ONN-Ohio High Preseason Power Poll


JJ’s Ohio High Power Poll
We are proud to announce the Fourth Annual ONN/JJ Huddle's Ohio High Power Poll. The Poll has been a huge success the last few of seasons and we are excited to work with the Ohio News Network once again to bring Ohio the best Ohio high school football coverage in the state. Like years past, this preseason poll will stand until the third week of the season has been completed and then we will restructure the standings accordingly.

We are proud to announce the Fourth Annual ONN/JJ Huddle's Ohio High Power Poll. The Poll has been a huge success the last few of seasons and we are excited to work with the Ohio News Network once again to bring Ohio the best Ohio high school football coverage in the state. 

Like years past, this preseason poll will stand until the third week of the season has been completed and then we will restructure the standings accordingly.

Teams with links are teams we previewed over the course of the last six weeks.


1 Cincinnati St. Xavier (10-2)

     The Bombers came up short of their second straight D-I state crown last year, falling to Cincinnati Colerain in the regional finals. This season, led by RB Darius Ashley, St. X appears loaded and could make another run at a state title. The Bombers are ranked No. 1 in the country by PrepNation.com in the preseason poll.

2 Dublin Coffman (9-4)

     With some of the best collection of talent in the state, expectations are very high for the Shamrocks this season. Offensive tackle Mike Adams (6-8, 305, Sr.) is ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the state by Ohio High and is one of the best OL in the nation.

3 Massillon Washington (7-5)

     The Tigers reached the second-round of the playoffs last year (a year after reaching the state title game) and head coach Tom Stacy could take them all the way in this his third year in the program. Massillon welcomes Canton South transfer RB DeVoe Torrence (6-2, 215, Sr.) who joins an already-loaded backfield.


Cincinnati Colerain (13-1)

     The Cardinals are replacing longtime head coach Kerry Coombs as well as a talented senior class led by incoming OSU freshman Eugene Clifford. However, led by senior QB Doug Reynolds, they will likely be in the playoffs once again. Colerain is ranked No. 20 in the country by PrepNation.com in the preseason poll.

5 Lakewood St. Edward (9-2)

     St. Edward was one of the favorites to win it all last year, but was upset by Warren Harding in the second round of the playoffs. They have the talent to go all the way this year led by one of the best linebacker duos in the state (Justin Staples, Mike Spooner).

6 Cleveland St. Ignatius (6-4)

     The former state powerhouse returned to the playoffs last season under head coach Chuck Kyle and this year the Wildcats will look to take the next step. St. Ignatius has two competent quarterbacks in Patrick Ryan (6-2, 180, Sr.) and Andrew Holland (6-1, 190, Jr.).

7 Toledo Whitmer (9-4)

     The Panthers snuck in the playoffs as the No. 8 seed last year and proceeded to upset previously undefeated and No. 1-seeded Fremont Ross. This year Whitmer returns one of the state’s best players in TE/DE Kevin Koger (6-4, 235, Sr.).

8 Cleveland Glenville (12-1)

     Talent is never a problem at Glenville under head coach Ted Ginn Sr. This year, the Tarblooders will be led by WR/LB Cordale Scott (6-3, 197, Sr.), OL/DT Shawntel Rowell (6-4, 330, Sr.) and DT Dawawn Whitner (6-2, 245, Sr.)


Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (5-5)

     Moeller finished a respectable .500 last year narowly losing games to powers Byrnes (S.C.), Lakewood St. Edward, St. Xavier and Colerain. The Crusaders return a lot after an off-season of adversity and will be a formidable contender in Region 4.

10 Centerville (8-2)

     The Elks were the odd team out last year in Region 4, finishing ninth and barely missing the playoffs. This year, head coach Ron Ullery returns 11 starters (6 offense, 5 defense).

1 Trotwood-Madison (7-4)

     The Rams made the playoffs last season and this could be the year they advance very far in the postseason. Head coach Maurice Douglass has a talented group at his disposal, led by arguably the state’s best quarterback in Domonick Britt (6-5, 190, Sr.) who is a University of Cincinnati commitment.


Mayfield (10-2)

     The Wildcats were the No. 3 seed in Region 5 last year and they return 10 starters this season. The defense is especially loaded as senior defensive end Carson Bodnovich (6-0, 220) is an Ivy League recruit who had 65 tackles and 10.5 sacks in 2006. Senior inside linebacker Vinnie Durbdella (5-10, 195) racked up 118 tackles and 16 tackles-for-loss last year.


Tallmadge (8-3)

     The Blue Devils are a perennial playoff team, but they were bounced in the first round last year. This season, with 13 returning starters, head coach Joe Vassalotti is optimistic. “We expect to be in the hunt for a Suburban League title,” he said.

