Coach Cruse believes his new captains, Liam Hamill, Austin Haas, Tyler Shelley, Nate Holman, and Gabe Ogdan will be exactly what the Tigers need to lead them to a successful season.

 

by Cassie Mattia

Loveland, OhioAs a former student-athlete, I can tell you there is no better feeling than being selected to lead your team to success. Loveland High School’s new head football coach, Andy Cruse, selected the 2019-2020 team captains for the varsity squad Friday morning. Coach Cruse believes his new captains will be exactly what the Tigers need to lead them to a successful season.

“We are so incredibly excited to have these five student-athletes represent and lead our football team as captains this year. We had a lengthy process to become a captain and all five of these young men were exceptional. This is an important group of captains as we lay the foundation for the culture of this football program,” Cruse said.

After an in-depth interview process and an intense vote by the Loveland Football players, LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV was able to catch the announcement of the 2019-2020 Loveland High school Varsity Football captains. Senior running back Liam Hamill, Senior offensive linemen Tyler Shelley, Senior linebacker Austin Haas, Senior defensive linemen Nate Holman, and Junior defensive end and offensive linebacker Gabe Ogdan were all given the captain title for the Loveland Tigers!
So what exactly goes into becoming a team captain or even getting a shot at the title? Whether your playing for your elementary school or playing in the professional leagues the captain or captains always have one quality that tends to be innate, and that quality is the ability to lead. I decided to invite Loveland’s newest captains to be a part of Loveland Magazine’s One on One series so that you the readers could really get a feel for how hard these guys work to not only lead their team but also lead in the classroom and the Loveland community.

I want to congratulate you guys on such a big accomplishment and really an all-out milestone for your football careers! Being selected as a captain is such a huge honor. How do you feel now that you have been given the captain title? Did you expect it or was it a total shock?


Liam Hamill
Thank you that means a lot. I am very excited to help the coaches create a new culture, and turn this program back around. Growing up watching the games and being a little kid was very cool, it’s weird that I’m the one playing under the lights now for my last season. Being selected as a captain means a lot to me and I hope I can be a great example to the underclassmen and future Loveland football players. Coming into senior year I put many hours of my days working out with the team and by myself so it wasn’t a total shock to me being voted captain.

Tyler Shelley
Well, first of all, thank you, it truly is an honor to answer these questions, to start it off it is such an honor to get the privilege to be a captain of the Loveland football team, getting new coach’s at the beginning of this season made everyone have to prove themselves all over again, so to see that I’ve been noticed by the coach’s is a true honor! To get the title of captain of the team I was expecting because I have put in the hard work and I have the dedication to the team to make a great leader, but at the same time, I was shocked because it’s an extreme privilege and not everyone gets that privilege!

Austin Haas

I’m extremely excited and honored to be named one of the captains, I definitely did not expect to be selected. It was a total shock and it took a little bit for it to really sink in.


Nate Holman
Being voted Captain is definitely a huge honor and I am extremely grateful to be selected.  It shows that my brothers on the field trust me to lead them throughout the week and especially on Friday nights.  Whether it’s on the field, in school, or out in the community; I have always tried my best to lead by example and make my reflection as a football player a positive one. Taking the field for Friday Night High School Football is something that is indescribable, you have to experience it to understand.  Being chosen by my peers to lead them on the field was a completely unexpected and very humbling experience.

Gabe Ogdan

Right now I feel extremely thankful that I was voted upon by both my peers and coaches… what an honor! I will say that this did come as a shock especially only being a junior, but welcome nonetheless!


Tell me a little about the process of being selected to be a team captain for Loveland? I heard that there was a bit of an interview process. What was that like? There was a team vote as well?


Liam Hamill
The first thing you had to do was fill out a captain’s application with a couple of questions. Then we had an interview with the coaches and some players on the leadership council. Lastly, the coaches and players all had the chance to select four players each vote counted as 1. We had a team meeting and everyone spread out across the room and voted anonymously. The coaches Tallied up the votes and shared the results.

