MVP Football Preview Excerpt:
A look at Division III, Region 10 and what to expect this season. We look
at the top teams, players and offer up our playoff predicitons. Who has what? And what will they do?
JJHuddle’s Region 10 Previews and Predictions
TEAMS TO WATCH
Columbus Watterson (13-1, D-III State Champion)
* Players to Watch – WR/DB Erik Oman (6-0, 170, sr.), LB Craig Fada (6-1, 220, sr.), OL Eric Rutkowski (6-1, 250, sr.), DE Chris Seguin (6-1, 221, sr.), FB/LB Mario Dean (5-9, 197, sr.), RB Isaish Murray (5-9, 165, sr.), OL/DE Andrew Lorenz (6-3, 240, sr.), QB Andy Elberson (6-2, 185, jr.)
* Outlook – The Eagles are out to defend their state title and have some holes to fill. Head coach Dan Bjelac (70-27 in eight years) returns just four starters, so inexperience – not talent – will be a concern. Orman is a solid two-way standout (10 catches, 238 yards, three TDs, 45 tackles, 4 INTs), while defensive stalwarts include Fada (119 tackles), Segun and Lorenz (28 tackles). Offensively, Elberson will direct a backfield that includes Dean (13 carries, 285 yards, two TDs; 8 catches, 94 yards, three TDs) and Murray (75 carries, 342 yards, four TDs). Watterson’s schedule is brutal with homes games against Pickerington North, Walsh Jesuit, Cincinnati LaSalle, Columbus DeSales and Jonathan Alder. Home games include Winton Woods, Beechcroft and St. Charles.
Columbus DeSales (5-6, R10 Regional Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – RB Warren Ball (6-2, 215, sr.), OL/DL Alex Washington (6-2, 285, sr.), DB/WR Jalen Noble (5-10, 185, sr.), WR Charles Chandler (6-3, 180, sr.), OL/DE R.J. Ball (6-1, 225, sr.), K/P Anthony Ciamiacella (5-11, 185, sr.), RB/LB Joe Lyberger (5-10, 175, sr.)
* Outlook – The Stallions have made the playoffs a state-best 17 straight seasons and should make it 18. Thirty seniors and 15 players with extensive varsity experience return, including Ball, an Ohio state recruit who missed three games last year with injuries but still rushed for 634 yards and 12 TDs. Replacing QB Nick Gentile will be key. “Our goals always remain the same at DeSales – to win our league, advance to the playoffs and win the state championship,” head coach Ryan Wiggins said. “These are lofty goals, but here at DeSales we have always set the bar high! It makes the thrill of competition that much better.”
Clyde (10-2, D-III R10 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB Ryan Meyer (6-0, 195, sr.), RB/CB Adam Turner (6-0, 165, sr.), FB/LB Bennett Brown (5-10, 235, jr.), OG/LB Thomas Glick (6-1, 225, jr.), LB Seth Stockmaster (5-9, 165, sr.), LB/WR Dustin Patten (5-11, 175, sr.), DL Billy Ward (5-10, 205, sr.)
* Outlook – Clyde has been to the playoffs five of the last seven years and this year could prove to be another special one. The Fliers are vying for their fifth straight Sandusky Bay Conference championship (would be first for school) and head coach Marc Gibson (55-15 in six years at Clyde) is four wins shy of 100 for his career.
Elida (9-3, D-III R10 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB Reggie McAdams (6-6, 190, sr.), WR/K Austin Etzler, Elida, (6-2, 180, sr.), RB Colin Blymer, Elida (5-6, 165, sr.), LB Quentin Poling, Elida (6-1, 195, jr.), WR/DB Kevin Kraft (6-0, 170, sr.)
* Outlook – Just two years removed from back-to-back 0-10 seasons, the Bulldogs made the playoffs for the first time since 1982 last year and won a first round game at Tippecanoe (before losing to eventual state champion Watterson). Expect another big season for Elida. The Bulldogs offense is loaded. McAdams (Kent State offer) threw for 2,955 yards, 32 TDs and just eight INTs (five of which came against Watterson) last year. Etzler (56 receptions, 1,051 yards and nine TDs) and Kraft (32 receptions, 558 yards and 10 TDs) are two of McAdams favorite targets and Blymyer is a 1,000-yard RB (216 carries, 1,190 yards and seven TDs). Kraft (four INTs) and Poling (over 100 tackles, three fumble recoveries) return to lead the defense.
