Third-year Genoa-Kingston coach Travis Frederick said there’s “a whole host of guys” who can help the Cogs on the defensive line this season.
Frederick likes the experience he has there, with returning all-conference tackles Kevin McIntyre and Connor Bankson, as well as end Sal Lopez, who could have been an All-Big Northern Conference East Division pick last year if not for missing time with an injury.
Talent and depth on the defensive line should play a big factor in the Cogs’ success against stopping the run this year – a must in the BNC East.
In last season’s 3-6 campaign, opposing running backs had their way against G-K’s defense, which featured an inexperienced line and a secondary that wasn’t deep. Both parts of G-K’s defense should be much improved this season.
“A lot of teams, they love to run it up the middle,” McIntyre said. “That’s going to be our biggest issue this year, is getting in our zones, getting in there.”
Frederick said Austin Boehmer, Will Beach and Anthony Lacko hopefully can help make G-K seven or eight deep on the defensive line.
Although Frederick mentioned the group’s inexperience as an issue last season, that shouldn’t be the case this year.
“Where we were inexperienced last year in some ways, this year [the defensive line] should be the strength,” Frederick said. “You’ve got two all-conference guys coming back, a third guy (Lopez) who had the potential to be, he just didn’t play enough conference games.”
The Cogs will be an experienced team this season with hopes to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2010, and G-K feels it has the talent to make it back.
“It’s always good to have veterans on the field,” Bankson said. “We’re all pretty comfortable out there and we just play football to the best of our ability.”
With the Cogs’ senior class, familiarity isn’t a problem, as a lot of them have been on the same team since middle school. It’s no different with G-K’s front four.
“Me and Connor and Sal, we have really good chemistry among us,” McIntyre said. “When we’re on the line, we’re playing for each other.”