Region 24 Overview: Marion Local, Lehman, Covington earn nod as region’s teams to beat


Region 24

Last year Marion Local used a Week 10 win over Anna to propel itself into the playoffs with a 5-5 record. Four weeks – and three wins – later the Flyers were playing in the state semifinals. This region has historically been dominated by MAC teams. Is this the year the domination stops?




Maria Stein Marion Local (8-6)
* Players to Watch –
OL/DE Josh Berning (6-3, 200, Sr.), RB Niles Keller (6-0, 180, Sr.), QB Ryan Mescher (6-1, 200, Sr.); LB Greg Schwieterman (6-0, 170, Sr.); C Jason Reichert (6-2, 220, Sr.); LB Logan Albers (6-1, 180, Jr.); LB Brandon Arling (5-10, 185, Sr.); OL Craig Grieshop (6-0, 220, Sr.)
* Outlook – After a two-year run in D-V (which produced a state title and Final Four appearance), the Flyers made it to the state semifinals last year despite a five-game losing streak during the regular season. A key 28-21 win over Anna in Week 10 propelled Marion Local, 5-5 at the time, into the playoffs where it won three straight before losing to fellow MAC team Delphos St. John’s in the state semis. During its previous run in Region 24, ML won three D-VI state titles and made four state finals from 2000-2006.

Head coach Tim Goodwin (119-33 in 11 years) returns plenty of talent in Keller (1,500 yards rushing), Berning (76 tackles), Schwieterman (66 tackles), Albers (65 tackles) and Arling (63 tackles).

Portsmouth Notre Dame (4-6)
this school’s Quarterspondent

* Players to Watch – QB Brock Hannah (5-11, 175, Sr.); WR Tyler Noel (6-4, 200. Jr.); LB Drew Weems (5-11, 185, Sr.); DB Dion Cunningham (5-11, Sr.); NG Jack Welsh (5-9, 170, Sr.)
* Outlook – The Titans have a new coach this year, although the face is familiar. Bob Ashley returns to Notre Dame where he led the program to a 20-31 record and a playoff berth from 1997-2001. Ashley replaces Kyle McKnight who went 20-19 in four years. Ashley is familiar with the Southern Ohio Conference, having spent all 10 years of his head coaching stint in the league (including a 19-29 stay at Minford where he led the Eagles to the playoffs in 2003). Hannah returns for his third season under center.

Covington (8-4)
* Players to Watch –
QB/DB Jake Bitner (5-11, 175, Sr.); OL/DL Josh Boehringer (6-2, 205, Sr.); LB/FB Cory Ely (5-10, 175, Sr.); HB/DB Tyler Noffsinger (5-9, 150, Sr.); DL/OL Darren Clark (6-0, 210, Jr.); OL/DL Sam Christian (6-0, 250, Jr.); DB/WR Sam Earick (5-9, 150, Jr.); OL/DL Brandon Powell (5-11, 250, Jr.)
* Outlook – With 11 playoff trips in the last 15 years, including five straight, the Buccs have advanced to the second round of the postseason for three years straight. This year they’d like to make a push for the regional final and beyond. Covington returns a ton of talent from last year’s team that fell 21-17 to Marion Local in the regional semifinals.

Bitner returns for his third-season as the starting quarterback after missing weeks 4-10 last season with an injury. Noffsinger is Covington’s leading returning rusher (1,363 yards and 11 TDs). Defensively, Boehringer is a beast. He had 62.5 tackles last year and six sacks, but his most impressive stat was the 10 fumbles he forced.

Covington is looking for its 11th Cross County Conference title in 16 years. The future is bright as well. Adding an influx of talent and depth to this year’s roster is a freshman class that has yet to lose a football game at any grade level.

Lehman Catholic (7-4)
* Players to Watch –
RB Kaleb Goins (5-10, 205, Sr.); OL/DL Rodney Huston (6-3, 255, Sr.); QB/DB Jonathan Slagle (6-3, 185, Sr.); DE Drew Schmitz (6-0, 185, Sr.); OL Matt Pulfer (6-2, 210, Sr.)
* Outlook – The Cavaliers have made the playoffs four straight years and should make it five. Goins is one of D-VI’s top running backs with back-to-back seasons of over 1,300 yards and 20 TDs. He also led the team with 78 tackles last season. Huston logged 62 tackles a year ago, while Schmitz had a team-high 11 sacks. Pulfer is a four-year starter on the OL. Head coach Richard Roll is 33-15 in five years at Lehman and 118-141 overall.

Ansonia (10-1)
this school’s Quarterspondent

* Players to Watch – QB/RB Derek Bubeck (5-11, Sr.); RB/LB/K Brandon Liette (6-1, 190, Sr.); LB Aaron Sanders (5-10, 170, Sr.); LB Dusty Holcomb (6-3, 230, Jr.)
* Outlook – The Tigers have put together back-to-back playoff appearances and are 17-5 the last two years, including last year’s undefeated regular season run to the Cross County Conference title. A similar script could be authored this year. A standout senior class returns for one last hurrah. Liette and Sanders were first team all-district. Bubek and Sanders were second team. Longtime head coach Eugene Hoening is 179-116-1 in 29 years at Ansonia and has led the program to all four of its playoff appearances.

