Highlands quarterback battle

  1. #1
    by PsalmsG is offline Premium Member
    Instead of the adjective clear-cut that has pretty much described the race for the role of starting quarterback for the Highlands Bluebirds football team, it will be competitive this off-season.

    A senior has been the starting quarterback on the depth chart entering the season every year dating back to 2010 when Patrick Towles earned the role as a junior. Towles was the last quarterback to enter the season as the starter for more than one season.

    Towles took over as starting quarterback as a sophomore midway through the 2009 undefeated Class 5A state championship run after Will Bardo went down with an injury in the huge 12-7 victory over Cincinnati St. Xavier. That victory propelled the Bluebirds to a program-best third ranking in the final USA Today Super 25 poll.

    Four players will battle for that role this off-season after senior Austin Hergott takes his talents to Central Michigan University in seniors-to-be Brady Gosney, Cam'Ron Johnston, junior-to-be Carl Schoellman and sophomore-to-be Grady Cramer. All four have specific areas they aim to improve at in the offseason.

    The four are basically lined up at the starting line. Head Coach Brian Weinrich indicated things will stay that way until at least the summer. Gosney and Cramer are playing baseball while Johnston and Schoellman are participating in the team's offseason conditioning program.

    "We're not going to waste our time thinking about that right now," Weinrich said. "Right now, we're not playing a whole lot of football. It's just overall athletic development. Spring football is going to be focused on a lot of little things. Those guys will get the football reps in. Hopefully, they'll take advantage of that situation. We're just going to take advantage of that time and get better."

    Gosney has the most varsity experience of the four after backing up Hergott last season. Gosney completed 11-of-34 passes for 101 yards and three interceptions last year and rushed for 32 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns last year.

    Gosney started the game at Scott County for the injured Hergott. Gosney hopes to improve his footwork and throwing mechanics.

    Gosney realizes the importance of earning the trust of the coaches. Quarterbacks need to be counted on to make the right reads and accurate throws to gain crucial first downs and touchdowns in crunch time.

    Beau Hoge displayed that on the game-winning drive against Owensboro in the Class 4A state championship game in 2014. He scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:30 left on a quarterback sweep to the left.

    "We're basically talking to (the coaches) a lot," Gosney said. "We're going over film with them every other day trying to make sure what he's seeing, we're seeing and thinking the same things."

    Johnston and Schoellman also saw limited varsity action. Johnston rushed one time for eight yards against Grant County and Schoellman did not complete his lone pass attempt. But Gosney, Schoellman and Johnston helped the Highlands junior varsity team to a 7-2 record. The Bluebirds lost to just Simon Kenton and Cincinnati (Ohio) La Salle.

    Johnston will be working on his reads and decision-making. Johnston's run came off a read-option play. Hoge and Hergott made plays off that play in previous years. Hergott scored a touchdown on one in the state semifinal loss to Pulaski County.

    "That's really vital because the longer you hold onto the ball, the better the read you can make and the better the read you make (leads to) better plays," Johnston said. "I want to make my decisions quicker and more accurate."

    Schoellman just came back to football conditioning from basketball season. He wants to improve his arm strength and decision-making. The players know it is vital to support each other no matter who wins the job.

    "We all just push each other to become the best we can be because someone's going to have to do it," Schoellman said. "Whoever that is, hopefully they're the best equipped and ready to go."

    Cramer helped the Highlands freshman team go 7-3 throwing 25 touchdown passes. The Bluebird freshmen lost to just Campbell County, Covington Catholic and Louisville Trinity.

    Cramer has grown to 6-1. Kramer wants to improve his poise in the pocket and his footwork. He said he'll be attending caps at the University of Cincinnati and Indiana University to do that.

    Looking at his freshman film, one play that stands out came in the 19-18 win at Conner. Highlands had the ball at its own 3-yard-line. But Cramer hit eighth-grader Brycen Huddleston around the Bluebird 45 in one-on-one coverage. Huddleston then outraced the Cougar defender for the long touchdown.

    The Bluebirds have several wide receivers coming back such as senior-to-be Trent Buchert and juniors-to-be Braden Posey, Griffin Huber and Nick Veneman. Huber is the leading returning receiver with 14 catches for 203 yards and a touchdown. Kramer understands the importance of reading routes and hitting wide receivers at the right locations against various defenses.

    "It comes with practice," Cramer said. "You just have to be poised in the pocket and know where the receivers are going, know the routes and be smart."

