BELLAIRE, Ohio (WTRF) — After spending 20 seasons as an assistant coach, 1976-1995, Mark Bonar returns to Bellaire as the head coach. Bonar says it’s like having a second birth.
Bonar said, ” I wasn’t expecting to do this the opportunity came and it’s been awesome. A lot of the kids, it’s over ten of their parents I coached before I taught a lot of their mothers in school so I’m well known by the parents so I think that’s going to be an advantage.”
One advantage he definitely has is the return of senior quarterback Jake Heatherington, who is back for his fourth season leading the offense. As a junior he had nearly two-thousand yards of total offense and 17 touchdowns.
Senior Brayden Roth returns at running back and linebacker as a junior he ran for more than 800 yards and seven touchdowns with 52 tackles on defense. Ray Pettigrew returns for his fourth year at receiver and defensive back. Last year he pulled in more than 500 yards through the air with four touchdowns and three picks on defense. Senior Jakob Dowling also returns at receiver for his third season where he had nearly 300 yards last year. Along the line they return seniors Braylon Kinder at guard and defensive tackle, and Lucas Littell. Junior Joey Nixonis at tackle. Bonar says he plans to use the depth at his skill position to his advantage.
Bonar said, “We have guys who think they are not going to get on the field they’re getting on the field. We’re going to find ways to use everyone of their talents cause there all over the place we’ve got speed great running backs our quarterback is a four year guy so were real confident we’ve got to get the ball to guys in different ways. “
The athleticsim for the Big Reds continues on defense where the Reds also return defensive back Khalil Kimbro, who had a pair of interceptions a year ago. And they don’t want to just be physical.
” I want to get guys in positions to make plays cause we have athletes who will make plays. So it’s not all by design a lot of times its getting them in position and let them go after people and make plays.” said Bonar.
Bonar and the Big Reds open the season at home on August 20 against Garaway.