Northmont has qualified for the
playoffs in seven of the last eight seasons and the T-Bolts are poised to strike again behind a talented core of players.
But Northmont will have to face a brutal non-league schedule before diving into competitive GWOC play.
Clayton Northmont (10-2)
* Players to Watch – C Reuben Victoria (5-10, 260,
Sr.), WR Josh McClain (6-2, 225, Jr.), CB Quinton Cooper (5-9, 175, Sr.), DT
Chavez Leath (5-11, 295, Jr.), FS Ethan Zoellner (6-2, 195, Sr.), QB Tyler
Kerlin (6-0, 170, Sr.), QB Rob Sakosky (6-0, 170, Jr.).
* Outlook – The Thunderbolts have qualified for the
playoffs in seven of the last eight seasons. Northmont edged Kettering Fairmont
28-27 in its playoff opener before losing to eventual state runner-up Cincinnati
Elder 13-10 in the second round. Coach Lance Schneider, starting his 11th year
at Northmont, has three starters back on offense and five on defense.
“The biggest thing is we have to replace four of our five
offensive linemen and all three linebackers,” Schneider said. “How well we can
do that will determine how good we’re going to be. Last year, we had to do the
same thing with the offensive line and we had some kids step up. We need to plug
in those holes and hopefully they will do the job.”
Kerlin and Sakosky will battle to replace departed starter
Chase Belton, now at Wabash, at quarterback.
McClain made 12 catches last year and is already attracting
interest from schools, including offers from Colorado and Alabama. Cooper, a
three-year starter, is a Ball State verbal.
Northmont opens with West Chester Lakota West in the
Crosstown Showdown and will also visit Cleveland St. Ignatius before diving into
Great Western Ohio Conference play.
“You’ve got to understand how tough it is to play in our
league,” Schneider said. “With the type of program we have built, the
expectations are high. We expect to compete for a league championship. We’re
ready for that. If we’re good enough to be there, that means we’re a pretty good
“I look at some of the schools and I think, once again, you
are probably looking at us, (Huber Heights) Wayne and Centerville. It’s probably
the same this year.”
Aug. 28, vs. West Chester Lakota West (Skyline Chili
Crosstown Showdown at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium), 6 p.m.
Sept. 5, at Cleveland St. Ignatius, 7 p.m.
Sept. 11, at Westerville South
Sept. 18, Xenia
Sept. 25, Fairborn
Oct. 2, at Huber Heights Wayne
Oct. 9, at Springfield
Oct. 16, Centerville
Oct. 23, Kettering Fairmont
Oct. 30, at Beavercreek