Region 3 Overview: Central Ohio owns two of last four D-I titles: Does it get another?


Region 3

After years of being looked at as inferior to its Northeastern and Southwestern Big School brothers, Central Ohio is suddenly the owner of two of the last four Division I state titles. Hilliard Davidson owns them both, but several other programs have erupted as well. Dublin Coffman, Pickerington Central, Pickerington North, Lancaster and others will be in the mix again…




Dublin Coffman (12-1)
* Players to Watch –
QB Cole Stoudt (6-4, 205, Sr.), DL/OL Brad Carrico (6-5, 275, Sr.), DL Max Phelps (6-5, 220, Sr.), DE Aaron Rodriguez (6-2, 215, Sr.), DB Stacy Woodford (5-10, 165, Sr.).
* Outlook – Coach Mark Crabtree is back for his 10th year at Coffman and 16th season as a varsity head coach. He has nine returning starters (four offense, five defense) from last year’s team that dropped a regional final to Ohio Capital Conference rival Hilliard Davidson 22-7. Carrico has already verbaled to Notre Dame. Stoudt is back for his third year as the starting QB, although he missed the last five games last season due to injury.

“We are pretty optimistic,” said Crabtree, who shared state coach of the year honors last year. “We had a lot of uncertainties last year with 10 seniors starting for the first time. But they came through and did a good job. We are beginning to see some signs that this team will work that hard.”

Upper Arlington (5-5)
* Players to Watch –
RB Ryan McSheffry (5-11, 190, Jr.), RB Drew Karem (6-0, 200, Sr.), OT Alex Sherer (6-2, 283, Sr.), DB/WR Damon Rothgeb (6-0, 192, Sr.), WR/DB Frank Epitroupolis (6-2, 184, Jr.).
* Outlook – Coach Mike Golden is back for his sixth year as the UA coach and 20th year as a varsity coach overall. He returns seven starters on offense and six on defense.

“We had a lot of injuries last year and those were troublesome for us,” Golden said. “But it also created a scenario that is good for this year since a lot of young kids got to play. The expectations are always high at Upper Arlington.”

McSheffry tallied 800 yards rushing last year, while Karem had 500 yards in just five games. Senior Jake Johns could take over at quarterback.

Hilliard Davidson (13-1)
* Players to Watch –
OL/DL Kyle Annis (5-10, 255, Sr.), TE/DE Keith Heitzman (6-4, 239, Sr.), TE/DE Kyle Payton (6-4, 242, Sr.), K-P J.D. Detmer (5-8, 175, Sr.), QB/WR Jimmy Curtis (5-10, 175, Sr.), OL David Montenaro (6-2, 249, Sr.), DB Cody Topp (5-11, 176, Sr.).
* Outlook — Coach Brian White returns for his 11th year at Davidson and 13th season as a varsity head coach.

“This senior class needs to put the success of last year’s state championship behind them and try to leave their own legacy in the Davidson program,” White said.  “Health and the development of physical and mental toughness in some key areas will be a key ingredient to the success of this year’s team.”

Davidson will press on without standout RB Rico Butler, who died in a drowning incident in May.

Pickerington Central (10-2)
* Players to Watch –
QB Grant Hammond (6-3, 185, Sr.), DB Eilar Hardy (6-1, 190, Sr.), RB Speedy Hammond (5-7, 170, Sr.), DB/WR Tamani Carter (5-11, 180, Sr.), OL/DL Aric Barker (6-5, 290, Sr.), DB Mike Brown (5-11, 180, Sr.).
* Outlook – Jay Sharrett has averaged just over 10 wins in his seven years in charge of the Pickerington Central program. The Tigers defeated crosstown rival Pickerington North 14-12 in a playoff opener before falling to Hilliard Davidson in a regional semifinal.

Hardy has committed to Notre Dame.

The schedule is tough with a road game at Plainfield, Ind., in week 1 and a game against Oscar Smith from Virginia in week 2 in the Herbstreit Varsity Series at Ohio Stadium.

Worthington Kilbourne (5-4)
* Players to Watch –
OG/DT Matt Skura (6-4, 280, Sr.), MLB Nick Porter (5-11, 195, Sr.), RB Dan Eurich (5-11, 170, Sr.), FB Sheldon Tillman (5-9, 185, Sr.), DL Adam Evanoff (5-11, 190, Sr.), WR Jack Burian (6-6, 190, Sr.).
* Outlook – Coach Vince Trombetti, back for his fifth season as the Wolves’ head coach, has seven starters back on offense and three returning on defense.

