Klein leads Newark Licking Valley following state runner-up finish

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Newark Licking Valley Panthers

For the second time in school history last year, Licking Valley finished state runner-up, falling to Sunbury Big Walnut in the Division III title game.

Player of the Year contender Storm Klein leads the Panthers into 2008 as the Panthers look to fill some key positions.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB/LB Storm Klein (6-3, 220, Sr.), TE/DE Vince German (6-2, 230, Sr.), WR/FS/QB Drew Ryan (6-1, 175, Sr.), OG/DT Greg Christo-Baker (6-2, 250, Sr.), OG/DT Joe Asslin (6-2, 255, Sr.).

SEASON OULOOK

For the second time in school history last year, Licking Valley (13-2) finished state runner-up falling to Sunbury Big Walnut in the Division III title game.

The Panthers lose some key players off last year’s teams, including some skill players and a couple offensive linemen.

“We have many holes to fill with a large senior class graduating,” said head coach Randy Baughman.

Ryan will make the move from receiver to quarterback and Ohio State recruit and All-Ohio selection Klein will be the go-to player on offense and defense.

“Klein will have to carry the load on both sides of the ball,” said Baughman.

He had over 100 tackles on defense last year and 1,359 yards rushing with 29 touchdowns.

On defense, Licking Valley will have to replace two linebackers alongside Klein but returns most of the positions in the secondary.

“We will not have as much depth this year with more players going both ways early in the season,” Baughman said. “For us to be a good team, some of the younger players will need to step up and fill the holes so a lot of the seniors won’t have to play both ways.”

Licking Valley hosts perennial Division III power Walsh Jesuit in the season opener.

SCHEDULE

8/22 Walsh Jesuit

8/29 at Zanesville

9/5 Cambridge

9/12 Columbus Bexley

9/19 at Heath

9/26 at Whitehall-Yearling

10/3 Granville

10/10 at Hebron Lakewood

10/17 at Newark Catholic

10/24 Gahanna Columbus Academy

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