PLAYERS TO WATCH
MLB Zach Jansen (5-11, 220, Sr.), RB Wayne Dunham (5-7, 165, Jr.), FB Jeff Groene (6-3, 245, Jr.), OLB Matt Kelly (6-0, 185, Jr.).
2007 Record: 12-1, Regional finalist
Cincinnati Turpin rumbled through the 2007 regular season undefeated and earned the No. 1 seed in the Division II, Region 8 playoffs. However, the Spartans lost a 24-23 heartbreaker to Cincinnati Anderson in the regional finals. This year, Turpin has just four returning starters (listed above).
“We don’t have many guys with a lot of experience, so we’ll be young and learning on the run this year,” head coach Rob Stoll said. “If we can mature quickly, we can be competitive again. We do have some guys returning to spots they started at last year like Dunham, Groene and Kelly. Jansen is going to move to middle linebacker this year.”
The Spartans must replace district player of the year and first-team All-Ohio QB Ryan Martin. Also lost to graduation were first-team All-Ohio OT Aaron Van Kuiken and first-team all-district performer/second-team All-Ohio WR Andy Cruse.
Stoll thinks it will be difficult to get back to the playoffs with Turpin’s tough schedule and the lack of overall experience. However, he’s built a winning program and advancing to the postseason will always be one of the goals.
“We open with three tough non-conference games that will give us a better idea of where we stand,” Stoll said. “Indian Hill and Hamilton Badin will bring two of the better quarterbacks in the state at us.
“In terms of the Region 8 playoffs, Winton Woods and Anderson have to be the two teams to beat.”
8/30 at Hamilton Badin
9/4 Cincinnati Indian Hill
9/12 Cincinnati Northwest
9/19 at Hamilton Ross
9/26 Cincinnati Walnut Hills
10/3 Kings Mills Kings
10/10 at Morrow Little Miami
10/17 at Batavia Amelia