The Taft High School football program has always been fraternal.

CINCINNATI. The Taft High School football team represents the home of senior linebacker Ronald Cutts.

“It’s always a brotherhood,” Cutts said Wednesday afternoon. “Here is love.”

This fraternity at school, across the street at Stargel Stadium, and in the community has been strengthened ever since Tyler Williams was named head coach of the Senators in February 2021.

Taft (9-3) was a Division V regional semi-finalist. last season and Senators are eager to earn an opportunity in Canton in December.

“We have a chip on our shoulder, a big chip on our shoulder, because we felt like we should have won the state,” Cutts said. “This is our ultimate goal. But we’re going to take one game at a time to reach that state target.”

Taft, who opens the season with Roger Bacon in August. 18 years old, promoted to Division IV this season, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association. divisional breakdown.

There are high hopes for the Senators, who have several players with scholarship offers, including 2024 quarterback Elias Rudolph, who is considered Ohio’s best player. 6 players in their class 247 Sports.

“Last year was more of a lesson for us,” said Williams, a former Coleraine star who was named the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference’s red division coach of the year. “Now our guys have a similar attack, a similar defense – the guys catch fast and play fast. They’re definitely pushing each other this offseason.”

The connection between players and coaches has been strengthened this pre-season, in contrast to the summer of 2021, when the players were not on the same wavelength when they were tired.

Taft athletic director Romelle Salone said the team has gone to great lengths this offseason to hold every player accountable.

Williams and assistant coaches noticed less preseason controversy compared to last year and more openness to coaches.

“By taking part in this program, these kids really needed to see that someone really cares about them, and not just about football,” Williams said. “This is more than football. After training, I’ll stay for an hour or two with my kids just to talk to them about what’s going on in their lives. I will talk to their parents to find out how things are going at home.”

Taft’s competitiveness was on display during Wednesday afternoon practice at Stargel Stadium. Salone said the players are full of energy and confidence.

The focus of college recruiting continues to grow.

However, the senators also kept the recognition in perspective.

“Without hard work, talent is nothing,” Cutts said. “You should always improve your craft.”

Williams said the players understand that scholarships are a bonus for the work they put in during the year.

The Taft football program goes beyond wins and losses. According to Williams, it’s about student-athletes becoming top young adults. The team emphasizes this throughout the summer.

On the weekend of July 4th, Taft players and coaches hosted a water balloon barbecue to create a fun team atmosphere.

Coaches have created group chats to discuss food, clothes, transport, or just talk about life with the players.

Cutts said he and his teammates know how much the coaches care about the program and the school. That’s one reason why Taft is gearing up for another very successful season in hopes of repeating the success of the boys’ basketball team. trip to the state championship.

“It’s always been a brotherhood,” Cutts said. “I’ve been playing with these guys since I was four, five, six years old. It’s always good to play with the same people. Here I grew up. it has always been a part of me.”

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