A new era begins for Badin. Gone is head coach Dave Wirth and a senior class that made two playoff appearances over the last three seasons, and in is new head coach and former Badin alum Bill Tenore. Wirth didn't leave the cupboard bare for Tenore however, as the Rams return a host of talented juniors.
We take a look at the 2009 edition of the Rams and what their chances look like in a competitive GCL Central.
2008 RECORD: 8-4, 6-1
COACHING: Bill Tenore steps in and fills the spot vacated by Dave Wirth heading to Covington Catholic. Tenore is a Badin Alum and former assistant coach and has been the athletic director and coach at a school in Georgia for the past few years. It should be interesting to see what type of offense Tenore brings to this team, as he is known for being a run-heavy guy but Badin has been utilizing a spread formation under Wirth.
OFFENSE: The quarterback spot is always key, and the Rams have the unfortunate task of having to replace a very good one in graduate Zach Toerner. However, they have two good athletes that could be battling for the job. Jeff Smith, a junior who had been playing wide receiver previously, was the backup on last year's team. His biggest asset so far has been his speed and athleticism. However, Patrick Coyne is also trying to transfer from LaSalle and is a very talented option as well. Neither one brings much varsity quarterback experience to the table.
Whoever wins the job will have some talent around him on the offensive side of the football. Protecting him up front will be returning players Josh Gavin, Eric Flum and Drew Hampton. They will be opening holes for Smith's classmate Nate Snellgrove. He ran for 368 yards over the Rams last eight games in '08, and is expected to have a breakout year.
Alex Rieman had a sensational sophomore season at wide receiver a year ago, emerging as one of the area's top pass catchers. He pulled in 58 balls for 811 yards and seven scores and had four 100-plus yard games while catching at least five balls on six different occasions. His classmate, Tyler Sanders, also pulled in 23 catches in '08 leaving Badin with one of the most talented young tandems in the area.
DEFENSE: If you take away the 98 points that Alter scored against them in two games last season and the Rams only allowed 19 points per game a year ago. The team's four losses were to three teams that went a combined 32-5 and two of those losses were forfeits, by Alter.
Matt Combs, David Guilford, Andrew Kugler, Nate Evers, Flum and Smith provide needed experience on defense. The Rams did a good job creating 21 takeaways last season, and they hope to expand on that number with all the returning starters in '09.
The Rams hope that by getting so many guys varsity experience as sophomores that they will have a lot of guys with experience ready to contribute for the next two years. A lot of people are hoping Coach Tenore and his staff will do a better job on the defensive side of the ball.
08/21/08 @ Woodward
08/30/08 Turpin High School
09/05/08 @ Wyoming High School
09/12/08 Archbishop McNicholas High School
09/20/08 Alter (homecoming)
09/26/08 @ Purcell Marian @ Walnut Hills
10/04/08 Carroll High School
10/10/08 @ Roger Bacon High School
10/18/08 Chaminade-Julienne High School
10/24/08 @ Fenwick
10/31/08 @ Playoff game @ Clinton Massie
FINAL TAKE: The Rams have a lot of young talent who received valuable experience last year. If the new coaching regime can get the team moving in the right direction and fill in a few key positions this team could be right in the thick of things come playoff time. There is a very legitimate shot at this team finishing 8-2 if things go well for them.