Pickerington Central is 12-0 and headed for the regional finals this weekend against
Hilliard Davidson powered by Ohio State commitments Jamie Wood and Zach Boren.
We also have comments from Central coach Jay
Sharrett on the Tigers’ outstanding season and what lies ahead
for Boren and Wood at Ohio State.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Below we have video players with highlights of a pair of Ohio State commitments from Pickerington Central in defensive back Jamie Wood and running back/linebacker Zach Boren. These highlights are from Central’s win over Pickerington North earlier this year and their regional semifinal win over Upper Arlington last weekend.
Wood is No. 7, while Boren is No. 40. Below the video players, Bill Kurelic has an article on the players’ progress and their team’s progress this season.
At the beginning of the football season there was not much doubt the Pickerington Central Tigers had the potential to be a very good football team. But playing in the OCC, one of the toughest conferences in the state of Ohio, presented plenty of challenges for the Purple and White.
“A lot of people said we should go 10-0,” Central coach Jay Sharrett said. “But saying it and doing it are two different things. But here we are, 12-0.”
Buckeye commitments Jamie Wood and Zach Boren have been a huge part of that 12-0 record.
“Jamie has had an extraordinary season,” Sharrett said. “He has just had a super senior season. After the type of junior season he had, to follow it up with another great season, he has done whatever we have asked him to do.”
The 6-foot-2 and 185-pound Wood has played safety, wide receiver and some running back during his senior season. He reeled off a 71-yard touchdown run and had 118 total yards rushing in Central’s 24-16 second round playoff win over Upper Arlington on Saturday night.
The humble Wood has been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 3. He was presented that honor during an assembly at his school Wednesday morning. He received three standing ovations during that assembly.
“I was shocked when I got selected,” Wood said. “I was shocked I was being recruited by Ohio State too. It’s all just an honor this is happening.”
The 6-foot-1 and 240-pound Boren leads the Tigers in tackles this season with over 150 and has also been a hammer on offense playing fullback and running back.
“He was the Central District Defensive Player Of The Year,” Sharrett said. “That’s the type of season he has had. The recognition from other coaches says a lot. He plays linebacker, running back and fullback, and on special teams. He plays 100 plus plays every game.”
Wood, Boren and their teammates play Hilliard Davidson on Saturday night for a berth in the Division I state semifinals. Their goal of winning a state championship is three victories away.
“We have the talent to do it,” Wood said. “We just have to execute. We can’t think past any game. We went into the season playing one game at a time and we have to keep doing that.”
Boren is also well aware of that school of thought, taking things one game at a time.
“This week I’m just concentrating on beating Hilliard Davidson,” he said. “We know we can’t get to the final four or the state championship if we don’t do that. So far I’m very happy with how the season has gone. A lot of people had us circled on their schedule.”
Both Wood and Boren plan to graduate from Central in December and enroll at Ohio State early.
“My last day will be Dec. 19,” Boren said. “I’ll enrol at Ohio State in January and start winter quarter. I’ll move in either Jan. 2 or Jan. 3.”
Wood will wait just a little longer before he starts classes at Ohio State.
“I’ll enroll in March and start spring quarter,” Wood said. “It should definitely help me out. It will put me in a better situation to learn the system, learn from the older guys and maybe get some playing time.”
While Wood knows he will be a safety for the Bucks, Boren is not sure if he will play linebacker or fullback once he gets to Ohio State. His brother, Justin, transferred from Michigan this past summer and will be eligible as a junior offensive lineman next fall.
“Coach (Luke) Fickell and I are real close,” Boren said. “We talk every week. I don’t know for sure, but I kind of think I’ll get my first shot at linebacker. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s linebacker or fullback as long as I can help the team win and play to the best of my abilities.”