The 2018 season marks the 20th year as Head Coach for John Novara. Novara will be looking to replace some key players from last year’s CAAC White Division Champion team. Gone are QB Austin Allison, SB Brock Gross, LB/FB Dean Battley, LB Devin Miller and WR Gavin Dennahey along with many others. It will be a group of players hoping to fill that void.
The strength of this year’s team will be the work of the line. The Offensive Line returns an experienced group with four players seeing a lot of playing time last year. The Defensive Line, along with the rest of the Defense, will look to stifle offenses around the state. With some big shoes to fill this season, I caught up with Coach Novara to get his thoughts on the upcoming season.
“We are excited for the upcoming season! We have a tough schedule in front of us starting with week #1 at Ovid-Elsie. Our league is going to be very competitive adding both Sexton and Charlotte to our schedule. Our non-league match-ups include OE, Corunna, Pontiac Notre Dame, and Montague. We have five returning starters on offense and four on defense. Offensively we return four offensive lineman, Jay Davids, Mitch Savage, Matt Koster, and Hunter Klein, along with wide receiver Blake Patrick. Defensively we return defensive lineman Dylan Arthur, defensive end Jacob Hickling, LB Owen Guilford, and safety Cade Parmalee. Newcomers that we expect good things from include Hunter Hohman, Mitch Mallek, Jacob Veale, and Blake Meyers. We feel good about our offensive line with four returning starters and our defense returns 4 all conference players. Game #1, we will be tested playing a very good Ovid-Elsie football team that we defeated last season 16 - 0 in the first round of the playoffs, they return 15 starters and will be ready to play.”
With the strong success of this program, that has gone to the playoffs 14 of the last 15 seasons and has not lost a CAAC White League Game the last three years, hopes will be high that the success continues.
Thursday’s game at Ovid-Elsie is a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. Come out and root on your Portland Raiders!!
Photos courtesy of AJ Guilford.