“Last year, we only had five starters back,” Trombetti said. “Two of them moved to different positions and we went 5-4. That should have been 7-2. This year, we have twice as many kids back. We are cautiously optimistic.”

Kilbourne emphasizes the option game and has Tillman (769 yards) and Eurich (233 yards) back.

“Our third back, Hunter Pack, also returns,” Trombetti said. “Last year, we had zero guys back with experience in the backfield. The key for us will be to replace some of our offensive linemen.”

Lancaster (6-5)
* Players to Watch –
QB/DB Nolan Flowers (6-2, 200, Sr.), RB/DB Connor Smith (5-10, 185, Sr.), RB Christian Long (5-6, 160, Sr.), OG Jordan Francis (6-1, 260, Jr.), C Clayton Happeny (5-9, 215, Jr.), DE Garret Ranegar  (6-2, 195, Sr.), TE/DE Aaron Woosley (6-4, 235, Jr.), LB Luke Roberts (6-2, 225, Jr.), WR/DB JoJo Knecht  (5-11, 175, Sr.)
* Outlook – The Golden Gales have won or shared five league championships since 2003.

“Lancaster returns many players who saw action as underclassmen during the 2009 season on both sides of the ball,” said coach Rob Carpenter. “We must reduce penalties and play more consistently in all areas than we did in the 2009 season.”

Lancaster’s first four games are difficult with a visit to Logan, home games with Lakota West and St. Ignatius and a trip to Pickerington Central.

Powell Olentangy Liberty (7-4)
* Players to Watch –
LB Matt Casey (6-1, 220, Sr.), LB Adamichael Gesell (6-2, 215, Sr.), DE Joe Archer (6-2, 215, Sr.), OG Mark Arcaro (6-1, 230, Sr.), FS Jimmy Chickerella (6-2, 185, Sr.), CB Tyler Specht (5-10, 165, Sr.).
* Outlook – Last year, Liberty moved up to Division I from D-II and qualified for the playoffs. But the Patriots dropped their playoff opener to Westerville South. Coach Steve Hale welcomes back five starters on each side of the ball.

“We usually graduate about the same number of guys every year,” Hale said. “We had a little bit smaller junior class than we’ve had last year. But we’ve had a good influx of JV players who did a good job and were real successful last year.”

Casey and Gesell are defensive leaders who each eclipsed 100 tackles last year.


* Pickerington North (7-4) – North has several key players to keep an eye on, including TE Darien Bryant (6-4, 215), OL Alex Huettel (6-4, 282), WR Devin Lomax (6-0, 170) and DB Tony Traylor (5-10, 170). Bryant is a transfer from Reynoldsburg who has several D-I offers. Huettel has committed to Bowling Green.

* Westerville South (9-3) –
South advanced to the regional semifinals last year before falling to Dublin Coffman 19-17. RB Jayshan Jackson (5-7, 188) rushed for 2,052 yards last season. He was a first-team All-Ohio pick last year.

* Springfield (6-4) –
Rick Robertson, a co-state coach of the year last year, is back for his third season as the coach at the consolidated Springfield High. RB/LB Trey DePriest (6-2, 215, Sr.) is considered among Ohio’s top six prospects in the 2011 class. He had 721 yards rushing on offense and over 100 tackles on defense. Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

* Westerville Central (5-5) –
John Magistro is back for his second season as the head coach at Central. Top returners include TE/DE Nick Vannett (6-6, 240, Sr.), RB/DB Miles Fisher (6-0, 180, Sr.) and LB Maurice McGee (5-9, 215, Sr.). Vannett has committed to Ohio State.


Groveport-Madison (6-4) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Troy (5-5)
Delaware Hayes (6-4)
Worthington Thomas Worthington (5-5)
Columbus Northland (6-4) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Gahanna Lincoln (4-6)
Columbus West (6-4) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Marysville (3-7)
Marion Harding (4-6) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Hilliard Darby (3-6)
Mount Vernon (3-7) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Reynoldsburg (2-8) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Lima Senior (2-8) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Newark (0-10) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Westerville North (0-10) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Grove City (DNP) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Columbus Franklin Heights (DNP) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Galloway Westland (DNP) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Grove City Central Crossing (DNP)  Become
this school’s Quarterspondent



REGION 4 (released Aug. 11)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *