In his second season as coach of the Reynoldsburg High School football team, Steve Evans is looking to make the Raiders more aggressive on offense.

In his second season as coach of the Reynoldsburg High School football team, Steve Evans is looking to make the Raiders more aggressive on offense.

Instead of relying on an option-based attack which waits to see how the defense is going to defend it, Evans will be looking to make full use of a tight end and a fullback to run the offense from the I-formation.

"In I-back, we can be more of an attack style," Evans said. "We're turning around and giving it to a kid deep and he's coming downhill. He's attacking the line of scrimmage, whereas in the option it's more read and react and you have to make the right decision. Now we're getting the ball and it's bang and go."

Evans said the option hasn't been phased out completely, but is just taking a back seat after the Raiders finished 2-8 overall and seventh in the OCC-Ohio Division at 2-5.

One of the reasons for making the I-formation a more prominent part of the offense was personnel.

Evans thinks the Raiders have quality options at tailback in seniors Devon McKoy, Brandon Mitchell and Derrick Goliday and at fullback in seniors Patrick Gundelfinger and Dominique Walker.

Junior J.C. Gibson started at quarterback for the majority of last season and he split time during the preseason with Richie Wellman, a senior who was injured early last year and then played mostly on the junior varsity.

The offensive line returns senior starters Tim Fryer, Nick Green, Nick Reid and Josh Montgomery.

Senior Roosevelt Nix, who was second-team all-state as a defensive tackle, will play guard this year. He has drawn interest from Kent State.

Senior Manny Webb and junior Darien Bryant will be the tight ends.

As was the case last season, Evans won't shy away from moving players around to different positions in order to get the best athletes on the field, the thinking that led to Nix moving to the offensive line.

Nix (5-foot-11, 235 pounds) was a standout defensive tackle who totaled 85 tackles last season, including 34 tackles-for-loss.

Evans would like to see those numbers go down.

"We hope if his numbers go down this year, that means everybody else's numbers are going up," Evans said. "We want teams to think about how they're going to block our defense, not how they're going to block Roosevelt."

Nix is all for it.

"Everybody has personal goals, but everybody has to be a team player, too," Nix said. "If my numbers have to go down, it's because everybody is doing the right things."

Reynoldsburg will use a 4-3 base base defense, but employ multiple fronts. Nix will lead the group up front, but he'll be relying on Reid and junior Dalton Hoover to help take the pressure off him.

The linebackers include returnees Gundelfinger and Webb. Walker will also play linebacker. McKoy, who has drawn interest from Bowling Green, and Mitchell are set to lead the secondary as returning starters.

The biggest difference this season could be the level of familiarity. The coaches were just getting into their offices when the summer started last year and Evans had to spend a lot of time putting together his staff.

This offseason, they were able to build chemistry and that could be a part that was missing last year.

"Coming in last year we really didn't know (the coaches) and they didn't know us," Nix said. "This year we spent a lot of time in the offseason working out and building a relationship between the team and the coaches. There's a lot of camaraderie. There's a lot of love. We're just trying to carry it over to the field."

In the OCC-Ohio, the Raiders finished behind Pickerington Central (7-0), Grove City (6-1), Lancaster (4-3), Pickerington North (3-4) Groveport (3-4), Gahanna (4-3), and ahead of Newark (0-7).

Because of a failed levy in May, it costs players $500 to play for the Raiders this season.

Evans said that program numbers dropped from around 125 players last year in grades 9-12 to 80 this season.