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

OHS football coach reflects on season

The seniors on the Oakville High School football team. Photo courtesy of the Mehlville School District.

While he won’t say he’s satisfied, Oakville football coach Mike Genge wasn’t down on the season the Tigers had either.

“I felt the season was an overall success,” Genge said. “Any time you finish with a winning record you have to be pleased, not satisfied, but pleased.”

The Tigers finished the season 6-5, following a loss to Seckman in the playoffs.

The Tigers started the season with a pretty young squad, having to replace 17 starters who graduated from the previous team. However, Genge said his team put together a strong off-season to prepare for the 2023 campaign.

“Many people didn’t think we would be able to find success again, but our kids worked extremely hard in the off-season and were determined not to take a step backwards,” he said. “We weren’t able to quite reach a few of our goals such as conference champions, get to the district title game and win more games than last year, but overall, our kids got better, showing how much pride and grit they have.”

Genge said his team’s unrelenting attitude will hopefully pay off next season. “We aren’t going away any time soon and that is what we are most proud of,” he said.

As far as key players who played a big role for the team this season, Ethan Venable is the standout.

“Ethan Venable tops our list,” Genge said. “He is special; big, fast, athletic with an incredible motor.”

Venable finished the season with 13 touchdowns and 860 yards on just 85 carries. On defense, Venable was also a force for Oakville. He finished with 97 total tackles and 13 sacks on the season.

Quarterback Max Bradley also had a good season for the Tigers. He finished with over 1,500 yards passing and 16 touchdowns to just nine interceptions.

Josh Williams also emerged as one of the top pass catchers in the area, ending the season with six touchdowns and 555 yards receiving.

“Our offensive line and tight end, lead by Nathan Mead, Keaton Wodicker, Will King and Chase Forbus did a tremendous job,” Genge said. “On defense, Ethan Venable, DeAndre Davis, Davell Pernell, Will Blick made the jobs of those behind them much easier as they often times dominated other teams offensive lines.”

Genge also mentioned defensive captain Joe Romano who finished with 48 tackles and a pair of fumble recoveries. Jack Delzeit was another one of the defensive captains, finishing with 64 tackles.

After a short break, Genge plans on getting back to work after Thanksgiving.

“We will start our off-season when we get back from Thanksgiving,” he said. “Our kids know that championships aren’t won from August to November; they are won from November to August. We are looking forward to getting back to work soon, and beginning the process all over again. Our team definitely has some holes to fill, but we feel confident that we have the young men in our program to fill those spots. I am excited for the future and what we have returning.”