these kids is adversity,” Baker said. “With good teams and bad teams, it comes down to how they handle adversity. I would say at the end of the day, we’ve had a lot.
“We’ve seen a lot of trust and buy-in,” Baker added. “Overall, that’s where we’re at. When you go 0-10, the only place to go is up. We’ve put in a lot of work in the offseason. So hopefully that leads to a lot of success on the field.”
Aug. 19 Greeneview
Aug. 26 at Fenwick
Sept. 2 at Troy Christian
Sept. 9 at Waynesville
Sept. 16 at Valley View
Sept. 23 Eaton
Sept. 30 Bellbrook
Oct. 7 at Brookville
Oct. 14 Carlisle
Oct. 21 at Oakwood