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Every fall there seems to be a team that makes a huge turnaround from the previous season. Franklin finished at 9-2 in 2011 after going 3-7 in 2010. In 2010, Kings finished 11-2 after a 3-7 campaign in 2009. A year ago Batavia landed at 2-8, but this squad has the makings of being that team that turns 2012 into something special.
The Bulldogs are going to be a force to be reckoned with. They return a great core of seniors that have started or contributed since their freshmen year. The balance and competition added from the junior and sophomore classes will benefit this team more and more as the season wears on. Blend it all together and 1 Bulldog Place is sure to be rocking on Friday nights.
2011 RECORD: 2-8, 0-4 SBAAC National
COACHING: This is the third stop for head coach Don Sizer in the SBAAC as a head coach. In 11 seasons he has compiled a 63-48 record (19-21 at Bethel-Tate, four years; 42-19 at Western Brown, six years). He has gotten to this point by instilling repetition of regiment into his boys and by surrounding himself with good people. Former Glen Este head coach Zak Taylor is re-uniting with Sizer as Batavia's offensive coordinator this fall. Sizer was Taylor's Defensive Coordinator at Bethel-Tate before he took over as head coach. It is that sort of commitment that makes the Bulldogs’ leader one of today’s most fierce competitors pacing the sidelines and his teams personify that edge.
OFFENSE: The Batavia offense had more than their share of missed opportunities in 2011. The Bulldogs were shutout four times and scored just six on two other occasions. That situation will be rectified with a trio of runners in Zainn Ison, Ryan Gormley and sophomore KeShawn Foley, who have combined for 3,186 yards and 24 career touchdowns on the ground. Ison has run for 1,771 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career. Foley is a tremendous athlete, who ran for 601 yards as a freshman. He has the talent to become a three-time All-SBAAC performer. Senior Tyler Luginbuhl will go back under center after starting there as a sophomore. His favorite target will be Gabe Archer.
DEFENSE: Even though this team lost eight contests a year ago they were in all but two of those outings. In three of those affairs Batavia fell by seven points or fewer. Turn those tilts around and it’s a .500 season. Archer and Gormley, both two-time First Team All-SBAAC National performers, are back to anchor the defense. Gormley has 231 career total tackles and 4.0 sacks in his career. Archer has 192 total tackles and six interceptions as a Bulldog. Classmate Devin Metzel along with juniors Brody Browning and Patrick Bryant are back on the line.
SPECIAL TEAMS: This is area of the game where Batavia is going to have an advantage on most nights. Archer is one of the top punters in the Tri-State. He averaged 36.7 per punt as a junior. Ison and Foley are threats so score anytime they touch the ball in the return game.
Aug. 24 – FINNEYTOWN – 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 32 – @ Amelia – 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 7 – TECUMSEH – 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 14 – ROSS – 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 21 – WILMINGTON – 7:30 p.m.
Sep. 28 – @Talawanda – 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 5 – EDGEWOOD – 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 – LITTLE MIAMI – 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 19 – @Harrison – 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 – @Mount Healthy – 7:30 p.m.
FINAL TAKE: It’s going to be an exciting season in the county seat. It is year two for everyone in Sizer's system and now with Taylor calling the offense you can expect further improvement. The Bulldogs have tons of experience coming back on both sides of the ball and going to be factor not only in the Southern Buckeye’s National Division, but in the playoff picture as well.
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