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Scouting Report: Randolph (OTH)

Brown looks forward to seeing young Cardinals develop

RANDOLPH — It’s safe to say this is the youngest team Brent Brown will have coached in his seven years leading the Randolph Cardinals.

Of course, when Brown took over the Cardinals, he inherited a defending state champion in 2013 and promptly led Randolph to a three-peat, winning New York state Class D titles in ‘13 and 2014 with deep, talented squads. While Randolph has not returned to the sectional championship round since, the Cardinals have enjoyed .500-or-better seasons each year under Brown, compiling a 43-18 record in his career, the last two seasons in a merger with Frewsburg. But with Frewsburg fielding its own team once again (albeit in eight-man football) this fall, the Cardinals are left with a mostly inexperienced team and the youngest of Brown’s career.

Brown returns four starting position players, plus a kicker, and two other returning lettermen.

“We’re going to be young, but we’ve got a really good bunch of young kids,” he said. “So it’ll be fun. They’ve got a lot to learn.”

Randolph started the season with 22 players on its varsity roster.

“We were together with Frewsburg when they had number issues, and last year and this year were really going to be our number-issue years,” Brown said. “Our numbers are going to bounce back next year and the year after, we’re going to be good. But this year, we’re going to have to get a little bit creative with how we handle things so that we can go.”

The lower numbers have made practice look a bit different.

“Typically we have a separate JV team with starters and scout team and the same thing on the varsity,” Brown said. “We just don’t have enough to have scout teams for both, so we’re going to be doing some stuff together.”

Randolph will have an all-new offensive line with all five starters graduating. Jason Ploetz (center) and Christian Andrews return as letterwinners.

“We’ve got some size,” Brown said. “You take kids that were juniors last year that are going to be a senior this year like Ploetz, he’s going to get in there and play center, and you’ve got some kids coming up the JVs, they’ve been playing. And we’ve got a couple of young guys in there that just have good size. I don’t think we’ll be small up front, it’s just every week they’ve got to get better and they’ve got to get better, that’s all.”