CAMBRIDGE — The Cambridge Bobcats finished the 2021 campaign with a 6-5 record, dropping their playoff tilt to Carrollton 37-21.
It was the second consecutive playoff appearance for the Bobcats and as Cambridge enters its third season in the Buckeye 8 under third-year coach Ray Leek, the Guernsey County squad looks to make another positive step this season.
“Looking at last year and losing in the first round of the playoffs, we are looking to build off of that,” Leek stated. “It’s not good enough to just get to the playoffs. We are looking to win playoff games and make a run. There are a lot of kids back, a lot of kids who worked hard in this offseason. We are very excited for where we are and for this season. We have high expectations for ourselves, and kids who work hard every day, so we are going to grind through the season.
Returning under center for Cambridge’s spread offense is senior quarterback Cayden Moore (5-10, 165). “This is Cayden’s third year starting, so we are excited to have him back for his senior season,” noted Leek. Moore garnered All-Buckeye 8 honors among other post-season awards. “We are looking for great things. He (Moore) grew from year one to year two, so we are real excited for Cayden,” observed Leek. “He can make plays with his feet and with his arm and he has had a good offseason for us, so we are expecting big things for him.
Coach Ray Leek discusses the upcoming campaign
Lining up with Moore in the backfield are senior running back Trey Stottsberry (6′, 172) at halfback and classmate Jake Valentine (6′, 185) at fullback.
Other backs on the roster include junior Andrew Waugh (5-9, 140), sophomores Rylee Wilson (5-9, 145), Clayton Myers (5-9, 150), Cody Quillin (5-9, 171), freshmen Damian Shaw (5-8, 130), and Carter Harding (5-9, 139)
Splitting out wide for the Bobcats will be senior receivers Xander Caldwell (6-2, 185) and Owen Feldner (5-10, 175), as well as junior Devin Ogle (6-2, 168).
Lining up at tight end for the Bobcats, and splitting out often in the offensive set, will be seniors Beau Stottsberry (6-0, 182) and Davion Bahr (6-2, 178).
The offensive line is going to be a mixture of experience and youth as three members of last year’s OL are coming back. Seniors Andy Ogle (6-1, 219), Hunter Williams (6-1, 220), and center Angelo Rocco (5-10, 205) return with multiple years of experience under their belts. Competition for the final two starting spots includes senior Conner Mobelini (6′, 185) and juniors Shaun Harrington (5-10, 210) and Caiden Dillon (5-10, 215) to name a few.
The Bobcats commonly run a three linemen set in their variations of defense. Andy Ogle and Rocco seem set for two of the spots, with the third being contested between Mobelini and Harrington.
Setting up at linebacker will be both Trey and Beau Stottsberry and Caldwell with seniors Conner Myers (5-11, 160) and Chris Burgess (5-8, 175) currently competing for the fourth starting spot.
The defensive secondary is going to be led by Feldner, accompanied by Bahr, Valentine, and juniors Reed Johnson (5-9, 160) and Eli Edwards (5-10, 174). Leek also noted that there are a number of other players who will have opportunities to step up and rotate into the secondary.
Senior Lucas Parsons (5-8, 125) returns for his third year as the kicker. He’ll handle both kickoffs and field goals.
Members of Leek’s coaching staff are Kevin Gunn, Jake Tharp, Henry Boyle, Tim Wilson, Mark Ryder, T.J. Boyd, Dustin Rose, Bob Mascolino, and JR Fox, the head soccer coach who also helps with the kickers. The Bobcats have a full JV schedule and will have the varsity coaches leading them. Leading the junior high programs are Mike Stoner, Aaron Matthews, Logan McCort, Isaiah Abel and Ben Lawrence.
As things return to normal this season, Leek knows his team is ready for the upcoming season. “We’ve got a complete buy-in from our players. They have worked their tails off these last two years.” Leek continued; “We are looking forward to, hopefully, a normal season, and I’m sure everyone is. We are excited for it, and hopefully everyone can get back to the stands and and enjoy the games and get back to Friday nights as we know it.”
The Bobcats open the season on the road in Wintersville against Indian Creek on Friday.