    All four players have plans if they do not win the job. Gosney said he'd look for a spot on the defensive side of the ball and Johnston said he'd look at a tight end spot. Schoellman and Kramer would probably go to the junior varsity squad and try to win the job in future years with one and two seasons left after this year respectively.

    The hope for next season no matter who wins the job is to improve the passing game to where opponents can't load the box against the run. Highlands averaged 130.2 yards per game passing the ball last year.

    Spring football begins April 11 and goes to April 26. The Bluebirds will practice nine of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association-allowed 10 days during that time.

    FORT THOMAS MATTERS: Four in mix for Highlands starting quarterback role

  2. #2

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    It will be interesting to see who wins the starting job. Gonsey is listed at 6'0 170 pounds and Johnston is listed at 6'1 220 pounds.
    Last edited by uk#1fan; Mar 25, 16 at 12:48 AM.

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    Carl Schoelman is my pick. If the kid can put on some arm strength theres no way he wont win out the spot.

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    Brady Gosney will win the spot no questions asked, Johnston may as well move to o-line right now, kramer is far too inexperienced for Weinrich to consider, and Shoellman can only throw the ball about 40 yards

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    I would say Johnson is more like 240-250. I would be shocked if Godley doesn't get it.

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    Gosney has the best shot at it based on experience. He was bludgeoned in Georgetown last year during the Scott Co. game. However, if its even with let's say maybe Soph Grady Cramer, Weinrich may opt to start the youngster to get him experience and let Gosney play Defense.

    Johnston would be better suited on the line somewhere, even if it is TE. Schoellman is also another one who is very smart, has great mechanics and pedigree. However, I am not familiar with his arm strength or ability to read defenses. From what I have read on here he needs to strengthen the arm.

    I think having a competition is great as in past years its basically been a passing of the baton to the expected next in line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qryche11 View Post
    Gosney has the best shot at it based on experience. He was bludgeoned in Georgetown last year during the Scott Co. game. However, if its even with let's say maybe Soph Grady Cramer, Weinrich may opt to start the youngster to get him experience and let Gosney play Defense.

    Johnston would be better suited on the line somewhere, even if it is TE. Schoellman is also another one who is very smart, has great mechanics and pedigree. However, I am not familiar with his arm strength or ability to read defenses. From what I have read on here he needs to strengthen the arm.

    I think having a competition is great as in past years its basically been a passing of the baton to the expected next in line.

    Brady's a great kid. I agree he'd be more valuable to the team on defense.

    I was told that Johnston said if he's not a QB on the team he won't play and will not consider moving to the line.

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    From what i have heard, Schoellman had an immense amount of trouble going against the first string defense in practice last year and i don't know much about Kramer but would be extremely shocked if Weinrich were to start him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NamecipS View Post
    Brady's a great kid. I agree he'd be more valuable to the team on defense.

    I was told that Johnston said if he's not a QB on the team he won't play and will not consider moving to the line.
    If true then don't let the door hit ya. I really hope that is not the case. I remember when Luke Stein was asked to move to the line during his Sr. yr back in 06' or 07 I believe and chose to do it because the team needed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NamecipS View Post
    Brady's a great kid. I agree he'd be more valuable to the team on defense.

    I was told that Johnston said if he's not a QB on the team he won't play and will not consider moving to the line.
    Dixie and Cooper could use a qb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qryche11 View Post
    If true then don't let the door hit ya. I really hope that is not the case. I remember when Luke Stein was asked to move to the line during his Sr. yr back in 06' or 07 I believe and chose to do it because the team needed it.
    This is just my opinion but I think Johnson plays QB more for other people than for himself.

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    At Ryles' 7v7 tourney last summer, I thought Johnston was the 2nd best Highlands QB out there. Just my opinion. 7v7 is not game situations and Gosney may be more mobile. But the kid impressed me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch_F_Fletch View Post
    At Ryles' 7v7 tourney last summer, I thought Johnston was the 2nd best Highlands QB out there. Just my opinion. 7v7 is not game situations and Gosney may be more mobile. But the kid impressed me.
    Johnston does throw some nice balls, and i feel that he would excel in a 7 on 7 type game more than Gosney simply because he has a better touch but just as you said, 7 on 7 is not game situation. Also, from what i have heard, Johnston lacks a good attitude and work ethic in the weight room, and you know how much Highlands emphasizes weight room activities. I feel that the coaches have seen this and may be more inclined to play someone else.

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    I'm pulling for Johnston I have always been a fan of bigger qbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uk#1fan View Post
    I'm pulling for Johnston I have always been a fan of bigger qbs.
    N/C. And what was said above was also true and I agree 100% with Q's answer.

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