Q&A: Coach Nathan Snedeker

Andrew Evans, Staff Writer

The Jonathan Alder football team is in the midst of what looks to be another great season, as they are coming off of a 49-16 win over Kenton Ridge. Led by their head coach, Nathan Snedeker, the Pioneers have a 5-2 record and are 1-1 in Central Buckeye Conference play. There have been a lot of highs and lows thus far, and there is a lot of excitement about what the final stretch of the season holds. Coach Snedeker has had some thoughts on the season so far.

What were the expectations coming into the season?

Expectations were high. We had a lot of returning experience in key parts; our offensive line, defensive line. We knew that’s really important in controlling the run game and winning football games, so we felt really good about our chances.

Which players have been able to step up this year?

We have a number that have stepped up this year. If we’re going young guys that didn’t have a lot of experience, Alex Boggs is a huge one. Andrew Heisler is another big one, guys who didn’t get a ton of varsity time last year. And then the guys who have returned too, Doug Nussbaum has played a ton and done a great job, Cam Jewell got a ton of time last year, Caleb Miller coming back as a linebacker. Hank Shoemaker, and really any of our [other, Baylor Petzinger and Aidan Burke] captains too.

How have the expectations changed as the season has gone on?

At the beginning of the year, meeting with the seniors, we wanted to win a CBC title. Losing to London makes that a bit more challenging, but with them just losing to Tecumseh, a share of the title is still very much a possibility. And then winning in the playoffs is still a possibility, still one of our goals ahead of us.

What have been the biggest challenges thus far?

Probably just some of the challenges with our schedule. Playing Bloom-Carroll, London, North Union, and some of the tougher teams on our schedule. There’s not really much of a break in-between, and now we’re cutting into the teeth of our division of the CBC where everybody is tough and everybody has talent.

What have you been able to learn from those challenges?

Just that we have to work consistently every day to get better. I think we saw that a lot with London where our preparation may not have been as good as it should have been, and then turn around and have a great week of practice to get ready for KR. We saw what that could do.

What has been the most pivotal moment of the season so far?

Probably our come-from-behind win against North Union. Took a defensive effort to keep us in the ballgame and then offense and special teams icing it at the end.

How do you feel about this season compared to last season?

From a personal perspective, I’m more comfortable, having known the kids for a year. Overall, I feel like we are headed in the right direction.

The past three games have been huge, how do you feel the team has handled the ‘big moments’?

We’ve had our ups and downs in handling big challenges. We knew Bloom-Carroll and London, that would be our big test. Are we really where we think we are? And in some regards, we fell short for those two challenges, but we know that’s ultimately where we want to be, is being able to show how good we are against the really good teams on our schedule.

How has the Jonathan Alder community’s support been felt?

The community and family support here is second to none. I’ve been to a couple of different programs and coached, and even compared to when I played, the support here isn’t even close. Between what the parents do, what the community does, it’s outstanding.

What do you want to accomplish for the rest of the season?

For the rest of the season, we want to put ourselves in a position to win a share of the CBC. We want to win playoff games, and we want our senior class to have that legacy that they have been working so hard to build for four years