Cincinnati Anderson out to defend its Division II state title

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Cincinnati Anderson Redskins
Cincinnati Anderson rolled to the first state championship in school history last season with a 31-25 win over Louisville in the title game. With a host of returning starters, many believe the Redskins will be even more talented this year.



PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Daniel Rod (5-10, 185, Sr.), C/DT Nick Schirmann (6-3, 245, Sr.), WR John Runk (6-4, 190, Sr.), OT Andrew Norwell (6-7, 280, Jr.), DE Joe Walla (6-2, 240, Sr.), LB Adam Biglow (6-1, 195, Sr.), LB Eli Anglim (6-1, 185, Sr.), DE Nick Buchanan (6-2, 210, Sr.), ATH Spencer Ware (5-10, 200, Jr.).


SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 13-2, State champions

Cincinnati Anderson rolled to the first state championship in school history last season with a 31-25 win over Louisville in the title game. With a host of returning starters, many believe the Redskins will be even more talented this year.

“The strength of this year’s team will be our experience and depth,” head coach Jeff Giesting said. “We have the most depth we’ve probably ever had. That depth helped us last year because we didn’t play a lot of guys two ways and we were able to wear down teams to some extent.”

Rod is an experienced quarterback who does a lot of things well. He’s not a big QB, just a very good one.

“Daniel is a smart kid and a great leader,” Giesting said. “He throws a very good ball – he can make all the throws. He’s a deceptive runner – defenses have to account for him because of his decent quickness.”

Schirmann is a two-way starter on the offensive and defensive lines and was named first-team All-Ohio last year.

“We’re seeing pocket recruiting with Nick,” Giesting said. “He might very well be a great find for somebody. He’s a great competitor.”

The massive Norwell anchors the offensive line is one of the top juniors in the state. He has an early scholarship offer from Cincinnati. He is also being recruited by Ohio State and Virginia. Norwell was a first-team all-district selection as a sophomore.

“He is a big-time recruit and I think this is the year he is going to show what he can really do,” Giesting said. “He was playing varsity football for the first time last year.”

Runk runs the 40 in 4.7 and is a 3.9 student. He is being recruited by Ivy League schools and Miami University.

Walla is a strong, disruptive player, who is also a standout in the shot put in track.

“Beyond that, we just have a lot of solid players, not stars,” Giesting said. “The strength of this year’s team will be our experience and depth. We have the most depth we’ve probably ever had. That depth helped us last year because we didn’t play a lot of guys two ways and we were able to wear down teams to some extent.

“If we find some guys to step up at key spots like running back, I think we can be good this year.”

Anderson must replace first-team All-Ohio running back Elijah Storey who graduated.

Giesting also commented on Region 8, which some consider the most-difficult region in Division II.

“I think our playoff region is really tough,” he said. “Turpin is always good and Winton Woods is loaded – they have five Division I recruits and they’re in our league too. Kings and Edgewood will be solid. Withrow is in there. There are a lot of good teams that could make a run for it. We feel that our league and our schedule prepares us for the postseason.”

Last year was a storybook season for Anderson and the community has been riding high ever since.

“It has been very exciting,” Giesting said. “Every day someone asks me, ‘So, what are you going to do for an encore?’ See, everyone knows it’s a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately mindset in sports (laughing). But no, it’s been great and the school and the community was thrilled about it. And now everyone is excited to get going again. The kids are excited and I’m excited. Our program gets a lot of support from the community and the administration and it makes it a lot of fun.”

SCHEDULE

8/23 TAFT (CINCINNATI)
8/29 MASON
9/5 @ HAMILTON
9/12 ST FRANCIS DE SALES (COLUMBUS)
9/19 AMELIA (BATAVIA)
9/26 @ WINTON WOODS (CINCINNATI)
10/3 LOVELAND
10/10 GLEN ESTE (CINCINNATI)
10/17 @ MILFORD
10/24 HARRISON

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