Morning Huddle: Central Catholic’s new coach McGurk enters ‘inferno’


JJ’s Morning Huddle: A daily dose of News, Notes & Nuggets from around the state

• Buckeyes looking at Kenny Hayes’ pal Wormley?
• Monster shot putter headed to Harvard

• Toledo Central Catholic gets new head coach

• Mason’s new football coach diving in

• When did football become God?

Come with me: The most powerful recruiting can come from your peers. Toledo Whitmer’s defensive end Chris Wormley been getting prodded by Ohio State committ Kenny Hayes to think seriously about joing the Bucks: “He’s always pressuring me: ‘Oh Chris, Go to Ohio State,'” Wormley says. The players were teammates at Whitmer during the fall, and Ohio State recently invited Wormley to participate in an upcoming football camp.

61-feet-3-inches: Canfield High shot putter Dustin Brode has high aspirations for his first track meet at Harvard: he wants to break the school’s own shot-put record. He probably won’t have trouble. The university’s record stands around 61 feet, 3 inches. At this month’s Division I state championship meet, Brode broke the Ohio high school state record for the shot when threw 71 feet, 7.5 inches. He’s excited just to get the opportunity to try to set a Harvard record, he says: “To be aware of the big ‘H’ on my chest … It’s just going to be an even greater sense of pride that I’ll feel.”

The head coach ‘inferno’: Central Catholic High School in Toledo has a new head coach for its powerhouse girls basketball program. Formerly an assistant to the outgoing coach Steve Pfahler, Marty McGurk has been given the reins. “I had to ask myself [why I want to be a head coach again],” he says. “Steve and I had been together for 15 years and, did I want to go back into that inferno [as a head coach]?” He ultimately decided he had to. “It sounds a little corny, I guess, but it’s home,” he says. “It wasn’t really a long thought process. The answer was, ‘Yes I do.'”

Train hard or not at all: Mason High School’s new football coach Brian Castner has his team working three days a week for two and a half hours each session. “There are a lot of positives,” Castner says. “We’re working hard and making progress. That’s all I can ask of these kids right now. Every workout’s pretty intense. We have our down times. I’m not going to sit here and tell you everything’s perfect, but we’re getting after it.”

Outside the state: The press jumped all over Red Lion Christian Academy in Bear, Delaware, when a middle school quarterback on their roster verbally committed to play football for the University of Southern California in five years. The tiny football program with giant aspirations is now under fire for allegedly recruiting players improperly, pressuring teachers to withhold grades and fielding an ineligible player. “We all know football is king, but when did it become God?” asks one Red Lion teacher.

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