Lisbon Blue Devils (4-7 Overall) (1-5 EOAC - 7th Place)

The Blue Devils Take Advantage of Extra Games to Build for the Future

First year coach Matt Altomare entered the 2020 season trying to build a program. In a season where nothing was guaranteed, Altomare accomplished those goals and then some. The Blue Devils were able to to play their six conference games, make a playoff appearance, and then schedule four additional games to complete an 11-game season. The bonus in having an 11-game season, the Devils were able to schedule additional games against opponents that gave them a fighting chance for victories and build some confidence.

After the Devils went 1-5 in league play, they lost their playoff game, and then finished strong by winning three of their final four contest. Along the way, Altomare was able to play many future starters and also saw a few of his senior starters really shine with some record setting performances.

Photo Curtesy from Jennifer Rose Marshalek

"The ability to have the opportunity to play eleven varsity football games this year is a positive and a win in and of itself. We were able to stay together as a team and win three of our last four contest, building for next year," Altomare stated. "Offensively, we tried to mix it up this year with a new system. We ended up with about 900 yards passing and 1,900 yards rushing. Defensively, we had to adjust to a new system and there were some growing pains. But 18 different players started at least one game on the defensive side of the ball."

He added, " Ryan McCullough had 1,088 yards rushing, averaging almost 10 yards per carry. He was second in the league in rushing and in scoring with 126 points. He set the single game rushing record at Lisbon with 349 yards in his final game. In addition, Abe Simms set a school record with 185 tackles from his inside linebacker position."

With those impressive record-setting performances McCullough and Simms both landed on the All-EOAC 1st team squad, with Tyler Welsh and RJ Schreffler named to the second team. Braedon Joy received honorable Mention recognition.

As Altomare mentioned, many of his younger players had an opportunity to see varsity action, giving them some important varsity experience, "We played a lot of freshmen and sophomores this year, starting 5 or 6 freshman in our final four games. I am excited to see all of our players grow and mature going into next year."

Photos Curtesy from Jennifer Rose Marshalek

Overall, the season had a lot of positives for the Devils despite not having a winning record. But Altomare did mention that there was one striking disappointment, "We tried to have a positive year and provide a positive experience, but it was disappointing that our players could not play in front of their friends and fellow students. The lack of fans, and the uneasiness of completing the season all played into this year. I am just happy we got our full season in, and I'm looking forward to next year."