Lexington in position to improve on last season’s regional semifinals finish

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Lexington Minutemen

The Minutemen were the No. 3 seed in
Region 6 last year and their only loss of the season came at the hands of
eventual Division II state champion Sylvania Southview in the regional
semifinals.

This season, they have larger plans in mind.


Lexington (11-1)

* Players To Watch –

QB/CB Courtney Avery
(5-10, 170, Sr.), TE/LB Kevin Smith (6-1, 215,
Sr.), OL/DT David Willis (6-2, 255, Sr.), OL/DL Zach Myers (6-2, 275, Sr.), LB
Terrance Cyphers (5-9, 205, Sr.), S Tyler Hamman (6-2, 205, Sr.), WR/S Shaquille
Jefferson
(6-1, 190, Sr.), WR/DB Kenya Coombs (5-10, 165, Sr.)

* Outlook – The Minutemen were the No. 3 seed in
Region 6 last year and their only loss of the season came at the hands of
eventual Division II state champion Sylvania Southview in the regional
semifinals.

This season, they have larger plans in mind.

Avery has verbally committed to Michigan and is ranked as
the No. 28 senior in the state by Ohio High. He will play corner in college and
he previously committed to Stanford before switching to UM. Avery has been
Lexington’s varsity starting quarterback since the first game of his freshman
year and he was named first-team All-Ohio as a defensive back last year.

He was also stellar as a quarterback in 2008 when he threw
for 2,600 yards with 26 touchdowns and just three interceptions (and completed
71 percent of his passes). Avery was named the Ohio Cardinal Conference
offensive player of the year.

Smith returns to lead the defense from his linebacker spot
and he had 80 tackles and seven sacks last year. He was named honorable mention
All-Ohio, first-team all-district and first-team all-league.

Willis is entering his third season as a starter and he was
named honorable mention all-district and second-team all-league.

Myers and Willis are very comparable players. They are
similarly-sized linemen that start both ways and they claimed identical
postseason awards last year (HM all-district, second-team all-league).

Cyphers plays next to Smith at linebacker and was nearly as
productive last year. Cyphers had 78 tackles, five sacks, one interception and
was named second-team all-league.

Hamman is steady at strong safety and last year he had 65
tackles, one interception and was named second-team all-league.

As if they weren’t already stockpiled with talent, the
Minutemen also welcome in a pair of talented transfers from Mansfield Senior in
Jefferson and Coombs. Jefferson is the younger half-brother of former Ohio State
safety Jamario O’Neal and has scholarship offers from Bowling Green and Central
Michigan. Coombs was a starter at quarterback and wide receiver at Mansfield,
but he won’t play any QB for Lexington unless something unfortunate happens to
Avery.

“Our kids have worked hard this offseason,” fourth-year
head coach B.J. Payne said. “This is a special group who has had one goal in
mind for their entire football career. When we came here as a staff, this senior
class was going into their freshman year, so it’s our first class we’ve seen go
all the way through high school. They are a very mature group and rally around
each other.”

Payne, who has a mark of 21-12 in his brief career, gave
his thoughts on Region 6 as a whole.

“It continues to be tough,” he said. “I think when you look
at the number of teams that have come out of our region to win the state title
in the past seven or eight years, it’s remarkable.”

Schedule

Aug. 28, at Mount Vernon, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 4,
at Shelby
, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 11, North Canton Hoover, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18, at Orrville, 7 p.m.

Sept. 25, Bellville Clear Fork, 7 p.m.

Oct. 2, at Mansfield Madison, 7 p.m.

Oct. 9, Wooster, 7 p.m.

Oct. 16, at Millersburg West Holmes, 7 p.m.

Oct. 23, Mansfield Senior, 7 p.m.

Oct. 30, Ashland, 7 p.m.

 

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