Benjamin Logan (7-3)
* Players to Watch – LB Aaron Myers (5″11, 210, sr.), OL Sam Baker (6-1, 215, sr.), OL Kyle Rose (6-3, 240, sr.), LB Dustin Bowers (5-11, 185, sr.), DL Beau Harmon (6-2, 240, jr.), DE Tanner Penwell (6-2, 265, jr.), DB/WR Zak Wirick (6-2, 165, sr.), DB Caleb Titus (5-9, 155, sr.), RB Joey DiLoreto (5-9, 160, sr.), QB Trent Rodenberger (6-2, 175, jr.), OL Landon Johnson (6-4, 235, jr.)
* Outlook – The Raiders had a breakout year last season and expectations are high this year with the return of 16 starters. Said head coach Carelton Cotner (33-47 career record): “The goal of this year’s team is to earn the school’s first ever playoff berth. We have a challenging schedule with several perennial playoff teams on it so we will find out real quick how good we are. We will not sneak up on anybody. Everybody will be gunning for us.” Myers led the Raiders in tackles (119) last season.
* Players to Watch – RB Tanner Lawrence (6-0, 170, jr.), DL Royce Lucas-Taylor (6-4, 260, sr.), WR/DB Timmy Melvin (5-10, 160, sr.), WR/DB Aaron Sidders (5-9, 160, jr.)
* Outlook – There’s a lot to like about the Hillclimbers. Lawrence is back after rushing for 1,333 yards and 15 TDs on 216 carries. He had 332 yards and five TDs in the season finale against Graham. Melvin is a dual threat on offense (84 carries, 152 yards, two TDs; 30 receptions, 380 yards, two TDs) and excels on defense too (67 tackles, two INTs). Lucas-Taylor is a solid two-way player as well (54 tackles). Sidders will contribute as well (67 tackles).
KEEP AN EYE ON
* Eastmoor (6-4, D-III R10 Quarterfinalist) – The Warriors and head coach Jim Miranda have been to the playoffs four of the last five years and three straight. Finding a replacement for workhorse standout QB/DB Ronald Tanner (Ohio State) is key.
* Bellefontaine (4-6) – Second-year head coach Chris Schmidt hopes to build off of last year’s season with a team he says “will be young again.” Of note, Bellefontaine ends its long series with Marysville this season. In 2013, Bellefontaine will fill the hole with Urbana. Seniors LB/RB Taylor Cayot (6-0, 188) and DE Michael Brenner (6-0, 205) led the team in tackles last year with 92 and 78 tackles, respectively. Watch out for RB/QB/DB Daulton Mosbarger (6-1, 185, sr.) and RB/DB Shaff Gorham (6-0, 175, jr.).
* Napoleon (6-4) – The Wildcats will rely on returning senior QB Jacob Plassman (6-1, 172) and senior LB Nate Walker. Plassman was second team All-GBC last year , while Walker was first team after registering 89 tackles, 16.5 TFL and three fumble recoveries.
* St. Marys Memorial (1-9) – New head coach Greg Phillips (formerly of Oak Hill) inherits a traditionally strong program coming off a disappointing season. Many expect the Roughriders to rebound.
* Bexley (3-7) – The Lions and head coach John Smith (53-49 career record) have a standout in senior WR/WB/DB Jalen Robbinette (6-3, 195; Bowling Green, Air Force offers). Bexley returns 10 starters total and several others who saw action. Berne Union and Hamilton Township are new to the schedule.
* Sandusky Perkins (3-7) – The Pirates have a D-I recruit in senior DE/TE Michael Ebert (6-6, 240) who has committed to Miami (Oh). Last year Ebert caught 30 passes for 460 yards and three TDs. Defensively he had 90 tackles, 21 TFL, nine sacks and three blocked kicks.
ALSO IN THIS REGION
Bryan (6-4), Bellevue (6-4), Buckeye Valley (4-6), Columbus Centennial (4-6), Columbus East (1-9), St. Paris Graham (3-7), Columbus Independence (3-7), Indian lake (2-8), Columbus Linden McKinley (1-9), Port Clinton (5-5), Caledonia River Valley (5-5), Rossford (0-10), Lima Shawnee (2-8), Columbus South (1-9), Vermillion (0-10), Wauseon (4-6), Whitehall-Yearling (3-7)
Dark Horses: Bexley, Perkins