4 Columbus Bishop Watterson (9-4)

     The Eagles have made the playoffs eight consecutive years, including their 2002 D-III state title season. This year, head coach Dan Bjelac returns another solid group led by QB Mason Takacs (6-3, 200, Sr.).

5 Trenton Edgewood (9-2)

     The Cougars were the top seed in the Region 8 playoff bracket last year and advanced to the second round. This year, head coach Steve Channell welcomes back 15 starters (7 offense, 8 defense) led by running back John Elder (5-8, 170, Sr.).

6 Dayton Carroll (9-2)

     The Patriots are a perennial playoff team and nothing is expected to change this year. They play in the loaded Region 8, but Carroll is always in the postseason mix.


Columbus St. Francis DeSales (9-4)

     Former assistant Ryan Wiggins returns to his alma mater to man the sidelines for the Stallions. After finishing 9-4 last year coming off a state runner-up finish, DeSales looks to make an impact moving up to Division II.
8 Powell Olentangy Liberty (8-3)

     The Patriots are riding a three-year playoff streak and the school has been in existence for just four years. Head coach Steve Hale welcomes back an impressive group this year, led by linebacker Ross Fleming (6-3, 215, Sr.) and QB Ryan Cypret (5-10, 170, Sr.).

9 Cincinnati Turpin (12-2)

     Head coach Rob Stoll took the Spartans all the way to the state semifinals last year and returns an impressive group of players, including WR Andy Cruse (6-4, 205, Sr.), OL Aaron Van Kullken (6-7, 285, Sr.) and MLB Luke Kelly (6-4, 220, Sr.).


Toledo Central Catholic (9-2)

     The Fighting Irish won the 2005 D-II state title and earned the No. 2 seed in Region 6 last year (they fell to eventual state champ Piqua in the first round). This year, head coach Greg Dempsey returns 10 starters (5 on each side) led by QB Tyler Kleeberger (5-11, 175, Sr.).


1 Sunbury Big Walnut (10-3)

     The Golden Eagles’ defense should be solid once again as nine starters return. Head coach Scott Wetzel, who is back for a 10th season, also has a bunch of talented seniors to rely on, including ATH Ethan Wetzel (6-1, 200), TE/LB Jared Suvak (6-3, 225) and LB Mark Nelson (6-3, 215). All three players are drawing D-I interest. Several coaches have tabbed Big Walnut as one of the favorites in D-III, but the schedule will either make or break the Golden Eagles. Five of their non-league games are against D-I teams and the other contest is against Chillicothe.

2 Monroe Lemon-Monroe (10-2)

     After averaging 44 points per game on offense last year, the Fighting Hornets may even top that mark as 10 starters return on offense. The top guns are senior QB Tyler Osterman (6-2, 175), who threw for 2,569 yards and 33 TDs with just five picks, and RB Jared Ferguson (6-2, 220), who rushed for 1,290 yards and tallied 19 TDs. Fourth-year head coach Jason Krause said, “we are excited about our 2007 season.”

3 Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (7-3)

     Opponents should find it very difficult to put up points against a Walsh Jesuit defense that returns seven starters and at least two on the line, linebacking group and secondary. The Warriors will feature size and experience (all five starters are back) on the offensive line. The biggest task 29-year head coach Gerry Rardin faces is finding a QB to put behind the Great Wall of Cuyahoga Falls that includes senior Andrew Illig (6-4, 285), senior Chris Ciraldo (6-2, 305), senior Chi Chi Ibe (6-4, 270), senior Matt Mitchkash (6-3, 255) and junior Pat McShane (6-5, 285).

4 Lisbon Beaver Local (6-4)

     The Beavers missed the playoffs last year for the first time in five seasons. Head coach Rich Wright, who enters his 10th season, felt last year was a disappointment. By losing just seven seniors and three starters, Wright should see his Beavers return to the level they’re used to. Not only will the team return 18 seniors and 16 starters (eight on both sides of the ball), Beaver Local will be going to more of a spread offense while moving away from the Wing-T and triple option, which should allow Russell to excite fans even more this fall.

5 Mentor Lake Catholic (8-5)

     Despite going just 6-4 in the regular season, six-year head coach Mike Bell watched his Cougars notch a pair of playoff victories before falling to Aurora, 24-23, in the Region 9 championship. The Cougars should be primed to have another solid season with several key players back in the fold, including senior OT/NG Chad Hounschell (6-6, 300), who has offers from Colorado, Kansas and Indiana. Junior RB/CB Randy Greenwood (6-1, 180) is also a D-I prospect and had 11 interceptions as a sophomore.

