The Rams went 15 years without a winning record and were coming off an 0-9 season before he arrived. But they’ve gone 10-2 and 8-4 the last two years.
Kasner also led Mechanicsburg to five playoff trips in six seasons and took Harrison to the postseason in 2006 and ’10, leaving there when his teaching position was eliminated.
He refuses to take much credit, though.
“At all three places, there’s been a great work ethic among the young men. We try to build off that. We’re going to work hard, and that’s where our success comes from.
“And this goes back to the families and communities I’ve been fortunate to coach in — there’s discipline and an ability to follow directions and a toughness to stick it through when it gets hard. I’m spoiled in that regard.”
Although Kasner is taking a cautious approach, the Rams appear to have the makings of another playoff team. Senior quarterback Collin Matt is in his second year as a starter, and he gained close to 1,700 yards rushing and passing last season.
Eastern Kentucky-bound Ethan Bradds is a versatile weapon. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound senior will line up at tight end, receiver and running back.
Four of five starters are back on the offensive line.
The Rams will replace star running back Logan Test, who set program records for rushing yards (1,664) and touchdowns (26), with the trio of senior Austin Roberts and juniors Jacob Green and Griffin Mangan.
“All three are similar type runners — physical, downhill kids,” Kasner said.
The defense has plenty of battle-tested players with seniors Isaiah Harding and Garrett Wilson on the line and Bradds, Mangan, Roberts and Green at linebacker.
Although sophomore Ian Tamplin is the sole returning starter in the secondary, Kasner said, “We’re more athletic there than we were a year ago.”
The Rams, who play at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in their opener Friday, have a 28-77 all-time record in the Ohio Heritage Conference, but they broke through to win their first title in 2014 and look to be a contender again.
“The players have a lot of optimism,” Kasner said. “They’ve won for a while now, and they’re starting to believe in each other.”