Beavercreek enjoyed its best football season in 16 years in 2007 as the Beavers finished with a 6-4 record and missed the playoffs by just four spots (12th in Division I, Region 3).
However, even with the loss of star quarterback/defensive back Zach Domicone to Ohio State, Beavercreek hopes it can achieve back-to-back winning seasons.
It won’t be easy in the Greater Western Ohio Conference (GWOC) with the likes of Centerville and Huber Heights Wayne always fielding tough teams, but Beavercreek head coach Scott Clodfelter feels good about the squad he has coming back in 2008.
One of the standout players is expected to be senior linebacker Cody Smith (6-0, 225, 4.8) who will be a three-year starter. Smith led the Beavers with 140 tackles last season when he was named first-team all-league and even more is expected in 2008.
“Cody is on a mission to lead us to another winning season and earn a Division I college scholarship,” Clodfelter said. “He has a great work ethic – he probably works harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. He does 10 workout sessions per week and he keeps pushing himself to do more. He is already being recruiting by MAC schools. He doesn’t have any scholarship offers yet, but we hope he will and I think he will.”
Another hard-nosed member of Beavercreek’s defense is junior strong safety Wade Hofstetter (5-10, 185) who was named second-team all-league last year. He is a productive player in the Beavers’ secondary and on special teams.
“He’s a big hitter and he’s very explosive,” Clodfelter said.
One of the leaders on offense will be senior slot back/running back Joe Joyce (6-0, 185, 4.55) who was a first team all-league selection a year ago.
“Joe is very versatile and has great balance when he has the football,” Clodfelter said. “And he’s just a competitor. He might be the most competitive kid we have in every phase.”
Another speed merchant in the BHS backfield will be junior running back Gabe Henry (5-8, 175). He played junior varsity last year, but will make the jump up to varsity this season.
“We expect Gabe to be a big part of the team this year,” Clodfelter said. “He is really fast and can develop into a good player for us.”
Leading the corps of wide receivers will be junior Brad Sundstrom (6-6, 215) who can cause a lot of problems for defensive backs due to his size.
“Brad really started to come into his own the last half of his sophomore season,” Clodfelter said. “He is already on the map of MAC schools in terms of recruiting. He obviously has good size, but he has good hands and speed as well.”
‘Creek sending players to the next level
Led by Clodfelter, there has certainly been a change of football culture at Beavercreek in recent seasons. Long known as primarily a basketball and baseball school – and with would-be top football players deciding to either not play football, or transfer to another school – having a winning football program is a relatively new phenomenon.
Domicone’s commitment to Ohio State received a lot of publicity and rightfully so. He was the first Beavercreek player in over 40 years to receive a football scholarship from the Buckeyes.
However, Domicone is one of many BHS grads who are currently on college football rosters.
* Running back Dee Wallace will be entering his sophomore season at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus. Wallace set Beavercreek’s single-season rushing record with 1,350 yards as a senior in 2006. He led the GWOC in rushing in both 2005 and 2006 and has been timed at 10.8 in the 100-meter dash. If not for some academic difficulties early in his prep career, Wallace would likely be at an NCAA Division I school right now. But as it stands, he is in line to have a very nice career at the NAIA level.
* Strong safety Chad White will be entering his sophomore season at Ohio University and was named scout team player of the year during the 2007 season for the Bobcats. He is a hard-hitter and hard-worker and Clodfelter thinks it’s a matter of time before he really breaks through at OU.
* Arriving with Domicone at Ohio State this fall will be long-snapper/linebacker Jeremy LaVoie (6-2, 235) who will be joining the Buckeyes as a preferred walk-on. He was a three-year starter at center and nose guard for Beavercreek and was an all-league selection as a junior and senior. LaVoie originally committed to Ohio University as a preferred walk-on, but Ohio State came after him and he decided to head to Columbus.
“Ohio State evaluated him on film, as well as a few other long snappers,” Clodfelter said. “They wanted to take a walk-on snapper and they chose Jeremy. He was ready to go to OU, but just like Zach he always wanted to be a Buckeye.
“And I think down the line Jeremy might not be just be a special teams guy. He might be able to help on defense because he’s got an extremely good work ethic and he can run. He’s got a great attitude and he knows he will have to work for everything that he gets. Right now he’s focused on becoming the best long snapper he can be for Ohio State.”
* Offensive tackle J.D. Bales (6-6, 290) will be joining the football team at Ohio University this fall as a preferred walk-on.
“J.D. had a good career for us here and he is going to be on the 105-man roster at OU,” Clodfelter said.
Bales is the younger brother of BHS grad Alison Bales who was a star basketball player at Duke University and is now playing in the WNBA.
* Outside of football, but also of interest for fans of Beavercreek athletics, 2003 BHS alumnus Justin “Bat” Masterson is a rookie pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. Masterson will receive his second career start on Tuesday. In his first start earlier this season, he pitched well (6IP, 1R, 1ER, 2H 4BB, 4K) and received a no-decision. Masterson has pitched most of the season at AAA Pawtucket and is considered one of the top prospects in the Red Sox’s organization. The 6-6, 250-pound Masterson attended San Diego State University and was a second-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 2006. Beavercreek’s baseball team is led by long-time head coach Rick Woolf, and Masterson is believed to be the first BHS grad to play in the Big Leagues.