HAMLER, OH (WTOL) - After coming out of retirement to return to the helm for his 24th season as the Patrick Henry head coach, Bill Inselmann coached the Patriots to a league title and then the state final four.
The Patriots saw their perfect season end with a 13-1 record, but it came with valuable experience.
"Those young kids practiced against them every day. They hung around them. They saw how they acted and how they worked in practice. So I'm hoping that filters down," Coach Inselmann said. "That's what we have been doing here for quite awhile."
But the Patriots trust the long history of the program to get the young guys up to speed.
"The team we had last year makes the team we have this year a lot tougher because they had to practice against [them]," said senior Jacob Stout. "So I'm hoping that can affect us and make us stronger.
"It's kinda been making these new young guys that we have coming to step up and take those positions of all the seniors that just graduated last year," senior Damian Lanzer added.
With most of the experience returning to the defense, Coach Inselmann says that side of the ball will be crucial to the Patriots' success.
"Well, we've got all three of our defensive interior back so our defensive line's got to be our strength," Coach Inselmann said. "We gotta be good against the run. We lost a lot of kids at our skill positions so our wide receivers and our defensive backs are going to be a big concern for us."
Patrick Henry starts their season on the road at Leipsic.