By Donovan Stewart:
Father Ryan Fighting Irish
Last Year’s Record– 4-7, lost to McCallie in first round
Region– Division II-AAA East/Middle
Head Coach– Brian Rector (87-48 overall, 4-7 in one year at Ryan)
Offensive Coordinator– Brett Taveau
Defensive Coordinator– Wade Privett
Assistant Coaches– Jason Reinbold (WR), Corry Stewart (DB), John Dooling (TE), Brian Shaw (RB), Scott Shaver (LB), Greg Stout (Football Operations)
Returning Starters on Offense and Defense– 10 (5 Off/5 Def)
Last Playoff Appearance– 2016
Key Returnees– Jackson Byrd (RB/LB, Sr.), Auston Crow (DL, Sr.), Jack Boutte (OL/DL, Sr.), Nyles Gaddy (OL, Sr.), Will Hopkirk (OL, Sr.), Seamus O’Connell (S/QB/WR, Jr.), Wyatt Rector (WR, Sr.), Anthony Wright (S/WR, Soph.), Jaylen Herrud (LB, Soph.), Cade Pfeifer (QB, Sr.)
Key Losses– Jay Shoop (QB/DB),Alex Jarquin (OL), Patrick Beacom (TE/LB), George Hooker (LB/FB), Mitchell Bray (LB/FB), Nick Krumnauer (LB/TE), Nick Bellante (OL/DL), Trey Ernst (OL/DL), Anthony Hagey (P/K)
Streak Going Into 2017– four game losing streak
Brian Rector is hoping a full offseason with his terminology on offense and defense will result in more wins on the field for Father Ryan.
The Fighting Irish were 4-7 for the second straight year but Rector and his staff have been working hard this offseason getting the Ryan players up to speed. Rector’s history of success wherever he’s been should give the Irish faithful a lot of confidence that the Irish are headed in the right direction.
Five starters return on both sides of the ball for Father Ryan including senior Jackson Byrd at running back. After rushing for 793 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016, it’s easy to see why there is a lot of excitement about what’s in store for his 2017 encore. Byrd was the biggest offensive threat for the Fighting Irish in 2016.
Cade Pfeifer will start at quarterback this season for the Fighting Irish after seeing time in seven games (9 for 30 passing for 133 yards and one touchdown) last season. Junior Seamus O’Connell (seven catches for 71 yards, TD) will see time at wide receiver as well at safety on defense. Besides O’Connell, senior Wyatt Rector (six catches for 77 yards) and junior Anthony Wright will be targets for Pfeifer at receiver. Seniors Jack Boutte, Nyles Gaddy and Will Hopkirk will be leaders on the offensive line and responsible for laying the tracks for Byrd as well as protecting Pfeifer.
Boutte (23 tackles and two sacks) and Auston Crow (22 tackles and two sacks) will play on the defensive line while Byrd (16 tackles) and sophomore Jaylen Herrud will play linebacker. Look for O’Connell (18 tackles) and Wright (17 tackles) to play in the Ryan secondary.
Father Ryan Since 2010:
31-47 overall record, seven playoff appearances
By The Numbers:
2- Number of state titles that Ryan has won in school history winning in 1974 in Class AAA and 1997 in DII-AA
1929- The year in which Nashville Catholic High School for Boys was named Father Ryan.
Father Ryan In the Playoffs:
Total Number of Playoff Appearances- 22
Playoff Record- 16-20
Deepest Playoff Run- won two state titles in 1974 (Class AAA) and 1997 (DII-AA)
Coach Rector’s Thoughts:
“At Father Ryan, we hope that 2017 will be a great step in the right direction to building our program. Our kids have worked tirelessly to get better and make strides in the offseason. What we expect is our young men to compete with courage, commitment and character through Christ.”
August 18- at Nashville Overton
*August 25- at Brentwood Academy
September 1- at Stratford
*September 8- JPII
*September 15- MBA
September 22- Ravenwood
*September 29- at Ensworth
October 6- Brentwood
October 13- OPEN
*October 20- Baylor
*October 27- at McCallie
*Denotes Region Game