“Day-by-day”, this is the motto that has been incorporated at Triad High School since Payton Printz has held the title of head coach. It’s also the motto that he lived by when he overcame two battles with cancer. Players, coaches, and fans of the team alike have also adopted that motto.
Triad was the fourth stop in our Camp Confidential series. The Cardinals have sky-high expectations this season as they return 18 of their 22 starters from last year. In 2012 the Cardinals finished with an 8-2 regular season record. The team was then hampered by injuries and fell in the first round of the playoffs to Cincinnati Summit Country Day by a score of 35-27. In 2013 the team is poised for even more success, and they aren’t the only ones that believe so. Triad was recently ranked as the third best team in all of Division VII by the popular high school football website JJ Huddle in their pre-season power poll. Coach Printz is very aware of the expectations many analysts from around the state have about his ball club, but he doesn’t put much stock into them, “All that stuff on paper means nothing, I don’t know how they base it. We graduated seven seniors and of the seven four were starters. Those rankings mean nothing. We need to take it a game at a time.”
One game at a time starts in Week One against Indian Lake. A contest many believe could be the best game of the entire season between local teams. Last season the Cardinals dropped a thriller at home against the Lakers by a score of 40-33. Printz thinks the players may feel like they let one slip out of their fingers last season and when asked what the team has to do this season to get the victory in Week One Printz said, “We have to become better tacklers. I think offensively things are really clicking for us and defensively we have a few things to straighten out.” Printz also mentioned how the team’s offensive and defensive lines will be almost completely exclusive to their side of the ball. With less two-way players the Cardinals will be better rested throughout the season.
Offensively, the Cardinals run the spread offense. Printz talked about his teams’ offense saying, “We run the spread. We never get under center except maybe in a short-yardage situation when we go in the Power-I. We’re a spread team, we like to get the football in our athlete’s hands out in space.” Some of the athletes that Printz was referring to include Tre McIntyre, Doug Lowe, Steven Feasel, and Trent McIntyre. Senior offensive weapon Tre finished with over 2,200 all-purpose yards last year and 27 total touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Trent will be given the reigns of the high-powered offense. He had 1,200 yards passing and 12 touchdowns in four starts last season. Seniors’ Lowe and Feasel will also be big targets this season. They had a combined 12 touchdowns between the two last year.
Defensively, Triad runs a multiple front. According to Printz, they may be in a 4-4, 4-3, or even a 5-3. They also can run some cover 2, 3, 1, and 0 in the secondary. Printz also said that they’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on opposing qb’s this season. One of those players that will be applying the pressure is Colton Coil. A defensive lineman who tips the scales at over 300 pounds. Chaz Adams leads the linebacking core. He led the team with 87 tackles last season. 2012 OHC Player of the Year Runner-up Tre McIntyre also shines defensively. He snatched nine interceptions and four fumble recoveries last season.
The Cardinals will be playing in their first season in Division VII after being realigned this off-season. Many people would see this as an advantage for the Cardinals in the playoffs because presumably they would be playing worse competition. But those people would be forgetting the fact that Marion Local is going for their third-straight state title and are arguably the best small-school team in all of Ohio. It may only be mid-August, but the Flyers appear to be the favorites to emerge as the champions of the MAC this year. A potential playoff match-up between the Flyers and Cardinals seems like not only a possibility but a probability. The OHC hasn’t faired well in playoff competition against MAC opponents since the Leagues inception in 2001. Leaving many coaches to try and figure out what is the cause of the distance between the two conferences. Printz mentioned a variety of factors that could be the cause including expectations, upbringing, and genetics among other factors. The Cardinals may have the talent to make a state title run but they’ll need to figure out the MAC enigma if they’re going to finish a fairy tale season with a happy ending.
The sky is the limit for the Cardinals this season. They are clearly one of the best teams in the area and for their division maybe one of the best in all of Ohio. Led by an experienced head coach and coaching staff the Cardinals talented roster will be able to thrive. Printz talked about his teams’ goals for the season, “Every year we have the same goals. We want to win a league title and that’s our number one goal, we want to qualify for the playoffs, and we want to make some noise in the playoffs.” There is a buzz in the air around the district and the entire community is ready to rally behind their team. Only time will tell the story of the 2013 Triad Cardinals. For Triad, it will unveil itself at the same speed as they do everything else- day-by-day.
Triad’s schedule is as follows
8/30 A Indian Lake
9/6 A Marion Pleasant
9/13 A Fairbanks
9/20 H Northeastern
9/27 H Greeneview
10/4 A Mechanicsburg
10/11 H Cedarville
10/18 A Southeastern
10/25 H West Liberty-Salem
11/1 A Springfield Catholic
Listen to the extended interview with head coach Payton Printz.