For the past three seasons, the Seneca football team has not had to look for a starting quarterback. After all, Peyton Schrag had been the starting signal caller for the Fighting Irish in that time span.
While Schrag has since graduated, he is still making his presence felt this summer as he is helping Bo Taylor learn the position from the bottom up. Just how much has he helped Taylor make the transition?
“A lot,” Taylor said last Thursday at a 7-on-7 passing session in Morris. “This year he’s been helping me break down every little thing. Doing throwing drills and showing me things that I can do on my own by myself.”
Schrag broke in as a varsity starter his sophomore year. It was year in which he passed for 459 yards and threw seven TD for a predominantly running Irish team under coach Ryan Reade. Last summer, Schrag played for the first time under coach Ted O’Boyle and capped his career with 920 yards passing and eight TD while running for 184 yards and four TD.
He leaves big shoes to fill.
“We’ve got a new quarterback this year, Bo Taylor, he’s done a lot of quarterbacking for us up until now,” O’Boyle said of his team’s summer activity. “We’ll see were that takes us. With the change in the offensive scheme, he kind of fits for us right now.”
Taylor was the leading rusher as a junior for Seneca last fall. At 6-1, 180-pounds, Taylor ran for 554 yards and scored 10 TD for the Fighting Irish in 2012.
So, just how much quarterbacking has he done in his life until this summer?
“Zero,” Taylor admitted. “Coach just came up to me one day and laid the news on me.”
Despite not having actual game experience, Taylor is eager to get on the field and do his best at the position.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “I understand the game well enough, it’s just a matter of executing.”
Seneca’s summer of football activity just concluded on Saturday with a 7-on-7 tournament in Clifton Central and finished in a flurry.
“We’ve worked out pretty much all summer and we just finished our camp up. In fact, we just finished our camp up (Wednesday). It’s was helmet and shoulder pads,” O’Boyle said. “So, we’re done with that. We’ve changed some things both offensively and defensively, so all and all, it was good.”
Those workouts have been beneficial in identifying where the Irish need to improve according to senior Brad Wyss.
“We’ve been working out together as a team quite a bit,” he said. “We need to make a lot less mental mistakes.”
Considering that Seneca has been considered pretty much a predominant running team over the years, just how much does the 7-on-7 portion of the summer season help his team?
“It’s probably helped more this summer than in the past because we are changing a little bit. We are definitely going to put the ball in the air and spread some people out more than we have in the past,” O’Boyle said.
“We’re trying to utilize what we have talent wise to fit the offense because that’s what we’ll be doing this year.”
O’Boyle said that just having the team together and competing at any level is good for his team in the summertime.
“We’ve been working hard in the weight room, but the biggest thing is competing,” he said. “Coming out here in the summer to get a feel for what we need to work on. It was nice.”
Seneca hasn’t made the playoffs in football since 2001. Both Wyss and Taylor say that crossing that threshold would be great for both the school and the community.
“I’m feeling positive,” Taylor concluded. “Hopefully we can make the playoffs this year. It would mean a ton to the town and the team. I think it’s been 12 years now since we’ve done it.”
Wyss said he can only imagine what it would mean for the town.
“Playoffs, that’s all it is. It would mean everything,” Wyss said. “The town would probably blow up.”