It is probably safe to say that not many Division VII schools in Ohio High School football have multiple all-state defenders on their team, but that is in fact the case for the Notre Dame Titans.
The Titans are looking to improve off of last year’s 2-8 in the record books, but they’re also looking to be more competitive in their losses as well. The addition of two time all-state defender during his freshman and sophomore seasons, Braidan Haney, should well contribute to the improvement on the defensive side of the ball.
During his freshman season, Haney recorded twenty sacks, leaving a mark on his Division VII opponents that year. Following a year of constant double teams attempting to limit Haney’s abilities, he still managed to record 82 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and 12 sacks in his sophomore season. “I’m hoping to add a lot of things” said Haney, “I’m hoping to add some intensity, a lot of team effort. Hopefully I can show these kids what it takes to win the SOC, because these kids are very hardworking kids. Hopefully with everything we can all bring to the field, we can bring home the gold this year.”
After transferring to Notre Dame as a junior from East in the last year, Haney joins one of four seniors on the Titans, Ben Mader as the other all-state defender on the Titans roster.
Mader is a jack of all trades on the football field, making third team all-state honors at the safety position on defense during his junior year. On the offensive side of the ball, Mader racked up almost 1500 all-purpose yards and thirteen touchdowns at the running back position. “This year I feel like I need to take a little bit more of a leadership role” said Mader, “It’s important to get some of these younger guys invested in the program this year, and to make sure they step it up.”
Sometimes it takes time for two players that play at the level of Haney and Mader to mesh personalities, but that did not appear to be the case at Titans media day on Saturday. The two teammates were seen talking to one another, and it was apparent that the two had already developed a good friendship. “He’s a really cool guy” said Mader of Haney, “I feel like he’s really going to help us this year. I think he’s sort of the missing piece from last year, and I think we’re going to have a lot of success this year with him.” When Haney was asked of his friendship with Mader, he said “We have just been friends. I walked into the locker room, he introduced himself and me and him have gotten along great. We talk right beside each other every day in warmups, me and Ben have gotten really close.”
When asked for his expectations for the season, Haney responded emphatically, “10-0, playoff run, SOC Champ. I mean the sky’s the limit for us.” When Mader was asked the same question, he said “I look to win the SOC. And I look for us to go undefeated, that’s what everybody wants.”
The Titans open their season at Southern High School in Racine, Ohio on Friday, August 24th at 7 p.m.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT