Columbia football moving at a faster pace - Republic-Times | News

Columbia football moving at a faster pace

By on August 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm

By MARK HODAPP – Sports Editor 

It was an exciting day for the Columbia High School  football team, when they recently opened their preseason practices playing on the new Astro Turf in preparation for their season-opening game this Friday at Wood River Friday.

“It felt good to get back on the field because of the anticipation towards this season,” coach Scott Horner said.

This might be a special year for the Eagles with it being their first year in Class 4A and their first season playing on their own Astro Turf playing field.

“We know that this year has its challenges, but we are excited to play our first game,” Horner said.

On Aug. 31, Columbia will host Waterloo in their home opener.

Last year, Columbia made it to the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Horner said he is already seeing differences from last season.

This year his bunch will be built around their overall team speed.

“You can’t coach speed,” he said.

This year’s group of seniors never lost a game during their freshman and sophomore seasons.

Horner feels good where his team is at this time.

“But we still have a lot of learning to do,” he said.

Anytime you have nine starters returning on offense and eight other returning starts on defense, you have to like your team’s chances.

“Anytime you got that, you know you should be better than you were the year before because we have a lot of experience returning,” Horner said.

The coach is also happy with what he sees from his team during the preseason.

Columbia expects to start Logan Santanello at quarterback. Santanello is a gifted player, who knows how to throw a football, but he can run, too.

“That will allow us to do so many things,” Horner said.

That will also enable Horner to implement the type of offense he likes to run and has had great success with in 2007 and 2008. Both of those teams went far into the playoffs.

“That just opens the game up for us a bit more,” he said.

Santanello, however, has only 1 1/2 games of varsity experience.

Columbia is also returning Charles Ferris at running back and Eric Reed at wide receiver.

If he can stay healthy, watch for Ferris to have a big season.

Reed is a talented receiver and might be the fastest player Horner ever coached.

“What can you say about  him? He has already improved this year as much as he did between his sophomore and junior year,” Horner said.

“There aren’t too many players on our team who can defend him.”

Horner said all of his players look faster on the Astro Turf playing field.

He said he has five wide receivers who could be a No. 1 receiver on most of the high school teams he coached at CHS previously. He said Reed, Cole Mallinckrodt, Adam Babb, Reed Greatting and Evan Dake can all catch a football and block.

Columbia also has an aggressive defense who will be very fast, too.

“We have had a great summer and great camp,” he said. “We now just need to play some games.”

To view the Columbia football video preview, click here.

Teryn Schaefer

Teryn was born and raised in Waterloo, growing up watching local sports and Mon-Clair baseball. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School and loves cheering on her Tigers any chance she gets.