Oak Hill football primed for first postseason in school history

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Oak Hill Oaks

The Oak Hill Oaks are used to winning when it comes to
girl’s basketball and over the past three seasons in boy’s basketball
culminating with the 2009 Division IV state championship, but to put winning and
football in the same sentence would be highly unlikely.

Don’t tell that to the 2009 team.

 


The Oak Hill Oaks are used to winning when it comes to
girl’s basketball and over the past three seasons in boy’s basketball
culminating with the 2009 Division IV state championship, but to put winning and
football in the same sentence would be highly unlikely.

However, as the saying goes, winning breeds winning. Riding
the high of last year’s boy’s basketball state championship team (25-2), the
football team figured why not us, why not now.

Along with the second 10-0 season in school history, the
Oaks are making their first-ever trip to Week 11. The other undefeated season
came in 1987 under then head coach Jeff Conroy. By the way, the Oaks have been
playing football for 90 years. Patience is an understatement in this case.

Oak Hill Head Coach Greg Phillips took over after the 2005
season and the results have steadily improved. The Oaks finished 0-10 in 2005
before Phillips took over and were just 22-38 from 2000-2005. Phillips arrival
brought about three wins in 2006 followed by five in 2007 and seven in 2008
before the undefeated 2009 regular season.

Coming with the second unbeaten season in school history
was another first in the first-ever Southern Ohio Conference Division I
Championship in football.

The success is very similar to the impact “Stormin’” Norm
Persin has had on the basketball program. Both were hired prior to the 2006-2007
school year.

The Oaks steam-rolled their way through regular season play
only being tested once in ten games. The Jackson-county school defeated Minford
(20-14) in its one contest that came down to the fourth quarter.

Other than the Minford game, it has been carnage for Oak
Hill’s opponents. The Oaks are outscoring their opponents nearly 39 points per
game to just over six points per contest including three defensive shutouts.

The Oaks own wins over three teams (Trimble, Minford, and
Symmes Valley) with winning records and one team (Sciotoville Community School)
with a .500 mark.

It is safe to say the Black and White will be challenged a
little more this Friday night when they play host to Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant
(9-1). The two are former rivals from the Ohio Valley Conference that Oak Hill
left after the 1984 season. The two teams have not met since 1993, a game the
Oaks won 32-6.

Dawson-Bryant’s lone setback of the year came at the hands
of Minford (31-28), which is a team Oak Hill defeated by just six points.
Bryant, which will be making its eighth postseason appearance in school history
and first since 1996, has not lost since week four.

The other three common opponents are Chesapeake, Ironton
Rock Hill, and River Valley. Both teams blew out the other three by convincing
margins.

Much like the basketball team, the Oaks are led by three
familiar faces to the hardwood in quarterback Jesse Slone, running back Westin
Hale, and wide out Kyle Ondera. All three were starters on last season’s state
championship basketball team.

Junior quarterback Jesse Slone (6-foot-3) has thrown for
2,019 yards on 127-of-178 passing including an astounding 28 touchdown passes to
just one interception. The lefty’s completion percentage is a staggering 71
percent.

Hale has carried the ball 164 times for 1,418 yards
including 15 scores. The junior found time to catch 15 balls for 206 stripes.

The catalyst on the basketball court, Kyle Ondera, has also
made waves on the gridiron. The senior has 32 receptions on the year good for
621 yards and seven scores.

Possibly the most dangerous threat for the Oaks is junior
Joey Maynard, who is a dual-threat. Maynard has hauled in 49 catches for 746
yards including 13 touchdowns, while rushing the ball 48 times for 474 yards
(9.9 ypc.).

Devon Davis is another weapon for the Oaks accounting for
12 receptions accumulating 141 stripes and carrying the ball 15 times for 182
lightings.

Travis Bailey has added 381 yards on the ground on 53
attempts.

As Week 11 is slowly coming upon us and the start of
basketball right around the corner, the fun has only begun for Oaks of Oak Hill.

 

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