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Experienced junior class ready to lead Albert Gallatin

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 7:50 p.m.
Albert Gallatin Collin Smith photographed at camp on August 14, 2012 in Unity Township.
Albert Gallatin Richie Ohler photographed at camp on August 14, 2012 in Unity Township.

Albert Gallatin will be a junior-laden team this season and frankly, they are tired of losing.

Coach Jeff Rush — who enters his third season — thinks the program is on the cusp of a turnaround thanks to the junior class.

“The juniors that are here right now, four of them I brought up as freshmen so they have experience,” Rush said. “Even the ones I didn't play as freshmen played a lot last year.”

The tailback and offensive line positions will be the catalysts for how Albert Gallatin finishes.

The backfield will feature juniors Collin Smith, who rushed for 403 yards as a backup last season, and Brandon Dice. Their success will be predicated on the success of a line that includes juniors Brandon Carey, Zach Sherwood and Donavan Miller, and seniors Tanner Cavaliere and Tucker Tolbert.

“I look for a lot from the line,” Rush said. “We're going to go as far as they take us.

“I have a new offensive line coach. He's been doing a (heck) of a job with these kids on the field and in the weight room.”

Rush is quick to point out the strength of this season's squad is its work ethic. Entering his third year, Rush said this team has the potential to be special.

“Right now, I've seen that we have an amazing work ethic for a team that was 0-9 last year,” Rush said. “They bust their (butt) every day and they will not tolerate mediocrity and losing any more. They are tired of it.”

The quarterback position is undecided, but Rush believes incumbent starter Marty Dodson and Richie Ohler will have a strong competition.

With the juniors now in the spotlight, Rush said this group is ready to take the reigns.

“I can tell you honestly that this group of juniors have changed tremendously with football sense, field awareness on the field,” he said. “They've grown up. Their football maturity is a big difference. It's only going to get better.”

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