Northridge football anchors 2014 hopes on an experienced senior class

Head coach Tom Wogomon will have seniors in 20 of 22 starting slots when the season opens Friday against South Bend Adams.

Posted on Aug. 20, 2014 at 12:04 p.m.

MIDDLEBURY — Following last season’s football renaissance at Northridge, head coach Tom Wogomon couldn’t ask for a much better scenario for a follow-up. The Raiders are loaded with seniors and experience.

In fact, when Northridge opens against South Bend Adams, Wogomon will have a senior in 20 of 22 starting positions.—

Aug. 22 — South Bend Adams
Aug. 29 — at South Bend Riley
Sept. 5 — at Wawasee
Sept. 12 — Plymouth
Sept. 19 — Warsaw
Sept. 26 — at NorthWood
Oct. 3 — at Goshen
Oct. 10 — Concord
Oct. 17 — Elkhart Memorial

"We’re a senior-laden team on both sides of the ball. We’ll have only one true junior start on offense and one junior start on defense,“ said Wogomon, whose team won seven games in 2013. The school had won only five games in the previous three years.

Wogomon shared three things he likes about the 2014 Raiders:

Seniors front and center

"Sometimes that’s not always a great thing, but this is a good, close-knit group. The seniors own the locker room,” Wogomon said. “It’s a unified group. I like how they’ve pushed the underclassmen and that’s just because they’re good example-setters. They’re building a work ethic.

"The seniors of last year, what a great legacy they left, but this groups has its own legacy they want to build.”

Carson at QB

"The nice thing with how it’s worked out is that last year we really didn’t know who the starter was going to be. With Tanner (Love) it became a two-man race,“ Wogomon said. ”Tanner became the starter, but Payton (Carson) still got 40 percent of our snaps in practice. We know exactly what we’re getting with Payton.

“It’s his first varsity season and that’s a different animal, but he’s been getting trained for this since last year. He’s a competitor. We never have to question where his effort is.”

Stout on defense

"Usually the defense is a little ahead of the offense, but this year the defense really is, I think,“ Wogomon said. ”Our front four is about as good as I’ve coached with Isaac Zickafoose, Michael Fickert, Dylan Swank and Mikey Kyle. And then we have a Cam Ridenour at mike linebacker and he’s a four-year starter.“

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