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Times Have Changed For Meadowbrook

By RICK THORP

BYESVILLE — When Jeff Twiddy arrived at Meadowbrook High School from Canton McKinley in 2015, his hope was that a little of the Bulldogs’ storied past would rub off on his new program.

It did.

Meadowbrook went 9-1 during the regular season and despite only winning one game against an opponent with a winning record (Barnesville, 46-18, Week 2), secured the school’s first playoff berth.

The Colts’ stay in the Ohio Division IV postseason was shortlived — they lost at Johnstown-Monroe, 35-22, in the first round — but Twiddy believed the culture started to change around the Guernsey County campus.

For him, the goal isn’t just to make the playoffs, it’s to win it all.

”Our expectations are to win every game and win a state championship,” Twiddy said. ”The bottom line is we want to win a state championship.

”The players are aware of what the goals are. I would never say the goal is to win the league and have a winning season. We want to be in the dance.”

The Colts’ quest to make it back-to-back postseason trips begins Friday when they travel to play John Glenn on the new turf at Muskingum University. The opener against the Little Muskies is just one way Meadowbrook has beefed up its schedule in hopes of improving its positioning in the Region 15 rankings.

Four of Meadowbrook’s first five games are on the road. In addition to the trip down the road to New Concord, the Colts will also venture to Barnesville, Shadyside and Buckeye Trail. The home opener, in Week 3, is vs. St. Clairsville, another new face on the schedule.

The second half of the Colts’ slate includes home dates against River View, Coshocton and Bishop Ready, and road trips against Claymont and Cambridge.

Warren and Bishop Rosecrans were dropped from the schedule.

Meadowbrook’s victory against Barnesville last fall did end up being huge in getting the Colts into the playoffs. But it was costly, as during the contest starting quarterback Dalton Wiggins was lost for most of the season with an injury.

Backup Konnor Roberts filled in marvelously, directing the Colts for the rest of the season.

Now a senior, Roberts is ready to embark on a full season behind center.

”He’s a phenomenal player as far as spreading the ball around,” Twiddy said.

The second-year coach said the level of trust between he and his starting quarterback is at an all-time high.

”I have a lot more trust in him and I’ll be giving him the reins a little more now that we’ve had two years together. He knows what I want now and expect.”

As does the team, which Twiddy said did well in the offseason.

”Our kids worked their butts off,” he said. ”They’re bigger and stronger and faster.”

But the Colts are young. So Twiddy is eager to see who steps up when the Friday night lights are switched on.

”Every year they’re in the system they’ll get better and play faster,” Twiddy said.

Sophomore Davis Black, one of six players on the roster with that surname, will likely back up Roberts.

Parker Black is one of the many skill players Twiddy is excited to have back in the fold. He’ll fill one of the receiver slots.

”Our skill guys are very good,” Twiddy said.

Senior Ben Davis will be another lynchpin of the receiving corps, while juniors Easton Black and Winston Harper, and freshmen Timmy Ferguson and Addy Black are also in the mix.

Juniors Jud Ramage and Bryson Eubanks return to the offensive line.

Other candidates include seniors Jacob Stoney, Mike Zuress and Garry Tidwell, and sophomore Tyrek Mitchell.

Those same players will also see most of the time on the defensive front.

Junior Robert Feyko and sophomore Brady Blattner will head the linebacking unit.

Stevens, Davis and Easton Black will anchor the secondary.

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