Germantown Valley View (5-6)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Johnny Day (5-10, 160, Sr.), WR/QB Lucas Donson (6-3, 188, Jr.), RB Andy Genslinger (5-10, 180, Sr.), RB Travis Dalton (5-9, 180, Sr.), DL Jaryd Brown (6-2, 220, Sr.), DB Blake Shepard (5-7, 165, Sr.), OL Eric Denlinger (6-2, 220, Sr.), DB Blake Sheppard (5-7, 170, Sr.), LB Kyle Combs (5-10, 185, Sr.), DB John Raisch (5-10, 185, Sr.), OL Aaron Pohl (6-2, 220, Sr.), OL Phil Worrell (6-2, 275, Sr.), DB Sean Figley (5-11, 180, Sr.), DL/LB David Day (5-11, 205, Jr.), QB/WR Kyle Pohl (6-2, 175, Soph.).
Meet the Spartans!
Valley View suffered a one-point loss in the opening round of the playoffs last season to No. 2-seed Canal Winchester and is aiming to advance even further this season with a roster full of seniors that have seen significant playing time the past two seasons.
“Our off-season went really well,” head coach Jay Niswonger said. “The kids have gotten stronger and faster. The big thing is these guys were thrown in the fire in 2006.”
Most of the players started as sophomores following the dismissal of 14 starters from the team due to disciplinary action.
“These guys played and they were like a J.V. team playing a varsity schedule their sophomore year,” Niswonger said. “Last year, there were a lot of games that they couldn’t close the deal because they hadn’t been there and done that.
“Now, this year, we are expecting a lot more out of them,” he added. “But, again, my concern is they haven’t been there and done that. You get in a big game and you haven’t been there before, how are you going to be?”
Day, Dalton and Donson can hurt opponents through the air or on the ground playing multiple skill positions.
“We have people back on both sides with game time,” Niswonger said.
Experience on defense will also be a plus for the Spartans against a tough Southwest Buckeye League Schedule.
Five of the seven teams in the SWBL Southwestern Division made the playoffs last year, including Valley View, Eaton, Milton-Union, Oakwood and Brookville.
Monroe Lemon-Monroe from the SWBL Buckeye Division and a Valley View opponent, was a state semifinalist last year.
“Coming through our side of the league, if you get through unscathed you can make a run at it,” Niswonger said. “From top to bottom in the SWBL – in our (division) – it’s tough. We (aren’t) playing the little sisters of the poor.
“And hopefully if you get (to the playoffs), you’ve played tough enough competition that you could move on a little bit.”
Niswonger is entering his 24th season as Valley View head coach (216-52-1) and lead the Spartans to state titles in 1994, 1996 and 1997.
8/22 at Dayton Thurgood Marshall
8/29 at Cincinnati Indian Hill
9/5 Monroe Lemon-Monroe
9/12 Dayton Oakwood
9/19 West Milton Milton-Union
10/3 at Franklin
10/10 at Carlisle
10/24 at Brookville