Toledo Central Catholic loaded with talent – as usual

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Toledo Central Catholic Fighting Irish

The
Irish rolled through the regular season undefeated and were the No. 1 seed in
Region 6 last year, but fell in the first round of the playoffs at home to
Powell Olentangy Liberty (which moved up to D-I this year).

This season, TCC has the potential to be even better.


Toledo Central Catholic (10-1)

* Players To Watch –
TE/DL Jamaal Tarrent (6-2, 260, Sr.), OL/DT Chris Boles (6-3, 300, Jr.), LT/DT
Kyle Cameron (6-2, 285, Jr.), QB Dave Walender (5-11, 175, Sr.), WR/CB Nate
Hobbs (6-1, 190, Sr.), DB Zach Messer (5-8, 175, Sr.), K Kyle Burkhardt (6-0,
165, Sr.)

Outlook – The
Irish rolled through the regular season undefeated and were the No. 1 seed in
Region 6 last year, but fell in the first round of the playoffs at home to
Powell Olentangy Liberty (which moved up to D-I this year). This season, TCC is
loaded with talent as usual.

Tarrent is ranked as one of the top 150 seniors in the state
by Ohio High and has a scholarship offer from Akron. Last season, he had 36 tackles, 15
tackles-for-loss and nine sacks.

“His athleticism for his size really jumps out,” head coach
Greg Dempsey said. “Jamaal is an excellent athlete and he does a great job
using that to his advantage. He does a good job of rushing the passer and is
explosive for his size. He is mostly a defensive end for us, but we’ll play him
a little bit at tight end.”

Boles is ranked as one of the top 30 juniors in the state by
Ohio High’s Mark Porter and he is one of two main starters back on the
offensive line.

“Chris is a pretty talented kid,” Dempsey said. “Buffalo called me about
him.”

Dempsey is also high on Cameron who is ranked as one of the
top 50 juniors in the state by Ohio High.

“Kyle was offered by the Tennessee staff before they were fired,”
Dempsey said. “(Ohio
State
offensive
coordinator/offensive line coach) Jim Bollman calls frequently about him. Illinois said all he has
to do is come to camp and he has an offer. He’s mobile and mean and really
finishes his blocks. He started all season for us as a sophomore at left tackle
and also played some defensive tackle. He’s a tad shorter version of Christian
Pace from Avon Lake.”

Walender returns as the starting quarterback and he threw
for 1,147 yards (53 percent completion) with 12 touchdowns and five
interceptions last year. Three of his interceptions came in the final game of
the season when Central Catholic was upset in the first round of the playoffs.

“He’s not a dual-threat; he’s more of a pocket guy,” Dempsey
said. “Dave is mobile, but he’s not a running threat. We are in the shotgun
30-40 percent of the time and he does a good job of running our offense and
throwing the ball.”

Hobbs
is a talented athlete that will play all over the field. He is even Walender’s
backup at quarterback.

“We don’t want anyone to be comfortable,” Dempsey said.
“Nate will take some snaps at quarterback even if he plays wide receiver. The
Wildcat offense has hit us.”

Last season, Hobbs
had 29 receptions for 546 yards and five touchdowns. He added 12 carries for 62
yards and another touchdown. The bad news for the Irish was that Hobbs missed the final
three games of the season due to injury (including the playoff game).

Messer returns to lead the secondary and he had 56 tackles
from his strong safety spot last season.

Central Catholic also has a solid kicker in Burkhardt
(5-of-9 on field goals with a long of 48; 30-for-30 on extra points).

 “We have a nice group
of kids coming back,” Dempsey said. “We need our tailback situation to sort
itself out and we have about five candidates, but no one with varsity
experience for a season, or even a game. We have to throw the ball better this
year and we have our quarterback and receivers back. We need to mix in the pass
to help our running backs develop. We have a solid foundation on the offensive
line, but we can’t afford any injuries.”

Dempsey also offered his thoughts on all the teams that have
moved in and out of Region 6 this year.

“In some ways, you’re saying, ‘Thank God these teams left,’
but then some really tough teams moved in,” he said. “Avon Lake
is loaded to this year from what I understand. But if people want to talk about
playoff expectations, we have to worry about making it first. Our league
schedule and non-league schedule is tough.”

 

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