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Ridgewood: 2014 football preview

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Mon. August 11, 2014 | Darek Sharp

Ridgewood: 2014 football preview

Ridgewood

Coach: Jay Fulmer (third season, 4-16; seventh overall, 35-38)

Last season: 3-7

Class/district: 5A-7

Colors: Blue and orange

Stadium: Ridgewood Stadium, 7650 Orchid Lake road, New Port Richey

Playoff history: 2002, 2007

Last appearance: Lost 43-3 to Daytona Beach Seabreeze

Season schedule

Aug. 29 at Fivay, 7:30 

Sept. 5 vs. Mitchell, 7:30 

Sept. 12 vs. Land O’Lakes, 7:30 

Sept. 19 at Anclote, 7:30 

Sept. 26 at Sunlake, 7:30 

Oct. 3 at Wesley Chapel, 7:30 

Oct. 10 vs. Wiregrass Ranch, 7:30 

Oct. 17 vs. Hudson, 7:30 

Oct. 24 at Gulf, 7:30 

Oct. 31 vs. River Ridge, 7:30 

Mark your calendar

Hudson at Ridgewood, Oct. 17: Sure, the season finale against River Ridge is the big rivalry, and a district game at that, but this contest midway through the 5A-7 slate will likely determine if the Rams are a playoff team.

Huddle highlights

Heart (body and mind) of Glass: After surpassing the 1,500-yard mark as a sophomore, running back Glass Wilson has put in an incredible amount of work to get even better. From personal trainers, to a lot of skill-honing on his own, Wilson sure looks poised to make the Rams a highlight-worthy offense.

Looking Ram tough: Wilson is the headline grabber, but Ridgewood has a multitude of other weapons, so Wilson by no means will have to carry the load. Ridgewood also has a senior quarterback in Nick Michels. The Rams haven’t seen a winning record since 2007, but coach Jay Fulmer is brimming with optimism.

Line getting ready to shine: Though the Rams lost some key members on the offensive line, the unit looks pretty cohesive thanks to an offseason in which its players rarely missed a day of working out. “I mean together, as a group. They all got stronger, all got quicker …it’s as athletic a line as we’ve had,” Fulmer said.

Preseason prep appreciated: Though the district schedule will ultimately determine the Rams’ playoff fate, Fulmer’s sights are set on the preseason game at Pasco. “Are we really as solid as I think we are? Whatever flaws you have, Pasco is going to show them to you,” he said.

Known quantities

RB Glass Wilson, Jr.: Wilson has improved his footwork in addition to increasing his speed, and now instead of just being a “ground and pound” runner has the ability to elude tacklers and make people miss. And his work ethic is a coach’s dream. “There were weeks where he was training anywhere from 40 to 60 hours. I had to tell him, ‘Slow down, go to the beach. Have fun... enjoy your summer.’ Not too many kids in my coaching career I’ve had to say that to,” Fulmer said.

RB Clarence Farria, Jr.: Farria had more than 300 yards both running and catching the ball as a sophomore. He is similar in size (roughly 5-10, 190 pounds) to Wilson, so much so that if their jerseys didn’t have numbers it would be tough to tell them apart. Not a power back, but he still has a nose for the end zone.

C Austin Dearsman, Jr.: This three-year starter is the anchor of the offensive line and could play any position along it if needed.

DE/LB Thomas Scrivens, Sr.: Scrivens has the best knowledge of the Rams’ defensive scheme and could just as easily play back in the secondary as on the rush edge.

OL/DL Reggie Melton, Sr.: Melton can also play fullback; he’s a strong sort who really understands leverage.

Up-and-comers

TE Dominick Mathis, Sr.: Mathis has been more known as a defensive player but could do more in the catching game this year; he only caught two passes last year. Mathis (a rangy 6-5, 210-pounder) performed well in 7-on-7 tournaments this summer.

RB Darnell Lindsey, Sr.: Lindsey only scored one touchdown last year and averaged fewer than five attempts a game, but he improved his speed over track season to the point where Fulmer thinks he could arguably be the fastest player in the county.

RB Alex Mayorga, Sr.: Mayorga actually was a Ram for his freshman season, but moved and last year in Blountstown led that small school to the Class A state title game. On a squad that had seven players rush for at least 300 yards, Mayorga was tops with 750. He has been dealing with a hamstring injury lately, though.

Coach’s corner

“They have the mindset now that they want to be successful. These kids have been through a lot of rocky stuff, getting kicked around, losing games. They’re ready to stand up and be seen a little bit this year” —  Fulmer

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