Worthington Kilbourne is beginning a new era, as Mike Edwards was named the third coach in the school's history last December.

Edwards replaced Vince Trombetti, who led the program for 13 seasons after Jeff Gafford coached for 15 years.

"This is a great community, which is one of the reasons I accepted this position," said Edwards, who served as an assistant at Pickerington North the past 10 years. "I've been overwhelmed by the community support and it's remarkable to be just the third coach in the program. That says something about the rich tradition and the support you receive here.

"The kids' work ethic is unmatched. They might not be the biggest, they might not be the strongest and they might not be fastest, but these kids want to win. I'm really looking forward to getting the season started."

The Wolves, who went 1-9 last year and haven't had a winning season since finishing 11-3 in 2015, will open at home against Olentangy Orange on Aug. 30.

"We have 22 seniors and we also have a lot of guys who have some playing experience and that's beneficial moving along," Edwards said. "Coach Trombetti couldn't have left me in a better situation, transitionally. He's been helping and was on the sidelines in our first scrimmage (Aug. 9 against Watkins Memorial). He's a great man."

Edwards said he saw both positives and negatives in the scrimmage.

"We showed some toughness, played to the whistle and had the fight and energy that I've been waiting to see," he said. "I'm cautiously optimistic, but it's easy to see we have a lot of work ahead of us."

OFFENSE

One of the biggest areas of concern heading into the season is the offensive line, where the Wolves are trying to develop enough depth in order to limit the number of two-way players.

"Seniors Josh Carter and Hayden Shaffer are two of our best O-linemen and D-linemen," Edwards said. "So let's find five more guys who can play O-line without Josh and Hayden. Our offense will only go as far as our line will take us. Getting that camaraderie on the O-line among those seven or eight guys that we want to play on a Friday night is the battle. We're in a slow process with that. As soon as we see that come together full-fledged and more consistently, I'll be pretty confident with our offense.

"We do have some guys we want to start both ways, but we need to be smart and realize we need to get through a full game. We can't wear a kid down and expect him to be the same player in the fourth quarter as he is in the first half."

Also on the offensive line are seniors Chinny Ndife and Michael Nielson and sophomore Jason Miller, with sophomores Nick Alexander, Luke Brown and Reed Williamson expected to provide depth.

Junior Mitchell Tomasek will take over at quarterback, with Terrique Gray, Caleb Andrick and Joseph Borchers all seeing action at running back. Sam English and Tyler Turner return as receivers and they will be joined by Riley Lewis.

"Our quarterback Mitchell Tomasek is just a junior, but he's a leader, a gamer," Edwards said.

"He wants the football in his hands. Our running back corps is strong with Terrique, Caleb and Joseph Borchers. They're all tough kids. Our receivers Tyler Turner and Riley Lewis and our H-backs Sam English and Marcus Hodge are all playmakers. So once we get the line settled, we'll be all right."

DEFENSE

Shaffer and Jacob Keslar will line up at end on defense for Kilbourne, with Carter and Brown at the tackle spots and Carter Haase and Ethan Loring at inside linebacker. Brian Wilson and Manny Herraiz also could see time at linebacker.

The secondary includes Herraiz at free safety, Andrick and Turner at corners as well as Jarvis and Chase Dauphin.

Herraiz had 92 tackles and was second-team all-league and special mention all-district.

Edwards pointed out a lot could change when senior end Duncan Selph returns from injury.

"Duncan is going to have an impact on this team," Edwards said. "Andrick is one of the toughest kids on the team, and Carter Haase and Manny Herraiz are very hard-nosed kids, too. Loring has looked good and Wilson comes from a family with great football tradition and he's going to be a very special player when it's all done."

While the Wolves are trying to limit their two-way players, Edwards realizes some athletes will.

"Everybody in this program plays two ways unless you're a starting quarterback," he said. "They have to be prepared for that. We have to because of our numbers. Our depth just isn't here like it probably was five or 10 years ago.

"If a kid is primarily a defensive player, he'll likely get 80 percent of his snaps there and maybe 30 or 40 percent on offense and vice versa."

SPECIAL TEAMS

Tomasek was second-team all-league and all-district as a punter after averaging 37.1 yards per attempt on 38 punts, with 12 of his kicks pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line.

Senior Joey Laudermilch is back at kicker. He was 2-for-4 inside 40 yards on field goals and 2-for-5 outside of 40 yards. He also made 16 of 18 extra points.

THE LINEUP

Offense

Quarterbacks: *Mitchell Tomasek (jr., 6-3, 185), Lachlan Korn (so., 5-10, 145)

Running backs: *Terrique Gray (jr., 5-9, 180), Caleb Andrick (sr., 5-9, 165), Joseph Borchers (jr., 5-9, 145), Marcus Hodge (sr., 5-10, 175), Charlie St. Meyer (jr., 5-10, 170)

Receivers: *Sam English (sr., 5-10, 185), *Riley Lewis (sr., 5-11, 170), *Tyler Turner (sr., 6-0, 150), Will Alban (sr., 6-0, 135), Sam Garber (sr., 5-8, 160), Brent Sawie (jr., 5-9, 160), Skylar Scott (jr., 6-0, 150)

Tight ends: Jacob Carter (sr., 6-2, 150), Paul Jarvis (sr., 6-1, 170), Carter Haase (sr., 5-9, 185)

Linemen: *Josh Carter (sr., 5-11, 245), *Chinny Ndife (sr., 5-10, 225) *Jason Miller (so. 6-0, 235), *Michael Nielson (sr., 6-1, 250), *Hayden Shaffer (sr., 6-2, 240), Nick Alexander (so., 5-10, 190), Luke Brown (so., 6-0, 230), Reed Williamson (so. 5-11, 215)

Defense

Linemen: *Brown, *Carter, *Jacob Keslar (sr., 6-0, 200), *Shaffer, Alexander, Ndife, Nielson, Duncan Selph (sr., 6-5, 210), Zane Swackhammer (fr., 6-0, 200)

Linebackers: *Ethan Loring (jr., 5-6, 160), *Haase, Justin Agner (sr., 5-7, 160), Marcus Gibson (fr., 5-10, 195), Brian Wilson (jr., 5-11, 185)

Secondary: *Andrick, *Chase Dauphin (jr., 5-10, 170), *Manny Herraiz (sr., 5-10, 155), *Jarvis, *Turner, English, Spencer Parker-Gordon (jr., 5-5 135), Hodge, Harrison Kline (jr., 5-8, 175), Korn, Alex Rader (sr., 5-8, 145), Scott, St. Meyer

Special teams

Kicker: *Joey Laudermilch (sr., 5-11, 165)

Punter: *Tomasek

Returners: To be determined

Long snapper: Wilson

Short snapper: Gray

(*Denotes projected starter)

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek