South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Oakville Tigers football team has high aspirations for the 2023 season

2022 was OHS football’s first winning season in years
The seniors on the Oakville High School football team. Photo courtesy of the Mehlville School District.

Following a 6-5 campaign and success of all three levels of the program in 2022, the Oakville Tigers football team has higher aspirations for the 2023 campaign.

“Last year was the first winning season in almost 10 years,” Oakville Head Coach Mike Genge said. “We actually had winning records at all three levels, so we want to continue to develop the winning habit.”

Genge said his squad is looking to win the conference, secure home field advantage for the playoffs and go unbeaten at home.

Despite losing a number of talented seniors, Genge said his team is ready to take on all opponents this season.

“Our focus on detail has been tremendous,” Genge said. “We lost a great senior class, so we are replacing many positions. But, the young guys coming in have had quality time at the JV level and some varsity time.”

The Tigers have good reason to set their goals high this season with a solid group of returning athletes and a large group of new players set to contribute.

Senior Joe Romano returns to hold down the quarterback position and see time at the defensive back position. Romano had two touchdowns last season for the Tigers.

Romano also had 29 tackles on the defensive side of the ball last season.

Senior Ethan Venable will split time at running back and defensive end. Venable led the team with 15 touchdowns last season, amassing 763 yards on 76 carries. He will look to be the driving force of the offense this season. On the defensive side of the ball, Venable totaled 39 tackles last season.

The offensive line will be anchored by seniors offensive Keaton Woodicker and Nathan Mead.

Junior Chase Forbus will hold down the tight end position, while senior Zach Hough will hold down one of the wide receiver positions. Hough had seven catches for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns last season.

Two defensive linemen are returning this — senior DeAndre Davis and junior Scott Bidlack will see a lot of playing time this season. Rounding out the returning players this year are Tre Allison and Tyler Coleman, a pair of senior defensive backs.

Along with the 10 returning players, Genge will be looking to several new players to step up this season.

Senior linebacker Daniel Deles, senior offensive lineman William King, senior offensive lineman Joey Gabriel and senior defensive lineman Blake Kozuszek will all see playing time.

As far as juniors who are looking to contribute this year, a pair of linebackers, DeShawn Treadwell and Ben Kohm will see time on the defensive side of the ball. Juniors Will Blick (DE), Austin Cowin (DL), Edin Mulalic (RB), Caleb Pickens (RB/WR), Josh Williams (WR), Austin Mooty (DB) and Davell Pernell (DL) will all look to contribute to the varsity squad.

Genge will also look to some sophomores to contribute as well. Max Bradley (QB), Jack Delzit (DB), Gavyn Anderson (LB) and Jonathon Ysaguirre (LB/DE) could all see time at the varsity level.

With a solid group of returners and a strong core of players looking to contribute, Genge thinks Oakville has the potential to be strong on both sides of the ball this season.

“Our offense seems to be really clicking and our defense is very athletic,” he said.

Genge made no qualms about it, the strength of this year’s team will be the rushing attack.

“Right now our running game will be a huge key for us,” he said. “We had about 3,000 yards rushing last season and are returning our top rusher.”

With an athletic defensive line and strong linebackers, Oakville’s defense should also be stout.

The Tigers took the first step to securing a second consecutive winning season Aug. 25, after The Call went to press, when they hosted the Perryville Pirates. Things really heat up this week, as Oakville will host Mehlville Friday, Sept. 1.