With a 15-game regular-season winning streak and back-to-back ACAC championships, Adams Central is a trendy pick to dominate the league once again.

But one person isn’t buying in to the hype this year.

That person? None other than Adams Central coach Michael Mosser.

“With so many players gone, it really is going to be a challenging year for us,” Mosser said. “The last few years we had the experience to where us at coaches basically stayed out of the way.

“This year, we are really going to have to coach our guys up.”

Gone are familiar names like Parker Bates, Jalen Hammond and Logan Macklin – all two-way studs for a program that has won nine or more games in each of the last four seasons. Replacing those guys will be some unfamiliar (and inexperienced) youngsters.

The Flying Jets have just seven seniors on the roster and only two who have significant varsity experience. One of those is Dallas Schwaller (pictured above), who played cornerback for AC last year and will do so again while also being the team’s starting quarterback.

“He has been on JV and our scout team guy for a couple years,” said Mosser about Schwaller. “He has done an outstanding job being a coach on the field.

“With so many young players around him, leadership will be very important.”

Sophomore Alex Currie will ascend to the starting backfield and will be joined by junior Mason Deroo. Sophomore Blake Heyerly will play fullback and could see some action at quarterback in some packages.

The offensive line will be big but largely inexperienced. Senior Jared Witte will be the anchor both on the field and as a leader for the unit.

Defensively, there may be no better bookends up front in the ACAC than junior Joseph Collier and senior Ben Voirol. Collier has started since his freshman season, while Voirol is one of the few big stat producers returning.

“Our entire secondary will be sophomores with the exception of one senior (Schwaller),” Mosser said. “We cannot make excuses. We expect this young team to compete and get better.”

Balancing high program expectations with the reality of a predominantly young roster isn’t easy.

“We have said to the guys, ‘Hey, we are Adams Central, we have a tradition of success,'” Mosser said. “We expect to compete at the highest level. We hope to be in a position to where we can be in the top three in the conference.”

WHY #15?

Michael Mosser has just two sub-.500 seasons in 10 years as head coach of the Flying Jets. The program’s last losing season was in 2014, which was followed by a run of success that includes last year’s ACAC, sectional and regional titles.

The 2019 roster is short on experience, but these players have been around this program and experienced success. The conference is decent, but not exactly Murderer’s Row. Even a team not on the caliber of the last few years is still capable of competing for the league crown.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

It is tough to rank any 1A team high when it comes to northeast Indiana, especially one that plays just one 4A (Jay County) and one 3A (Bellmont) program.

Then again, the Flying Jets dropped 42 points on Bellmont and 41 on Jay County.

This team could move up Blitz’s power poll through the year if it handles business again when it faces those teams.

CRITICAL GAME

SEPTEMBER 27 vs. SOUTH ADAMS

The Flying Jets have won five straight in the series by an average of 30 points, including a 49-12 drubbing last year.

South Adams feels it can compete for the league title, but Coach Grant Moser refuses to overlook a rebuilding Adams Central team.

If Mosser’s squad can find a way to upend the Starfires, it will signal that the Flying Jets aren’t rebuilding, but have merely reloaded.

PLAYER TO WATCH

JOSEPH COLLIER, JUNIOR, OL/DL

Freshmen rarely get the nod to start at the varsity level on the football field, even at 1A programs.

Collier is now a third-year starter for the Flying Jets, with a quick first step on the edge and the ability to hold his own along the offensive line.

With so many new faces on both sides of the ball and a smaller senior class, it will be guys like Collier who will have to rise to a new level to keep Adams Central humming along as a perennial double-digit win team.

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