Pickerington Central left with holes to fill after state semifinals finish

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Pickerington Central Tigers

It
has been a great three-year run for the Tigers, who have posted a 37-4 record
and two state final fours. But Jay Sharrett, back for his seventh year as the Central head
coach, has just two starters back on offense and three on defense.


Pickerington Central
(13-1)

* Players to Watch – FS/QB
Josh Kristoff (6-1, 190, Sr.), CB Malcolm Parnell (5-11, 170, Sr.), OL Bill
Hinderschied (5-8, 190, Sr.), QB Grant Hammond (6-1, 170, Jr.), DB Eilar Hardy
(6-0, 180, Jr.), LB/S Willie Tatum (6-3, 2045, Sr.)

* Outlook – It
has been a great three-year run for the Tigers, who have posted a 37-4 record
and two state final fours. Central was the state runner-up in Division II in
2006 before moving to D-I in 2007. Last year, the Tigers reeled off 13 wins to
open the year, including playoff wins over Delaware Hayes, Upper Arlington and Hilliard Davidson.

The run ended with a 24-10 loss to Cincinnati Elder in the
state semifinals. Central lost several major college signees off that team,
including DB Jamie Wood and LB Zach Boren to Ohio
State and DB Patrick White to Michigan State.

Jay Sharrett, back for his seventh year as the Central head
coach, has just two starters back on offense and three on defense.

“I think we’ve got some good guys who can fill some of those
holes,” Sharrett said. “When you send guys on to play ball on scholarship, you
know it may take two or three guys to do some of the things those guys did. You
still have to put it together. I think we have some guys who are motivated.

“You just have to wind it up and give it a shot. We may not
be picked to be very good, but that can sometimes give you some extra
motivation.

“For us, we have to use a combination of four grades –
freshmen through seniors,” Sharrett said. “As a smaller D-I school, we can’t
play a two-platoon game. We have to put three or four classes together.”

Hammond
is the leading candidate to step in at quarterback. Hardy is considered among Ohio’s top 20 prospects
in the 2011 class. Parnell could be a difference maker at corner.

“Malcolm is our best cover corner,” Sharrett said. “He’s
fast. He has 4.4 speed. He is a top track kid, too.”

Central will face Orange (Calif.) Lutheran in the
Herbstreit Series at Ohio Stadium. Central will also play Springfield outside Ohio Capital Conference
play.

“I know our kids are pretty jacked up to play our week one
game at Ohio Stadium,” Sharrett said. “Springfield
is one of the hardest hitting teams we have played in some time. They’ve got
some kids who can play. In our conference, we know that Lancaster will be strong. They’re always in
there. Pickerington North should also be pretty good this year.”

Schedule

Aug. 30, vs. Orange
County (Calif.)
Lutheran (Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Series at Ohio Stadium), 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 4, Springfield

Sept. 11, at Westerville
North

Sept. 18, at Lancaster

Sept. 25, Pickerington North

Oct. 2, at Gahanna Lincoln

Oct. 9, at Groveport-Madison

Oct. 16, Newark

Oct. 23, TBA (Central was to play Grove City, which will not have football this
fall)

Oct. 30, Reynoldsburg

 

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