Returning to Division II is ‘very beneficial’ for Brookhaven


Columbus Brookhaven Bearcats

Brookhaven won the 2004 Division II
state championship and then they spent the 2005-08 seasons in Division I Now back in D-II, the Bearcats are trying to regain
their championship form with a roster dripping with talent.

The follow is a look ahead to the 2009 Columbus Brookhaven season.


Columbus Brookhaven (9-2)

* Players To Watch –

TE/DE Derrick Bryant
(6-4, 235, Sr.),

QB/FS Ryland Ward
(5-11, 185, Sr.), DB Michael Sellers (6-0, 175, Sr.),
RB/LB Demetrus Johnson (5-11, 235, Sr.), WR DeShawn Alston (5-11, 170, Sr.), QB
Tajuan Green (6-0, 165, So.), WR William Tweedy (6-0, 175, Sr.)

* Outlook – The Bearcats won the 2004 Division II
state championship and then they spent the 2005-08 seasons in Division I (last
year they made the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in Region 3, but lost in the first
round to Worthington Kilbourne). Now back in D-II, they are trying to regain
their championship form and their roster is dripping with talent.

Bryant is ranked as the No. 25 senior in the state by Ohio
High and has scholarship offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, North
Carolina and Purdue, among others.

“Derrick has great size and strength, as well as a great
work ethic,” head coach Anthony Thornton said. “He’s a good kid grade-wide and
is a kid with high character.”

As for moving down to Division II, Thornton doesn’t try and
hide the fact he’s happy about it.

“It’s very beneficial for us,” he said. “We were one of the
smaller Division I schools and we accepted the challenge, but numbers-wise it
was very difficult for us to compete at that level. We are back in our
wheelhouse, but D-II offers no slouches. There are a lot of good teams in our
region and across the state in D-II.

“Our first four games out of the box are going to be tough.
We have to be ready from the start to play good football.”

Thornton is entering his second season as Brookhaven’s head
coach. He was the offensive coordinator under Tom Blake prior to that. This
season, he and his players believe they have what it takes to make a deep
playoff run.

“Well, we talked about our goals all the way back in
January,” Thornton said. “I asked them what they wanted to accomplish and their
goal is a state championship. I told them there a lot of mountains we have to
climb before we get there.

“We have to protect our home field against some of the top
D-I teams in Central Ohio like (Hilliard) Davidson and (Dublin) Coffman. Then we
have to win our league (Columbus City League North). We have to do those things
to put us in position to achieve our goals.

“After that, we just want to be in the dance because
anything goes. We’ve set our sights high. With our skill-set, we’re going to
have a pretty good shot. It’s going to come down to dedication and commitment.
If we work hard, we’ll have a chance.”

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Aug. 28, at Columbus Marion-Franklin, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 4, Hilliard Davidson, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 11, Dublin Coffman, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18, at Columbus Northland, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 25, Columbus Whetstone, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 2, at Columbus Linden McKinley, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 9, Columbus Centennial, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 16, at Columbus Beechcroft, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 23, Columbus East, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 30, at Columbus Mifflin, 7:30 p.m.


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