6 St. Marys Memorial (9-3)

     The Roughriders’ ground game should be excellent. Senior RB Koby Frye (5-9, 185) has rushed for over 3,100 yards the last two years and is closing in on the school record of 3,900 yards. The team’s defense should also be a position of strength as nine starters return. Ten-year head coach Doug Frye said his team’s success is going to come down to the evolution of the passing game and the team’s health.

7 Dayton Chaminade-Julienne (5-5)

     The Eagles’ brutal schedule kept them out of the playoffs despite being perhaps the best .500 team in the state. Second-year head coach Andy Helms should have one of the best offensive units in Region 12, especially with the senior WR combo of Travis Jackson (6-0, 165) and Zack Kauth (6-4, 185). Junior signal caller Kurt Hess (6-2, 215) is also back in the fold and Helms feels he’ll play with more confidence in the second year with the offense. CJ’s coach also said the defense needs to improve because he wants his high-octane offense on the field as much as possible.

8 Newark Licking Valley (9-2)

     Head coach Randy Baughman, who enters his 26th campaign, feels his offensive line should be a strong suit. The Panthers have three seniors – OT Tim German (6-7, 295), OG Donald Houston (6-1, 260) and center Cody Hammond (6-0, 210) – who have started the past two seasons. That could spell bad news for opponents trying to stop junior RB Storm Klein (6-3, 220), who rushed for 1,879 yards and 26 TDs as a sophomore and 1,424 yards as a freshman.

9 New Philadelphia (8-2)

     The Quakers have dropped from Division II to III and fifth-year head coach Matt Dennison is excited about the move. Not only will his team have a better chance of competing for a playoff berth, but New Philly has 17 starters back in the fold, including the entire offensive line, which blocks for senior QB Jordan Miller (6-3, 215), who recently committed to play football for Akron.

10 Bellefontaine (5-5)

     With a pair of speedsters – senior RB/CB Sean Egler (5-10, 180) and senior QB/DB Keith Morgan (6-1, 200), who are both being looked at by Mid-American Conference schools as well as Purdue, Northwestern and Illinois – the Chieftains should definitely be much-improved this year under fifth-year head coach Jason Brown. The state-qualifying (track) duo rushed for over a combined 2,800 yards in 2006.


1 Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (14-0)

     Last season, Mooney was a perfect against one of the toughest schedules in the state and earned its second title in three years and sixth state championship in school history. Despite taking a major hit from graduation, Mooney has many of the key players returning from last season’s championship run. LB/RB Brandon Beachum and FB/LB are committed to Penn State while LB/DE Taylor Hill is committed to Oklahoma and QB Danny McCarthy committed to Notre Dame mid-July.

2 Kettering Alter (14-1)

     Alter reached the Division III state title game last year before narrowly falling to Steubenville 34-33 to finish state runner-up. Evan Johnson and Bobby Joseph will anchor the offensive line in the wishbone offense. Corey Roark, who rushed for just under 500 yards and had five TDs in the regular season, will be the go-to player on the ground attack with the transfer of Michael Shaw to Trotwood-Madison. Austin Boucher is stepping in at QB for graduate Steve O’Donnell. Alter’s defense, which had seven shutouts last season including three in playoffs, should be stout again with several returning players.

3 Steubenville (15-0)

     The Big Red are 30-0 in the last two seasons and will be attempting to become only the sixth school since 1972 to win three straight state titles. However, Steubenville drops to Division IV and is in arguably to toughest region in the state regardless of Division. The QB position needs to be filled with two-year starter Zach Collaros graduated. WR/DB Steve Davis, OL/DL Andrew Radakovich and FB/LB Bronko Busic will lead the Big Red this season.

4 Marion Pleasant (10-2)

     Marion Pleasant is a mainstay in the football postseason qualifying each of the last eight years. The outlook is favorable once again for the Spartans as they move up from to Division IV. But head coach Chris Kubbs is more concerned about taking care of business on the field rather than which division Pleasant is in. “We really don’t concern ourselves much with that,” he said. “We start with the regular season and go from there. If you’re good enough to get into the playoffs, all teams are talented at that point,” he said.

5 Coldwater (11-1)

     Perennial Midwest Athletic Conference power and 2005 D-IV state champion Coldwater moves from Region 14 to Region 16 and is expected to be a postseason contender again in 2007.


Massillon Tuslaw (9-2)

     The Mustangs had one of their most successful seasons last year, which included a PAC-7 championship, and return nearly 20 starters.


