EAST LIVERPOOL - Austin Noel left his Salem football career as one well-rounded player.
During his senior season, he ran for 1,289 yards on 226 carries with 12 touchdowns. In the seconday, he registered 48 tackles and three interceptions.
Despite his impressive track record on both sides of the ball, Noel will be relegated to defensive duties only in Friday's 33rd annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic.
"I'm fine with that," Noel said. "Defense is my strong suit. I like it. Offensively I had fun and did well during last season, I guess."
This spring, Noel advanced to the state track meet as a member of the Quakers' 1600-meter relay team that included Marcus Crittenden, Ryan Bush and Zack Penick.
Needless to say, he's still in shape and ready to go for whatever football challenges arise.
"I feel fine and pretty good," Noel said. "(Salem track coach) Todd Huda has us running those 400s. I feel like I'm in shape."
Noel said the competition in football practice has been intense, but he's welcoming it.
"The competition level just in practice has gone up," Noel said. "It benefits all of us. It's tough to cover all of these wide receivers."
As for the young Quakers he left behind, they'll have new coach in Ron Johnson to work with after Mike Kopachy recently resigned.
"It's crazy and I'm glad I'm not involved in it anymore," Noel said. "I think it's all good though. I've heard good things about the new coach. I hope our guys embrace him and take him in."
Noel said he had to make a transition to a new coach as a sophomore.
"We took Kopachy in as one of our own and had the best season we've ever had," Noel said. "If you take what the new coach is saying seriously and go with it, you should be all right."
Noel will attend Capital University in the fall where he plans to play football in the Ohio Athletic Conference.