Once rivals, Olentangy Berlin football players become teammates

The Olentangy Berlin High School football team will field a team for the first time this season, so the Bears are taking advantage of summer conditioning drills to build chemistry. Berlin's roster consists of players from the three surrounding high schools in the Olentangy School District. So, once rival players, now become teammates.

"They hit the ground running, they really have," said head coach Mark Nori. "They're eager to learn, they're eager to get after it, and I think there's probably some gentleman in there that have some things to prove," he added.

Within the district, the three established football programs have seen a lot of success, and the Bears aim to develop a program that can equally compete.

"It's a lot of pressure with it, but if you just think about as long as you're doing your job every day coming in working your hardest, i think we'll be right up there with them next season," said Corey Hill, a junior at Berlin.

The players say coming from rival schools has not been an issue.

 "It's like not that big of a deal anymore since we've built those bonds in the weight room and I feel like the juniors have stepped up since we don't have seniors."

Senior players were allowed to stay at their original school, so even though the Bears are young, they have put their former cross-town rivals to rest as they become a family unit.

 "I think was we realized that when we all started to wear our double blue, Berlin Blue, we all started to realize that we're all a family and that everything that happened before was all just fun," said Hill.

"The kids in the community have been unbelievably supportive of everything we're doing, so to be honest with you it's made my job a little bit easier just from the support we've had in the community," said Nori.



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