Tyler Shelley
Well, the process was lengthy, but we got through it! The coaches have selected a few players from each class of players to be on what’s called the “Leadership council” I was selected along with senior Nate Holman to sit through every single captain application interview, during this captain application  interview players who would be asked questions by not only the council but by coach cruse and coach holland who were also present during the application process, then yes there was a team vote, we sat down in the auditorium and coach cruse presented the names in front of us, coach cruse made it very clear to every player that it wasn’t a popularity contest, it wasn’t a vote for your best friend, it was a player that would represent your team in a great manor!

Austin Haas
The first thing we had to do was fill out an application to be considered. From there we were brought into an interview with coaches and select players. They asked us questions about leadership and how we would lead the team, and what we could do to bring this team above and beyond.

Nate Holman
The process was incredibly thorough and extremely rigorous.  It was more than we had ever done in the past. Coach Cruse established a Leadership Council made up of the Coaching Staff and 2-3 players from the Junior and Senior classes. 14 potential Captains met with the Leadership Council to answer questions about why they felt they should be Captain. All 14 guys had great submissions and reasons why they could be chosen for Captain. After that, we had a team meeting to review what a Captain should be, and the whole team selected 5 Captains out of the 14 deserving candidates.

Gabe Ogdan
The interview process was surprisingly nerve-wracking. I usually am fairly confident, especially around friends and people that I’ve been around since middle school or longer, but the interview process was a necessary step and I’m extremely happy that it panned out the way that it did. I honestly didn’t know what to expect coming from the team vote, but I’m flattered to be named not only as a captain but sub-sequentially as a leader as well.

Assuming all of you have leadership backgrounds, tell me what other leadership positions you have held or are currently holding. What do you think holding these leadership positions will do for your future? What have you learned from the positions?


Liam Hamill
I personally believe I have always played a huge role on the football team, being very vocal and excelling on the field. I want to try and play college football with that being said, I think being selected as captain will look very good in the eyes of college coaches. Growing up into the young man I am today, I have learned so much about life from football. The game truly is very emotional and not an easy sport whatsoever, that’s why not everyone does it. Facing adversity, being coached, pushing myself to extreme limits, are things that are going to help me later on in life.

Tyler Shelley
Well, my first responsibility was when I was being put on the leadership council, which is not only an honor but a privilege as well as being a captain! I believe these will help me in my future by giving me strong leadership qualities, helping me be a strong vocal leader, helping me be a better student, son, and father down the road! By these responsibilities having to be earned I have learned that you have to work your hardest to achieve the greatest, you must go through the “process” to achieve your end goal and that is “greatness!”

Austin  Haas

This is my first official leadership position, but I believe that following behind and watching other great leaders has given me the tools to truly help lead this team.


Nate Holman
I have led my youth group at church, and 5th graders at Camp Kern as a Counselor.  Whether the groups I led were younger, or my peers, I have learned to be patient, positive, and promote others through encouragement.  I believe these experiences will help shape my future by exposing me to opportunities for what I would like to do after college.

Gabe Ogdan
Starting varsity as a freshman exposed me early on to the level of maturity and expectations held by my teammates, and set me up for success in leadership areas around my teammates and peers. One highlight of my school year was being invited to the first annual ECC leadership summit held at Kings High School, this taught me many valuable lessons about leadership and how to help prepare others to respond to adversity.

Let’s talk football! The season is right around the corner, what are you most excited for? Any particular teams you look forward to competing against? What would you say are Loveland’s biggest strengths this year? If you were to predict this season’s results, where would you say Loveland will fall in the league or post-season play?


Liam Hamill
I’ve never been more excited, and sad for something at the same time. Playing football under the lights at Loveland is something special, the support from the community is amazing and it really is an honor to play Loveland football. The team has put so much work in this offseason and I’m ready to see what we can do. I’m also sad that it’s my last year because high school flies by and I didn’t really acknowledge it until now. I still can’t believe that I’m a senior and I preach to the underclassmen that they should cherish every moment they get. I look forward to playing every team this year because it’s a blessing to play the game and never know when it’s your last game or play. Are biggest strength is our offense. I have a mentality that I would never go into something thinking I’m gonna lose so I think the Loveland tigers will win the league this year!

Tyler Shelley
The season is around the corner makes the energy so much stronger, but what I’m personally excited for is for week one, playing against sycamore in their stadium, ready for revenge, and striving for greatness! Loveland is a completely different team from the past few years, the energy these coaches have brought to this program is insane! So our biggest strength in my eyes would be the energy! I would say at the end of this season it will be a winning season and going to playoffs, obviously everyone’s goal to win state but for now, it’s week one!

