Bexley: Lions prepare for delayed opener
Bexley football coach Mike Golden said his team had its first "incidental contact" in practice Aug. 28, the same day the Lions were originally supposed to open the season.
A day later, they had their first full contact practice in preparation for their actual opener Friday, Sept. 4, at Liberty Union in MSL-Ohio Division play.
Ten days before the scheduled opener Aug. 28 against league rival Grandview, Bexley canceled the game. However, on Aug. 21, the school board allowed the program to continue playing.
Golden couldn't be happier to get things going.
"It's special because for a long time in the summer we were playing with doubt," he said. "We weren't sure if we were going to play. It's special that we have a season this year, and I'm especially happy for the seniors because they get to engage in the sport.
"The thing always is how far behind we are. The kids are really engaged and trying to be their best every day and that's all they can control. All they can control is their effort."
The Lions enter their opener without playing a scrimmage while Liberty Union already has a game under its belt, a 7-6 victory against Ready on Aug. 28. Sophomore quarterback Cayden Carroll connected with senior running back Casey Fleahman on an 18-yard touchdown pass as time expired, and sophomore kicker Storm Wolfel hit the game-clinching extra point.
"They beat Ready so they have improved," said Golden, whose team defeated Liberty Union 21-12 last season. "(Ready) coach (Joel) Cutler coached with me at Upper Arlington, so I know (the Silver Knights) were well-prepared. That means Liberty Union must have been prepared as well. It impressed me that they hung in there and won the game on the last play."
Bexley junior running back Noah Lyons said his team is eager to get the season started.
"It means a lot," he said. "I have been playing football for a while and it's a big passion for me. I'll be glad to get out there and play even with the (COVID-19 coronavirus) pandemic and all of the stuff going on. Hopefully everyone stays safe and healthy.
"The competition is the biggest thing. I love the competition and the aggressiveness of the game. It's a great game and I'm really looking forward to this."
Golden knows his team is behind where it should be at this time. All he can do is prepare the players and ask that they give their all.
"The thing always is how far behind we are (from the coronavirus protocols)," Golden said. "The kids are really engaged and trying to be their best every day, and that's all they can control. All they can control is their effort.
"A lot of it is for kids to know where they need to go. They can either hit or they can't. The ones that can will. It's important for the 11 players to be coordinated and to know where they need to go. I feel good about that right now."
BEXLEY at LIBERTY UNION
*When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4
*Last meeting: 2019, Bexley, 21-12
*Top Bexley Lions: Michael Agriesti (WR/DB), Tommy Bloebaum (QB/DB), Calvin Burzynski (LB), Joe Callaghan (OL/DL), Noah Lyons (RB/LB), Phillip Martin (OL/DL), Sam Powers (K), Grant Sheridan (RB/LB) and Jonathan Spiess (QB/DB)
*Top Liberty Union Lions: Dylan Anthony (DL), Cayden Carroll (QB), Casey Fleahman (RB/LB), Denver Kosch (OL), Blake Shreyer (OL), Braden Shreyer (RB/LB), Braden Shook (OL/DL), Drew Walker (OL) and Kyle Zink (OL)