The Final Score: Brookville’s Hetrick following in father’s famous footsteps

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Brookville Blue Devils

Someday maybe Mike Hetrick will get an automobile too. His father did. Al Hetrick is arguably the most successful high school football coach in Ohio high school history. Strong words. Strong resume. Strong bloodlines.


Someday maybe Mike Hetrick will get an automobile too.

His father did.

Al Hetrick is arguably the most successful high school football coach in Ohio high school history.

Strong words. Strong resume. Strong bloodlines.

Hetrick won six state titles at Versailles High School where he coached 38 years and led the Tigers to 334 wins and nine state finals.

Other coaches – Cleveland St. Ignatius’s Chuck Kyle and Newark Catholic’s J.D. Graham – have won more state titles than Hetrick. But he did it at a public school, with homegrown kids in the middle of cornfields and egg farms in rural Darke County.

During Hetrick’s reign no senior class graduated without having appeared in the state playoffs. The Tigers made 16 postseason trips under his watch and Tigerball blossomed.

When Hetrick retired in 2005, several members of the community and former players pitched in and threw him a farewell event. Their gift at the end of the night? A new Ford Explorer.

Hetrick’s son Mike isn’t worthy of an SUV right now, but the citizens of Brookville might consider getting him a set of tires. The Blue Devils are running roughshod over the opposition. The latest road kill? Oakwood…28-7.

Brookville, which has outscored opponents 261-73, is 6-0 for the first time in a long time.

Giddy up.

This season has stirred some echoes.

Brookville was once a football hotbed.

The Blue Devils won the Southwestern Buckeye League several times in the late 1980s and early 1990s and went to the playoffs six times in eight years over a stretch from 1987 to 1994 when names like Ritchie Moody, Kregg Creamer and Marcus Lamb starred for Craig Turner and John Barsala. Since then Brookville has zero SWBL championships and has been to the playoffs twice.

Suddenly things are revving up again.

The Blue Devils are atop the SWBL Southwest Division standings at 2-0 and eyeing their second straight playoff berth.

Despite games remaining with Bellbrook, Valley View, Franklin and Milton-Union, Brookville is the favorite to claim the league crown. Hosting a first round playoff game is a sure bet.

Sounds like a similar script.

Following today’s Hollywood trend, the “Hetrick Story” is being remade.

Sure Mike has a long way to go, but you have to start somewhere.

It took Al Hetrick four trips to the playoffs before he made a state final. It took him six trips to win one.

Anyone who has seen this year’s Brookville team knows the Blue Devils program is headed in the right direction.

As for Versailles, the Tigers have seen better days.

After back-to-back losing seasons under head coach Jason Schondelmyer, who had the task of following Al Hetrick, Versailles hired longtime Sherwood Fairview coach Bob Olwin in the off-season.

Early in the process rumors circled around Versailles that Mike might come back to the post his father made so popular.

Brookville fans are thankful he didn’t.

He’s already pretty popular there.

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