Amanda-Clearcreek (12-2)

     After finishing as a state semifinalist last year in Division V, Amanda-Clearcreek makes the move up to Division IV. Dalton Smith, a 1,000-yard passer and rusher, returns under center for the Aces and Judd Ellinger (18 catches, two TDs), Taylor Griebel (18 catches, 108 yards, two TDs) and Josh Mathes (42 catches, 231 yards, four TDs) will all lead the A-C offense. 

8 Williamsport Westfall (11-1)

     Scott Keller takes over the Mustangs program, which went 42-8 in the regular season and won two Scioto Valley Conference titles from 2002-06.


Plain City Jonathan Alder (13-2)

     Alder enjoyed its most successful season in program history last year finishing state runners-up in its first trip to the state tournament. After allowing just over nine points per game and boasting five shutouts last season, Alder will have to address the defensive side of the ball in 2007. Offensively, Austin Schlosser is back under center for his third season and four of five starting offensive linemen are back with two-year starters C.J. Williams and Larry Zornes blocking upfront as well as Joe Collins and Kyle Hostetler. Bates, who had 73 yards rushing and two TDs in the 26-12 state championship game loss to Cardinal Mooney, is back to lead the ground game.

10 Waverly (11-1)

     The Tigers claimed the Southern Ohio Conference title last year and return 20 seniors, including QB Trevor Walls (6-6, 215, Sr.) – a top college prospect in the class of 2008.



Lima Central Catholic (11-2)

     After going 15-35 over five seasons, the Thunderbirds have made a big rise to prominence with consecutive 11-2 campaigns. This year, with 14 starters returning and only seven seniors gone from last year’s team, things look good on paper for Lima Central Catholic to take the next step. The Thunderbirds boast two 1,000-yard rushers in returning starter Chris O’Brien and Lima Bath transfer Todd Ruggley, along with a mammoth offensive line that returns five of six starters, including two 300-pounders.

2 Maria Stein Marion Local (13-2)

     After a 1-2 start, Marion Local went on a tear last season that continued all the way through the state championship game as the Flyers moved through the Division VI playoffs to capture their third state crown.
     The Flyers move up to Division V this year and bring back a strong group of skill players led by three-year starters Chris Stuckey and Ben Schaefer, who was the MVP of the championship game. Linebackers Luke Homan and Greg Koesters are also three-year starters who each hit the 130-tackle mark last season. The focus will be replacing players lost from the offensive and defensive lines.

3 Sherwood Fairview (10-2)

     Led by a high-powered offense that features a Division I prospect at quarterback in Ryan Radcliff, this year’s Fairview team is expected to do big things. It started last season with a playoff berth and a defeat of defending state champion Hamler Patrick Henry, but this year’s team expects to do more.
     The Apaches scored over 40 points on seven occasions in 2006 and can be expected to put up huge numbers in 2007 behind players like Radcliff (4,611 yards, 57 touchdowns) and All-Ohio performer Ben Wonderly (103 catches, 1,500 yards).


North Lima South Range (12-1)

     The South Range Raiders have become a fixture in the postseason. Last year, despite having lost the bulk of their state semifinalist squad from the year before, the Raiders posted an unbeaten regular season and advanced all the way to the regional finals.
     The expectations will remain the same for this season. South Range returns five starters on each side of the ball and a good group of senior players.


Bedford St. Peter Chanel (10-2)

     The Chanel program has been on a roller coaster ride the past six seasons. The Firebirds captured a state title in 2001 but soon fell upon hard times, including an 0-10 mark in 2004. Last season, however, Chanel appeared to get back on track with nine regular season wins and a playoff victory.
     Chanel has some areas to address on defense with just four starters returning but returns seven starters on offense, including 1,900-yard rusher Aaron Roberson.


Gahanna Columbus Academy (8-4)

     A state champion in 2003, the Vikings played through two losing seasons in 2004 and 2005 before returning to the postseason last year. Things look strong at the offensive skill positions as senior Chris Crockett, who is getting looks from major college programs, is coming off a season of just under 2,000 yards rushing and 37 touchdowns.


Findlay Liberty-Benton (12-2)

     The reigning Region 18 champion will be looking to put on an encore performance with a new man in the head coach position as five-year assistant Tim Nichols moves up in place of Scott Garlock, who took a position as the quarterbacks coach at the University of Findlay.
     There will be several new starters for the staff to work with as the Eagles graduated 19 seniors and bring back four starters on defense and five starters on offense, led by quarterback Aaron Craft, who stepped up in a major way as a freshman, throwing for 23 touchdowns.


West Jefferson (12-1)

     The Rough Riders were one of Ohio’s top teams last year, finishing with an unbeaten regular season and advancing to the Region 19 finals. Several key players must be replaced on each side of the ball, but expectations for this year’s team remain at a very high level.

