Badin off to unbeaten start behind first-year QB Vidourek

3-0 Rams travel to Fenwick on Friday night

Landyn Vidourek almost didn’t go out for the Badin High School football team last year as he considered just focusing on his baseball career.

With his grandmother and others encouraging him, Vidourek stayed with it and ended up spending his sophomore season developing on junior varsity in preparation for a big year to come.

Now, Vidourek is leading a rebuilt varsity offense this year as the Rams' starting quarterback, and he has Badin off to a 3-0 start heading into a Greater Catholic League Co-Ed rivalry game at Fenwick (0-2) on Friday.

“I was hopeful I could make the jump this year, but I definitely didn’t expect it,” said Vidourek, who plays shortstop on the baseball team.

Badin lost several key players from the 2019 team that went 7-3 and advanced to the third round of the playoffs, despite an 0-2 start to the season. Vidourek especially had big shoes to fill replacing Zach Switzer, who threw for more than 1,500 yards as a senior, and he was coming in alongside a new starting running back with 1,000-yard rusher Alex DeLong also departed.

Despite the roster turnover, the Rams seem to be picking up where they left off. Vidourek completed 13 of 15 passes for 238 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-7 win in the opener at Ross, led Badin to a 14-12 win over Alter the following week and now leads the GCLC with 533 yards passing, five touchdowns and no interceptions through three games.

“I was nervous that day at school thinking about the game (Week 1), but once it came, I was more excited than nervous,” Vidourek said. “I kind of surprised myself. I was really surprised because we’re so young and a lot of us are definitely filling some big roles. (Coach Nick) Yordy has a motto that we could either ‘restart or reload.’ We just reloaded and keep going, fill those guys shoes and continue where we’re going.”

Vidourek was competing with senior Bobby Young, who also is a solid safety for the team, as well as sophomore Dominic Pate for the starting job but found out he would get the opportunity about a week before the season started.

Yordy said he saw great improvement from Vidourek over the summer, showing that he had picked up some things watching from the sidelines last year and also in the way he was throwing the ball.

“He’s a great kid, a very poised, confident leader who got thrown out there with very little varsity experience,” Yordy said. “I had a feeling he could be good player, and he’s exceeded expectations so far. … One thing that stands out is his overall football intelligence. There are times, he can point some things out in terms of what he sees on the field and say, ‘This is what I think,’ and that’s huge at the high school level. Because of his baseball background, he can make some awkward throws you don’t see a lot of kids being able to make and also just how quick he can get rid of the ball because he’s used to turning double plays at shortstop. So, those are all good skills to have, and we’re lucky to have him.”

Vidourek is quick to credit his teammates for helping him along through the transition, and he especially praised the defense for putting him and the offense in good situations. The Rams haven’t given up more than 14 points in any of the first three games.

When asked about the strength of the defense, Yordy said it all starts up front with guys like Jayden Carter, Hunter Harrison and Logan Neu, among others on the defensive line. Overall, he’s been pleased with the progress across the team on both sides of the ball.

“It’s been a pleasant surprise,” Yordy said. “I think we felt like we had some ability but a lot of guys are inexperienced, and at the same time, we have some guys who have been out here a while just waiting for their turn. Every day we talk about getting better and we’re working on that. I’m definitely pleasantly surprised, but we still have a long ways to go.”

Fenwick will be another good challenge, Yordy, said, although the Falcons are still looking for their first win under new coach George Moore. Fenwick had one game canceled because of a COVID-19 case at the school ahead of the opener.

“It will be another tough game,” Yordy said. “In the GCL, they are the closest school to us so a lot of kids know each other, they know what to expect on a Friday night against Fenwick. They are going to come out looking for that first win, we know that. The target on our back is getting a little bigger as we go, and they are a talented, hard-nosed team. Coach Moore doing a good job getting those kids flying around and getting to the football, so we have to be on top of things.”

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