Morning Huddle: ‘The Game’ between St. X and Colerain draws near

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

• Area athletes sign on the dotted line during early signing period
• 2010 Associated Press All-Central District football teams announced
• Northview boys soccer coach Creech resigns


‘The Game’ between St. X and Colerain draws near: Last year’s loss against St. Xavier stands out in the mind of Colerain senior quarterback Tyler Williams. It was the only time Colerain was shutout during Williams’ tenure, and it eventually contributed to the Cardinals missing the playoffs for the first time since 1999. “We’re coming into this game with a real big chip on our shoulders,” Williams told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We’ll be prepared. (St. Xavier head) Coach (Steve) Specht always has them prepared. It’s always fun playing against them. It’s a big game.” “In the last 10 years it’s been ‘The Game’,” Specht says. “It’s a tremendous rivalry between two great programs. It’s healthy, respectful. It’s what high school football is all about.” The two Division I powerhouses will clash Saturday night for their seventh meeting in five years. St. Xavier leads the all-time series 15-7.

Area athletes sign on the dotted line during early signing period: From now through Nov. 17, high school basketball players and some other athletes have the opportunity to officially commit to colleges during the initial national letter of intent signing window. Among the most well-known Ohio basektball players to sign yesterday was Aiken-turned-Withrow forward Aaron Thomas who is headed to Florida State after averageing 21.4 points and 7.3 rebounds for Aiken last season and earning Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference player of the year honors. “He has a high motor and is team-oriented,” Withrow coach Tyrone Gibert said in September. “Very unselfish. He can play every position.” Other sports eligible for early signing include wrestling, swimming and diving, lacrosse, volleyball, gymnastics, softball, baseball and tennis.

2010 Associated Press All-Central District football teams announced: The 2010 Associated Press All-Central District football teams, as selected by a media panel from the district, were announced yesterday. Here’s a quick run-down of the players and coaches of the year. See the Columbus Dispatch for a full list of winners including special mention players.

Division I
Offensive player of the year: Jayshon Jackson (Westerville South)
Defensive player of the year: Keith Heitzman (Hilliard Davidson)
Coach of the year: Gary Keller (Mount Vernon)

Division II
Offensive player of the year: Alex Hake (New Albany)
Defensive player of the year: Devante Strickland (Marion-Franklin)
Coach of the year: Nate Hillerich (Hamilton Township)

Division III
Offensive player of the year: Derick Rudolph (Eastmoor Academy)
Defensive player of the year: Matt Redfield (Watterson)
Coach of the year: Dan Bjelac (Watterson)

Division IV
Offensive player of the year: Noah Key (Hartley)
Defensive player of the year: Nate Hunt (Heath)
Coach of the year: Steve Coate (Jonathan Alder)

Division V
Offensive player of the year: D.J. Gray (West Jefferson)
Defensive players of the year: Austin Hoeflich (Fredericktown) and Warren Shields (North Union)
Coach of the year: Brian Baum (Fredericktown)

Division V
Offensive player of the year: Britt Wilder (Newark Catholic)
Defensive player of the year: Zach Brewer (Danville)
Coach of the year: Dave Daubenmire (Fairfield Christian)

Northview boys soccer coach Creech resigns: Northview High School boys soccer coach Ryan Creech has resigned after 16 seasons, citing family reasons, reports the Toledo Blade. This season, Northview (11-3-5) ended with a 6-0 loss to St. John’s Jesuit in the D-I district final. Creech himself is a gifted soccer player. The 39-year-old starred as a player at Southview (class of 1989) and later at Miami (Ohio) University, where he was inducted into the athletic hall of fame in 2007.

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