9 Hamler Patrick Henry (8-3)

     A state championship is a hard act to follow, but Hamler Patrick Henry came up with a worthy second act last season to their 2005 crown by winning a fifth straight conference title and advancing to the postseason. Patrick Henry returns five starters offensively and four on defense. A solid core returns but the Patriots will be looking to work on experience and depth.

10 Columbus Bishop Ready (7-3)

     Quality team that missed the playoffs after dropping three games to tough opponents. Opposing coaches have singled Ready out as a team that could make noise this year.



Norwalk St. Paul (9-5)

     The Flyers enter season with potential to reach fourth state title game in school history and first since 2004. Denied in its last three attempts in Stark County, this may be St. Paul’s year. Injuries hampered the Flyers last year and resulted in a 1-3 start. The positive was plenty of young players got experience. Most all of them – nine starters on each side of the ball – return.

2 Dola Hardin Northern (10-2)

     The Polar Bears have been one of the state’s elite D-VI teams for the past 14 years. Over that span, they’ve been to the playoffs 12 times, have won at least nine games 13 times and have won at least 10 games for six straight years. Head coach Pete Brunow enters his 24th season with a 210-51 record. Under Brunow’s control, Hardin Northern has never had a losing season. This year should be no different.
     The Polar Bears return all-everything running back Nathan Bame, a first team All-Ohio pick last season after rushing for 1,733 yards and 29 TDs.

3 Ada (7-4)

     Ada wrapped a successful season last year by making the school’s second trip to the playoffs. The Bulldogs are poised to take a bigger bite out of the postseason this year. Led by senior QB Zac Dysert – arguably the state’s top QB prospect – and a returning receiving core that accounted for 27 TDs, Ada is a legitimate challenger in not only Region 22 but for a state title. Dysert, who threw for 3,832 yards and 31 TDs last year en route to earning state player of the year honors. Sophomore Heath Jackson was first-team All-Ohio as a freshman after catching 123 passes for 1,475 yards and seven TDs.


Sidney Lehman Catholic (6-5)

     The Cavaliers started 0-3 last season before reeling off six straight wins and earning a playoff berth. Other than the loss of four offensive starters, Lehman returns the majority of its talent. The Cavs were state semifinalists in 2001 and should challenge for that plateau again. Returning for the Cavaliers’ Wing-T offense, which averaged over 25 points per game, is all-everything fullback Dan Jacob.  Last year, the senior led the team in rushing with close to 1,700 yards.  He piled up a team-best 330 yards receiving, as well as scoring 25 TDs.


Mogadore (11-3)

     The Wildcats continue to build on a tradition that has produced 20 playoff appearances (eight straight) and three state titles. Mogadore made the state semifinals last season and is primed for another deep run. Everything with the Wildcats begins with senior running back Cody Destro, a devastating runner with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Last year the second team All-Ohio selection logged 24 TDs.

6 Shadyside (10-3)

     The Tigers made their first D-VI state title game last season before bowing out to Marion Local (17-0).  Although graduation took its toll, including standout RB/LB Taylor Jovicic, Shadyside returns plenty of punch for another deep playoff run, including standout senior QB Billy Merryman.

7 Springfield Catholic Central (10-2)

     Head coach Steve DeWitt starts his 30th season in Springfield with one of the state’s top small-school players. Senior Brian Wagner earned All-Ohio honors last year after registering 116 tackles (14 for loss) at LB. As the featured back, he also rushed for 1,492 yards and 17 TDs. SCC has been to the playoffs four straight times and has gone 1-1 each trip.


Mechanicsburg (11-2)

     The Indians conquered one hurdle last year in beating Dola Hardin Northern in the regional semifinals. Then they tripped over another, losing to Marion Local in the first regional final in school history. First-year head coach Chris Kosiorek (former defensive coordinator at Twinsburg) inherits a program that’s made the playoffs seven times in the last eight years.


Warren JFK (14-1)

     The Eagles drop down a division after making the D-V state title game last year (lost to St. Henry). Senior Jared Province (WR/OLB) returns. JFK owns string of four straight playoff appearances.


Delphos St. John's (6-4)

     The Blue Jays have missed the playoffs two of the last three years, but in 2006 St. John’s won its fourth state title. Seniors Tony Reindel (RB/LB) and Tyler Kroeger (TE/LB) star on both sides of the ball and will be counted upon – along with the rest of the senior class – to carry the load while newcomers mature. The Blue Jays’ MAC schedule is littered with danger, but if DSJ makes the postseason it could reach the mountaintop.



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