Austin Haas
I am most excited to be able to go out there and play for Loveland every Friday and give this community and team everything I have. I have some ties in sycamore, so I am always looking forward to that game, but every time I get to play is a blessing. Our biggest strength is the fact that we are an underdog, and we are hungry and looking to make a statement.

Nate Holman
I am very proud of how much mentally and physically stronger we have become as an entire team.  The culture is completely different. There is something about the energy that is just infectious! I know countless people have said this before, but this year is going to be different. We are not where we want to be, but every day we are working our tails off to get closer to it!  I live and breath this sport, and the way we have turned things around for this season is going to be amazing! I can’t wait to play Sycamore for the Season opener because it’s my 18th birthday and I couldn’t have asked for a bigger party or a better game to play with all my friends.  I just can’t wait for this community to come out and see how hard we have worked to make this program a success. I have no doubt in my mind that we will win this year and make a run for the ECC Title!

Gabe Ogdan
I am most excited about the development of the new culture this season. Recently we were shown a video that was focused on emphasizing the PROCESS over the PRODUCT. This team has already taken tremendous strides and I can’t wait to see what comes in the future. As for who I want to compete against, everyone. I eat up the competition!

I can definitely say I know exactly what you guys are growing through in regards to preparation for the season as my Dad has been a football coach for 20 plus years! Tell me about your practices and what kind of workouts you have been doing in order to get prepared for the first game. How long do you prepare for the season? Do any of you do things on your own in order to better your skillset? What are your favorite workouts/practices and what are your least favorite?


Liam Hamill
We have been lifting since about two weeks after last season ended because my senior class was really focused on winning games this year. There were many different guys on the team including myself, that I know worked out and did things on there own. My favorite workouts are when we do a lot of in-game scenarios. My least favorite workouts would probably be lifting, and then working out on the field after.

Tyler Shelley
Our workouts and practices I could throw in the same category and that are challenging! Every practice and lift is a fast pace, there is never a dull moment! To practice for our first game is basically running a bunch of plays and getting repetition, to understand the little things to focus on the big things! The preparation for this season began way back in January with offseason lifts and conditioning! I’ve done the small things by myself, being the center having to snap the ball, getting my dad our back and snapping to him to get reps, it’s the little things that help! Definitely being a lineman the number one thing I hate is the running part of practices… that sucks!

Austin Haas
I love all of every practice, I only have so much time left, and I am happy as long as I get to play. We have really never stopped working and grinding for the next season. I watch many hours of film and study our playbook. My favorite practice is the team because we are competing all the time. I do not have a least favorite.

Nate Holman
We have been working really hard as a team and it shows. We are all in the best mental and physical shape of our lives.  The culture of high energy and high expectations is really setting in. That process started earlier this year when Coach Cruse set a tone of excellence and learning how to compete.  Our practices have an entirely different feel to them. While we have workouts every day like we always have, what I love about this coaching staff is that we haven’t been just reviewing film and X’s and O’s; we’ve been learning HOW to watch film and more behind the WHY of the X’s and O’s.  We have had motivation speakers every week, some have been in person, while others have been YouTube videos. Practices are high energy with a high tempo. There is no standing around, and before you know it, time is up and we have accomplished something great that day…one more step toward our goals.   I do a lot on my own. I spend an extra 30 minutes before every practice working on my defensive footwork and moves to make a greater impact on my team. I spend several hours a week on film at school and at home with my dad, who has taught me about this game.

Gabe Ogdan
Being injured I haven’t been able to participate this year, but I still feel as if I am right there with the team in everything that they do. That being said I am also taking this time off to gain weight, gain upper-body strength, and better my football IQ as a whole.

I would love to know more about you guys! How long have you been playing football? Was football a newfound passion for you growing up or were your parents or siblings heavily involved with football, therefore, you became passionate about the game? What were your family and friends’ reactions to your captain’s title?


Liam Hamill
I have been playing football since the first grade. I’m the youngest in the family and both my brothers played football when I was little, my dad also played in college. I grew up on a street with all older kids which I got beat up on all the time, which made me a very physical kid. The first time I played and actual football I game I fell in love with the game. There truly isn’t anything like it, you can physically hurt people and not get in trouble for it. Not saying that’s a good thing, but there are lots of kids who have built up anger in them who can result in football. My family and friends were very proud of me and look forward to what the team does this year.

Tyler Shelley
I have been playing football since first grade so this will be my 12th year of playing! Football was definitely a passion growing up always watching pros and college athletes, and wanting to be them one day! My family is a big football family, my dad played, my brother played and my mom loves watching it, everyone gets involved one way or another! My family and friend’s reactions were as expected and that was supportive, they were all happy for me!

Austin Haas

I have always loved football, most of my family are baseball people, but I have always loved football. My mother was extremely happy for me, my dad as well


Nate Holman
My friends and family were extremely proud of me earning the title of Captain.  They know me the best and know how hard I have worked throughout my life. I grew up playing football in “Friday Night Lights” in West Texas.  I started in Kindergarten playing flag football and progressed through the Pop Warner program after that. We moved to Loveland in the middle of my 5th-grade year and that’s when I started playing for Loveland in the youth program in 6th grade.  My dad has taught me a lot about football, and how it translates into everyday life. My dad and I share a bond through football that has made me love the sport even more.

Gabe Ogdan
I have been playing football since 5th grade, but I have been a football fan since I was born. The thing I heard most after being chosen as a captain was “proud”, and that makes me feel so proud of myself and thankful for the wonderful community around me.

Alright, now it’s time to brag about yourselves! Tell me about some of your accolades! What honors or awards have you been given in your football careers? Do you have any favorite football moments or memories you would like to share? Are you planning on playing football at the collegiate level, if so, where?


Liam Hamill
I was first-team all-conference, and Southwest all-district last year as a junior. I have so many memories from football, but if I had to pick one it would have to be when I returned a 95-yard kick return last year against walnut hills. I plan on playing football at the next level, but I’m not sure where I am going to play yet.

Tyler Shelley
Well to start off freshman year I got brought up to varsity and got JV reps, then sophomore year got varsity reps as well as my junior year, during my junior year I also got named second-team all ECC! Those were some of my highlights, but last year was my best knowing that I could keep up with two, four-star recruits going division one! I am open to going to college but I haven’t truly made up my mind on where though!

Austin Haas
I, unfortunately, do not have very many accolades. My favorite moment was last year at the walnut hills JV game, seeing us come together and feed off of each other to beat them was a great moment.

Nate Holman
Some of the most memorable moments in my high school football career have been being elected the Freshman team captain, filling in as the fullback my sophomore year against Kings and being handed the ball 10 times in a row for an 85 yard quarter-long Touchdown Drive, my first varsity start last year as a junior, playing against my cousin who was the quarterback at West Clermont, and many others last year that went on to play football at very high levels in college.  I am excited for a great season of football and the opportunity to play in college after high school.

Gabe Ogdan
High Honors academics both freshman and sophomore years, heart and hustle award sophomore year football. My favorite football memory is simply every moment around my guys, these teammates are my brothers and we would do anything for each other. My dream is to play college football at the University of Wisconsin.

Loveland City Schools were just ranked among the top 10 schools in Cincinnati, which I think is pretty awesome considering there are so many great schools in this area. Tell me about your experience attending Loveland City Schools. What has made the experience so great? Do you think because you go to Loveland you will have advantages in college or even after college because of everything the school has offered you? What has it been like participating in sports at Loveland? Do you have any favorite coaches, teachers or classes you want to mention?


Liam Hamill
Loveland has great teachers and coaches. My experience at Loveland has been awesome. Meeting new people and making friends along the way had made high school more enjoyable. I believe Loveland does the best the can do to help you exceed at the next level. The Loveland community is the best out there,  they come to support every sport, and definitely now how to pack a stadium or gym. Coach Cranford because he helped become the young man I am today.

Tyler Shelley
Loveland is a great school they have great programs and great teachers! The teachers have definitely made my school experience the greatest, all the teachers I’ve had have helped me in any way possible if I’d ask they would help! I believe going to Loveland will help me out of school because they help with skills out of school that you need to learn to go through life! The sports at Loveland are definitely an amazing thing, there is some type of feeling you get walking out on that field on a Friday night in front of your community and representing your community! I would hate to say a favorite because they all have made a major impact on my life, in my eyes, they all are my favorite!

