Updated Thu, Aug 22, 2013 1:40 pm
Editor’s Note: Three-Point Stance is Gridiron Glory’s written preview series leading up to its 15th season on WOUB. Gridiron is visiting training camps for all 32 teams in the coverage area as they prepare for the 2013 football season. The series concludes in the SEOAL, a five-school league lacking not in competitiveness.
For the Gallia Academy Blue Devils, 2012 was a solid season overall, as they finished the regular season 9-3 with a 5-0 mark in conference play. The playoffs didn’t end the way they would have liked, however, as they fell to Thurgood Marshall by a score of 68-9 in the Regional Semifinals. The 2013 season will be a fresh start for the Blue Devils, as they welcome in new head coach Wade Bartholomew.
Here are three things to know about the 2013 Gallia Academy Blue Devils:
1. Retaining Offensive Firepower
With reigning Gridiron Glory Player of the Year Wade Jarrell returning for his senior year, the Blue Devils will look to continue their offensive success. After the Blue Devils averaged 33 points per game last year, Coach Bartholomew looks to open up the offense. Bartholomew does have a history on the offensive side of the ball, as his coaching career began as an offensive coordinator for Logan Elm High School.
With a spread no-huddle look, the Blue Devils will look to spread the field and hurry up the tempo. Bartholomew said Jarrell must be more than just a good player for the offense to reach its full potential; he must be a leader.
“If he can improve anywhere, it’s being more vocal on and off the field,” Bartholomew said.
Bartholomew does have a history on the offensive side of the ball, as his coaching career began as an offensive coordinator for SEOAL opponent, Logan.
2. Does the Defense Shut Down the SEOAL Again?
In 2012, the Blue Devils held their SEOAL opponents to 18 points per game. In 2013, Gallia Academy will look to improve from that number. They retain their defensive coordinator, but are implementing some new schemes.
“We run a four-man front, going from a 4-4 to 4-3 look,” Bartholomew said. “We move the backers and safeties around the field.”
One player that Coach Bartholomew pointed out is outside linebacker Wes Jarrell, Wade’s brother.
“We are going to have to have a big mental year from our linebackers,” Bartholomew said. “We are asking a lot of him.”
3. Getting to the Next Level
Winning the SEOAL and making it to the Regional Semifinals were both big accomplishments by the Blue Devils in 2012. Now, Coach Bartholomew looks to take this team to the next level.
“Now our goals aren’t to be 8-2 or 9-3, but to (have) a 15 win season,” he said.
Bartholomew describes himself as an aggressive coach, who likes to attack on offense. He also considers himself more of a player coach, seeing that he played high school and college football. As important as winning is, Bartholomew stressed the idea that the players come first, wins come second for the Blue Devils in 2013.
Gallia Academy will debut their new head coach on Friday, Aug. 30, when the Blue Devils host the Athens Bulldogs.
Follow @gridironglory on Twitter and Instagram and Like the Gridiron Glory Facebook page for continued coverage throughout the preseason. Gridiron Glory returns Friday, Aug. 23 at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB.