Note: Fremont finished with a 1-9 overall record in 2013 and was 1-5 in Region 1. It did not qualify for the 5A playoffs.
PLAIN CITY — If hard work, dedication, sacrifice and high-quality character count for something — and they definitely do — then this year's Fremont High football team should be pretty darned good.
How good, obviously, remains to be seen.
Sure, they're bound to be better than they were last year, when the Silver Wolves struggled through an uncharacteristic 1-9 season that included a 1-5 record in Region 1.
But whether their diligence, determination and dynamic work ethic turns them into a winning team, and possibly even a championship team, well, that won't be decided for at least three more months.
"We have the best kids in the world," said Fremont coach Kory Bosgieter, who begins his seventh season as head coach at the Plain City school. "They are just good kids — good, hard-working kids that listen and try to do everything you ask them to do.
"They're good listeners, and you don't have to tell them something twice. With that said, those are characteristics that quality teams have. Now ask me in November how good we are and I'll be able to tell ya. But I think we possess some qualities that good teams have, I really do.
"These kids are high-character kids, and this was the best summer camp I've ever had in 26 years of coaching," he said. "These guys love going to practice and they have demonstrated good leadership. They've done everything they're supposed to do. They have demonstrated that, that they have the qualities of good teams, and hopefully we become one."
The Silver Wolves have a ton of experience returning from last season, including seven players who started on offense in 2013 and nine players who started on the defensive side of the ball.
"We had very few seniors last year," Bosgieter said, "so if we capitalize on the experience that we got with our kids coming back, we'll be good. If we don't, we won't.
"We're excited about having nine starters back on defense, but we're excited about both sides of the ball."
One of those key returning starters is senior quarterback Justin Shaw, who started every game last year and threw for 2,123 yards and 12 touchdowns. Throwing the ball certainly wasn't the Wolves' weakness last season.
"We couldn't run the ball," Bosgieter said, bemoaning his team's inability to establish a ground game in 2013. "We were not able to run the football, and that's a big emphasis for us this year. We've got to do a better job running the ball."
Freeman has shown plenty of potential.
"I think he could be something special," Bosgieter said. "He's got some skills."
At slotback, sophomore Haze Hadley returns after starting last season as a ninth-grader, when he earned first team all-region honors.
"He's fun to watch," Bosgieter said of Hadley, who's backed up by senior Cameron Chugg and junior Caleb Ingram, who Bosgieter says "might be the best all-around player on the team. He's a really good football player, and there's a lot of things this kid can do on the field."