South Charleston Southeastern (9-3)
* Players to Watch –
RB/DB Tyler Cooper (6-0, 160, Sr.); OL Tom Brown (6-3, 255, Jr.); DB Preston Snodgrass (6-2, 170, Jr.)
* Outlook – The Trojans flipped the script, going from 3-7 in 2008 to 9-3 and the D-VI playoffs last season. There will be some rebuilding after a solid senior class – led by All-Ohio quarterback Reed Florence – graduated, but talent remains.

Springfield Catholic Central (6-4)
this school’s Quarterspondent

* Players to Watch – WR Jake Aldridge (6-3, 195, Jr.);  DL Sebastian Monnin (6-2, 200, Sr.); QB Brian Kelly (6-2, 175, Jr.)
* Outlook – Head coach Steve DeWitt starts his 33rd season at SCC where the Irish had a string of six straight playoff appearances snapped last year. Expect them to start a new streak this year.

Fort Loramie (10-3)
* Players to Watch –
DL Joe Poeppelman (6-3, 200)
* Outlook – The Redskins took a gigantic step forward last year – their fourth as a varsity program – by making the regional final (lost to Marion Local). Second-year head coach Matt Burgbacher, the son of longtime – and highly successful – Tippecanoe head coach Charlie Burgbacher, will be expecting another successful season although there are some holes to fill.


* Sciotoville Community School (5-5) – After going 19-1 in the regular season in 2007 and 2008, the Tartans slipped a little last year. Question is how do they respond? Junior DL Nathan Bradford (5-7, 155) is back after a standout sophomore campaign.  Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

* Fort Recovery (3-7) –
Head coach Brent Niekamp enters his sixth season with the difficult task of finding a replacement for four-year starting QB Greg Kahlig who owns every passing record in Indians history. Fort Recovery, which started football in 1992, has had one winning season in its existence (6-4 in 1994) and has only finished with a non-losing record once since then (5-5 in 2007). In Niekamp’s first two years the team went 2-18. The last three years the Indians are 11-19. Juniors Aaron Vagedes (6-1, 165, WR/DB), Derek Gaerke (6-2, 175, WR/DB), Kenny Wenning (5-9, 175, RB/LB) and Jacob Whitacre (5-8, 235, OL/DL) will have to make a difference, as will senior Brian Keller (5-9, 185, LB/RB).

* Cincinnati Country Day (7-3) –
For the second straight the year the Indians missed out on a playoff berth by stumbling to the finish line. In 2008, CCD started out 5-1 before losing four straight. Last year the Indians went 5-0 before finishing 2-3 and ninth in computer points. Senior DB  Wyatt Tiffany (6-0, 190) returns.

* Lockland (9-2) –
The Panthers have put together three straight playoff trips but have lost in the first round each time (2007 lost to Lehman Catholic, 2008 lost to Covington, 2009 lost to Fort Loramie). Making the postseason again – and winning a playoff game – are two obvious goals. Big OL James Tripp (6-3, 240, Sr.) is back to help block for standout senior RB Devontay Scott (5-11, 195).

* Minster (1-9) –
First year head coach and 29-year old Nate Moore survived 49 applicants and inherits a former state championship program that’s gone 6-24 the last three years. Moore was an assistant under state champion coach Jim Place at Hamilton last year. Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

* Waynesfield-Goshen (11-1) –
The Tigers have been to the postseason four times in history and three times in the last five years. Winning at that level is the program’s next step.

* Bradford (1-9) –
The Railroaders haven’t had a winning season since going 6-4 in 1997 and their best record before that was 5-5 in 1993. There’s nowhere to go but up, and that’s the direction first-year head coach Curtis Enis wants to take the program. Enis is a former Mr. Football who played at Penn State and then in the NFL with the Chicago Bears.

Bradford has played a lot of underclassmen the last few years and will continue that trend with a solid sophomore class that went undefeated en route to winning the Cross County Conference junior high championship. Two sophomores who will see substantial action are QB/DB James Canan (6-0, 155) and RB/LB Luke Hafer (5-10, 160). Junior RB/DB Johnathan Barbee (5-9, 165) is a speedster. Seniors Rodney Abney (WR/DB, 6-3, 160), Ryan Dunlevy (OL/DL, 6-0, 175) and Juan Miranda (OL/DL, 6-3, 240) lend skill and experience Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

*DeGraff Riverside (6-4) –
The Pirates rebounded from a 4-6 season in 2008 and a 1-4 start last season to win their last five games and finish 6-4. Over that final stretch, Riverside outscored its opponents 210-41. Can it keep the momentum going?

* Dayton Jefferson (3-6) –
With back-to-back 3-6 seasons, the Broncos would like .500 or better. Senior WR/DB Cody Latimer (6-3, 205) will have to be special. And he is. Latimer has offers on the table from several MAC schools. As a junior he caught 45 passes for 911 yards and eight TDs. He also carried the ball 24 times for 260 yards and six TDs. Defensively Latimer registered 94 tackles and an interception. Become
this school’s Quarterspondent


New Bremen (5-5)
Arcanum (3-7)
Dayton Ponitz (1-9) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

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

Fairfield Cincinnati Christian (3-6) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Franklin Furnace Green (2-7)
Morral Ridgedale (1-9) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

New Paris National Trail (1-9) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Troy Christian (4-6) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Union City Mississinawa Valley (5-5) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

Yellow Springs (1-7)
Manchester (0-7) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent

New Miami (1-9) Become
this school’s Quarterspondent




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