Bedford Kicking Mules 2023 Team Preview

By Frank Vajcner

2022 saw Bedford go 8-3, which was their best mark under John Phillips, and best since 2016. The Mules also snapped Saline’s 50-game winning streak in the SEC. The strength of the team was defense, and while a lot of big names have moved on, the well is not dry.

Head Coach: John Phillips (18-10, fourth year)

Staff: Jay Lake, Chris Wilhelm, James O’Brien, Bryan Dye, Dave Livingston, Nick Kledzik, Chad Henman, Adam Gilsdorf, Rick Schoch, Matt Phillips, Matt Brown, Stephan Wilkinson, Don Stewart

Offense: With leading rusher Trey Bruggeman graduated, who will be the next bell cow running back for the Mules? Senior Hunter Poignon will get first crack at replacing Bruggeman at fullback, after he burst on to the scene last season. Junior Owen Pryzbylski will bring plenty of speed to the backfield, and fellow junior Lucas Gerber will move from QB to RB. Junior Drew Logsdon will get the nod at QB for the Mules.

Another benefit to the offense is the return of three starters on the offensive line in Connor Green, Kyle Klocek, and Cooper Miller. Senior TE Nolan Laskey will also be a name to watch on the line.

Defense: This unit was gutted by graduation, as only four starters return. In addition to losing Bruggeman at linebacker, the biggest loss was the graduation of all-state DE Tommy Huss. Laskey will be counted on to lead the defensive line, along with Klocek and Green. The linebacking corps will include Poignon and Gerber, while Pryzbylski will see action at defensive back. “We will be young but we will be aggressive,” Phillips said.

Coach’s Outlook: There has been a big coaching shuffle with in the Red division. It’s going to be hard to predict the final standings; however, the division will be the same traditional slug fest as in the past….Lots of buy-in have us very excited to see what we can do.

Fun Fact: Since becoming the head coach, Phillips has a win against every SEC Red school except for Ann Arbor Huron.

FNV Outlook: With Bedford, it has been “fear the veer” with their offense, but their defense also was one to fear as well. Can the players with big shoes to fill maintain a smooth transition for defensive coordinator James O’Brien? The unit will get a big test in Week 4 when an angry Saline team comes to town looking for revenge.

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1 thought on “Bedford Kicking Mules 2023 Team Preview”

  1. Bedford should get Phillips first win over Huron this year. Honestly should’ve won the last 2 times, but beat themselves with turnovers and other mistakes. But the River rats won’t be good this year due to losing most of their talented starters from last year, and having to replace a lot of their coaching staff including the head coach. They also have very low numbers this year. That could be an easy win for Bedford.

    My predictions for the SEC Red

    1. Saline
    2. Dexter
    3. Bedford
    4. Monroe
    5. Lincoln
    6. AA Huron
    7. AA Pioneer
    8. AA Skyline

    The Bedford and dexter game could go either way, but I’m going with dexter in a close one, but Bedford might win.

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