Last December, the Tarblooders appeared to be on their way to the first
state football championship for a team from the Cleveland Public Schools. But
Hilliard Davidson rallied for a late touchdown and a two-point
conversion to steal the win 16-15 win in the state title game. Head coach Ted Ginn and crew are back for another run.
Cleveland Glenville (13-2 last year)
* Players to Watch – OL Aundrey Walker (6-6, 330, Sr.), WR-DB Shane Wynn (5-10, 175, Sr.), QB Cardale Jones (6-5, 215, Sr.), LB Andre Sturdivant (6-3, 225, Sr.), RB Robert Walton (5-10, 205, Sr.), OL-DL MarShawn Bell (6-3, 300, Jr.), WR-DB Malik Moore (5-11, 170, Sr.).
* Outlook – Last December, the Tarblooders appeared to be on their way to the first state championship for a team from the Cleveland Public Schools. But Hilliard Davidson rallied for a late touchdown and a two-point conversion to steal the win 16-15 win in the state title game.
Ted Ginn Sr. returns for his 14th season as the Glenville head coach. He looked back on how things went awry last year.
“We lost two games last year – the first and the last,” Ginn said. “They were both by one point. Those points symbolized discipline and character. I put those words on our manual for the winter. That’s what we’re living on for today.
“If we had those two things, we would have won those two games. But if you can’t stay disciplined and have great character, you’re going to lose. And not just in a state championship game. You will lose in life as well.
“When people test your character, you get a reaction. Our reaction was to lose the game.”
Glenville figures to be back in the mix in 2010. In fact, Glenville is mentioned in various national prep polls and was Ohio High magazine’s pick to win the state championship in 2010.
Jones is a standout quarterback with offers from a number of top schools. He threw for over 2,000 yards, including 1,000 yards in five playoff games. Jones also had close to 500 rushing yards in 15 games. He threw for 19 scores and had nine touchdowns rushing.
“I still want him to grow as a leader,” Ginn said. “I want him to concentrate more on his fundamentals at the position. He reminds me of Troy (Smith) a lot. He’s got such a great talent. He just needs to let it fly. He needs to work on his leadership and his fundamentals and just knowing his craft.
“I’ve been on him so hard and he doesn’t understand it every day. That’s because everybody tells him he’s great and I say, ‘You’re the worst thing on the field.’ If you don’t have any expectations for the kids, that’s not good for them.”
Ginn said he has done his best to try and keep Jones grounded.
“I have to be that constant reminder of what’s right,” Ginn said. “You talk about being a quarterback and being a leader. I can’t let him get caught up in the wrong things. That’s hard because you have all of the outside influences like Rivals. That’s their job to talk to him. I have to be the guy who has to cut his stroke because I live with him every day and I want him to be successful.
“I feel bad when I ride him so hard. I’m on him about preparing as a quarterback and improving as a leader because some university is going to expect that.”
The massive Walker is considered one of the nation’s top offensive line prospects. He is pondering offers from the likes of Ohio State, USC and Michigan State.
“I think Aundrey is going through the recruiting process,” Ginn said. “I think he is enjoying it. It will come to a period of time when he will sit down and evaluate everybody and see what fits. I’m trying to teach him to stay focused on his senior year.
“I think he’s a great player. He’s still got a lot to learn. He’s a big kid, but he’s young. He’s only 16, I believe. He’s 6-5 and 350. His maturity has to match his talent.”
The diminutive Wynn is quite a play maker. He had a 98-yard touchdown catch in the state title game negated by a penalty. For the year, he had 45 catches for over 700 yards and scored 18 touchdowns. He also has offers from a number of top schools.
“Shane Wynn has something that a lot of people don’t have,” Ginn said. “His lower body is real strong. He looks small. But he has an explosion. That’s God given talent. He has a great vertical. He plays like he is 6-5. You can’t judge a book by its cover. He’s a game breaker. He’s been playing since he was a freshman.
“I wouldn’t look at his size. I’d look at what he brings to the table.”
When asked where he would use Wynn, Ginn chuckled and said, “Everywhere. Anywhere I can. Wherever he’s needed, whether it’s at corner, kick and punt return, quarterback, receiver or running back. That’s what you do with a kid like that.
“He’s got a burst. Donte Whitner had that. He could get to that spot in a hurry. Ray Small had that type of burst. You can’t teach it.”
The versatile Sturdivant is also getting a number of college looks.
“I think he’s a defensive end (at the college level),” Ginn said. “He’s 250 or 260. He’s going to be a monster. He plays linebacker for us because he’s a good high school linebacker. At the next level, I think he’s a D-end.”
Glenville will be shooting for a 13th straight Senate League championship this season.
The Tarblooders face several tough nonleague games, though. They open Saturday at Indianapolis Warren Central. They will play Florida Class 4A state champion William T. Dwyer in the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic on Sept. 6 at Ohio Stadium. That game will be televised nationally by ESPN.
And they will visit perennial contender Cincinnati Anderson on Sept. 18.
Aug. 28, at Indianapolis Warren Central, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6, vs. Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) William T. Dwyer (Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic at Ohio Stadium), noon (ESPN)
Sept. 10, Cleveland Rhodes, 7 p.m.
Sept. 18, at Cincinnati Anderson, 7 p.m.
Sept. 24, at Cleveland Collinwood, 7 p.m.
Oct. 1, at Cleveland John F. Kennedy, 3 p.m.
Oct. 8, at Cleveland Lincoln West, 3 p.m.
Oct. 15, Cleveland John Adams, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22, Cleveland John Hay, 3 p.m.
Oct. 29, Cleveland John Marshall, 3 p.m.