Austin Haas
The people around the town made Loveland great to be in, it gave me the skills to handle stress and look to the future. Loveland sports are very fun and give us a great team-building environment.

Nate Holman

I have had some great teachers since I have gone to Loveland, but the 2 who stand out the most to me are Mrs. Viox and Mrs. Rose.  What I think sets us apart from other schools is the impact the community has on the school and the school has on the community. Loveland is full of traditions and is just all-around fun to be a part of, and having the opportunity to represent Loveland on and off the field for the community is just something else.


 

Gabe Ogdan

Everything good that Loveland has to offer can be accredited to the wonderful community we have here. I truly believe that there is no other community like the one in Loveland and I am forever grateful for the awesome people of this city. Shoutout to Dad, Coach Hart, and Coach McClain, you guys are all like family to me and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.


Now for the fun questions! This is just a random selection of questions that I like to throw out there so our readers can learn a little bit more about you and your interests! Here we go…

What’s your favorite food?

What’s your favorite hobby other than football?

Do you have a “football” role model?

What’s your favorite movie?

What’s your pre-game routine? Any superstitions?

Nike or UnderArmour?

If you could trade places with anyone who would it be?

Who is your favorite college football team? NFL team?

What do you plan on doing as a career after college?

How would you describe Coach Cruse using one word?

If you had to select the most effective leader on Loveland’s Football team who would it be and why?


 

Liam Hamill
Steak. Hanging out with friends. DeAndre Hopkins. The Other Guys. Listen to 50 Cent and get in my zone. Nike. Nobody, I love myself! Bengals. I’m not sure yet. Passionate. Me, because I can make big plays in big-time situations.

Tyler Shelley

My favorite food is definitely steak and a baked potato, nothing beats that! My favorite hobby is playing video games with friends, or hanging out with friends and having fun! My football role model is Barry Saunders, he’s just a dude! My favorite movie is benchwarmers! The pre-game routine is just getting dressed and hyping everyone up! I love Nike! My favorite college team is UC! After college, I would love to be a police officer and move on after that to a maximum goal of CIA or FBI! Describing coach cruse in one word would be “ hard-working” I know that’s two words but he’s a truly a great man, and he has achieved most of his goals and he is still pushing and I admire that! The most effective leader in my eyes would be Coach cruse because he knows how to bring the energy, and he’s a great man!


Austin Haas
Steak, playing with my puppy, ray lewis, top gun, I pray before every game, Under Armour, Ray Lewis, Bengals, LSU, I am joining the air force after high school, energetic, Gabe Ogdan, he is a natural leader that is hungry to play and will bring everyone to there best.

Nate Holman
Chinese. Fishing. My dad. Roadhouse. No superstitions, just music that gets my heart pumping, my blood flowing, and my headbanging! That’s a tough one! I like them both, but if I have to choose, Nike wins with a slight edge. Peter Pan, so I can never grow up, and play football for the rest of my life! Clemson Tigers and Cincinnati Bengals. Either some form of Business or Education. Energetic. This may be breaking the rules a bit but the coaching staff as a whole are the most effective leaders. They have come in and turned things around and I can not wait for Loveland to see it on full display on August 30th. GO TIGERS!

Gabe Ogdan
Wings, lifting, Julian Edelman or JJ Watt, Varsity blues or the Program, Listen to music and get in the zone, Under Armour, JJ Watt, Wisconsin Badgers, and Cincinnati Bengals, Doctor of Physical Therapy,  FEARLESS, Austin Haas, the most uplifting and positive kid I’ve ever met.

We are so excited to see what the Loveland Football team accomplishes this year and couldn’t be more impressed with the leadership Andy Cruse has instilled in his 5 new captains! The season is quickly approaching so we encourage all of the Loveland community to take a look at the Tiger’s football schedule below so you can plan when you will be sporting your Tiger stripes! If you would like to follow more in-depth on what exactly the Loveland football team is up to you can visit lovelandtigers.org or follow @Loveland_FB on twitter.
Watch this LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV video as Head Coach Andy Cruse introduces the captains, how and why they were chosen, and watch each captain talk to the team.

2019 Varsity Football

Columnist Cassia Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland

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