By: Nate Schneider
New Lothrop hopes to keep winning tradition going in 2017
Another year, another stacked New Lothrop roster.
The Hornets, coming off a seventh straight season with double-digit victories, return six starters on offense and five on defense to give them a solid foundation as they look to once again be one of the premier Division 7 teams in the state.
Head coach Clint Galvas sees a lot to like in this year’s squad.
“With our returning starters and some of our junior newcomers who saw some varsity action last year, we should be pretty good,” Galvas. “I like what I’m seeing out of our offensive line and we have some experience at a lot of key positions except quarterback.”
The Hornets will be breaking in a new quarterback in sophomore Avery Moore, who served as the JV signal-caller a year ago and is poised to perhaps be a three-year varsity starter at the position.
“We worked a lot with him in the offseason and he’s really come along,” Galvas said about Moore. “He’s kind of your prototypical quarterback as far as looks and appearance. He’s 6-foot-3 and about 190 pounds. He has good speed and the biggest thing with him is he catches onto things quickly. He’s had a really good offseason.”
Helping to lead the way for New Lothrop will be three-year starter Mason Ruddy at running back, the team’s best offensive skill player who Galvas plans on moving all over the place depending on the play and formation.
Ruddy stepped in at quarterback last year due to injury, but with the emergence of Moore he will be able to go back to his typical position.
Also returning is outside linebacker and wide receiver Ben Bigelow, who led New Lothrop in tackles a year ago. Leading the squad up front on both sides of the ball is another returning starter in Cameron Dusenbery, a 6-foot-2 and 290-pound behemoth.
The Hornets won a district title last year for a fourth straight year, while they have advanced as far as the state semifinals twice during that stretch. The program also advanced to the state semifinals in 2011, while in 2006 a perfect 14-0 campaign saw New Lothrop win its first football state championship in school history.
“A lot of it is just the commitment from the kids,” Galvas added. “When we have a workout, we don’t necessarily have a lot of guys on the team but if we have an offseason workout with a roster of 25 I have 25 guys there. So I think it’s really the commitment and dedication from our kids that has contributed to our success.”
New Lothrop might have bigger fish to fry, but the fact of the matter is it has dominated the Genessee Area Conference Blue Division to the tune of 54 consecutive wins dating back to 2009.
But Galvas sees an improved conference as of late, which should only help get the Hornets ready for the postseason.
“We’ve had years where we’ve been blowing teams out so badly our starters are only playing in first halves,” Galvas said. “Then you get into the playoffs and tougher games where they aren’t used to going for four quarters. But the last couple of years, you’ve really seen other programs coming on and making it a lot more difficult for us. It’s only helped us prepare for the postseason and it’s great to see GAC schools dedicated to building strong football programs.”
New Lothrop opens its season at home August 24 as it battles Lake Fenton at 7 p.m.