POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – It’s an unfamiliar time for the Poland Football program. The Bulldogs are looking to bounce back after missing out on postseason play for the first time since 2006.
“Every day, we’re just thinking about how we went 4-6 and how that’s not gonna be the same,” Junior Quarterback Cole Kosco said. “Everyday, just thinking 10-0, just waking up every day go work for 10-0.”
“It didn’t feel good at all. The day after that happened, I went right into the weight rooom, and just got right in, and, back getting the work in, and just didn’t want to have another bad season,” added Senior Tight End Dante Ruozzo.
Head Coach Ryan Williams enters his second year heading up the program, and is expecting much better results in 2017.
“That’s something that we talked about all years in the offseason, in the weightroom, every day this summer that we’re out on the turf. It’s a driving force. We didn’t meet the expectations that were set for our community and our school, and we’re doing whatever we can to get back there,” Williams said.
Williams has plenty of talent to help to return the winning ways to the program. That includes 6’3″ Junior Quarterback Cole Kosco. He passed for nearly 800 yards a year ago.
“He’s very talented. Has all the tools. Looks the part, has all the skills, has the pedigree,” Coach Williams described. “He’s gonna be a fantastic quarterback. A lot of what we’re doing we’re building around him, that’s for sure.”
“This offseason I put on a lot of size. I’ve been working really hard to be able to run the ball this year…to be kind a dual threat…throw the ball and run the ball and help my team out a lot more,” Kosco said.
Kosco will have a big target to throw to in Senior Tight-End Dante Ruozzo…who is back for his third year as a starter.
“Dante’s got tremendous size. 6’4″, about 230 pounds,” Williams said. “Last year, kinda at this time, he was dealing with a knee injury, so, we didn’t develop ball skill-wise to include him in the passing game much. Certainly we are this year now that he’s healthy. And we’re looking forward to including him in the pass game more.”
“I think the blocking is gonna help a lot. Passing, they could throw it to me, but, we have a lot of a good receiver corp. But, blocking is my best thing to do. But, passing they can stick it in and I’ll do pretty good,” Ruozzo predicted.
Williams must replace thirteen seniors lost to graduation. But the goals of the program haven’t changed a bit.
“Restoring order is our motive and just getting back to how we should do things and being 10-0,” Kosco
Ryan Williams, Poland Head Coach: ” They know that we expect to be in the playoffs. That we expect to compete for a league title. And, it’s really driven them. They want to get better, they want to do what the teams before them have done.”
Poland will kickoff the season on Friday August 25th at home against Marlington.