Harrison still going to have to ‘take care of busness’ dropping to D-II


Harrison Wildcats

The Wildcats narrowly missed out on the
Division I playoffs last year (finished 11th in Region 4) and they
move down to D-II this year.

How will the Wildcats fare in a smaller Division this season? Here is a look.

Harrison (5-5)

* Players To Watch – FS Tyler Elrod (6-2, 205, Sr.),
CB Tommy Mullins (6-3, 180, Sr.), LB C.J. Rivera (5-9, 175, Sr.), RB Brandon
Fisher (5-8, 170, Sr.), OL Ben Kolb (6-2, 235, Sr.)

* Outlook – The Wildcats narrowly missed out on the
Division I playoffs last year (finished 11th in Region 4) and they
move down to D-II this year.

Elrod is the lone college recruit on the team and he
returns to lead the way for Harrison.

“Tyler is a big, fast, physical kid and he’s a very good
free safety for us,” head coach Neal Kasner said. “He’s being recruited as a
linebacker, but we have him roam around as a safety back there and he does a
great job whether it’s coming up in the box or making plays in the secondary. He
doesn’t have any offers yet, but he did the camp tour over the summer and we
expect that he’ll have some soon.”

Another key returning starter on defense – and another
player that is big for his position – is Mullins at cornerback.

“Tommy is a kid that can cover a lot of ground,” Kasner
said. “He’s physical and he made some big plays for us last year. He’s an impact

Rivera is a bit undersized for a linebacker, but they don’t
come much tougher according to his coach.

“C.J. is a real hard-nosed competitor,” Kasner said. “He’s
a 160-pound wrestler and is just a hard-working, tough kid. He’s the kind of
player you can build a defense around.”

Taking over the full-time duties at tailback this year will
be Fisher who rushed for 500 yards (5.8 yards per carry) and three touchdowns
last year.

“He split time for us last year and he did a great job,”
Kasner said. “He came to us late – he moved in last summer from Indiana. Brandon
is a tremendous player. He has that extra gear where he can break away.”

Returning to lead the offensive line is Kolb who is solid
in all facets of his game.

“Ben is a real heady kid, a very hard worker and is a real
competitor,” Kasner said. “I’m not sure if he’ll play in college, but he’s just
a really good high school football player.”

One major problem for the Wildcats is they have a hole at
quarterback and Kasner isn’t sure who will fill the void.

“I have no idea,” he said. “We have about a half-dozen kids
that are going to be trying out – that’s how wide open it is.”

As for moving down to Division II, the players and coaches
at Harrison are excited about it according to Kasner.

“There is a big difference between Region 4 and Region 8,”
he said. “Region 8 is very good and will be tough, but Region 4 has some of the
best high school football teams in America. If you look at the national top 25
rankings each year, there will usually be a couple teams from Region 4 in there.

“However, moving to Region 8 doesn’t change our schedule at
all. We are going to have to take care of business down here in Southwest Ohio.”

Harrison started 5-1 last year, but lost its last four
games – all to good teams (Winton Woods, Loveland, Anderson and Glen Este).

“We need to be more consistent this year,” Kasner said. “I
hate to say this to you because I’m throwing out clichés, but we have to execute
and get better every day. We want to be a consistent team. If we can do that,
everything else should fall into place.”


Aug. 28, at St. Leon (Ind.) East Central, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 4, Cincinnati Oak Hills, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 11, at Kings mills Kings, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18, at Oxford Talawanda, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 25, Trenton Edgwood, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 2, Milford, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 9, Cincinnati Winton Woods, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 16, Loveland, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 23, at Cincinnati Glen Este, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 30, Cincinnati Anderson, 7:30 p.m.


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