MVP Football Preview Excerpt:
A look at Division III, Region 12 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 12 Previews and Predictions
TEAMS TO WATCH
Dayton Carroll (7-4, D-II R8 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – OL Ray Marlow (6-6, 315, sr.), LB Jamison Espino (6-0, 230, sr.)
* Outlook – Longtime assistant Bob Levy takes over for former head coach Steve Bartlett and has a bit of a rebuilding project on his hands. The Patriots numbers aren’t down, but experience will be key as they try to replace 19 two-year starters. Marlow holds offers from Memphis, and several MAC schools.
Wyoming (9-2, D-III R12 Regional Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – DB/QB Max Kadish (5-10, 170, sr.), OL/DL Terry Davis (6-4, 295, sr.), DB/WR Chris Campbell (6-2, 180, sr.), DB/RB Adam Chalmers (5-9, 185, sr.), OL Peter Kraner (5-9, 210, sr.), OL Larson Graham (6-2, 250, sr.), LB Jaleel Allen (6-2, 185, sr.), WR/TE Ben Kurtz (6-3, 200, jr.), WR/DB Phiilip Schuholz (5-8, 160, sr.)
* Outlook – The Cowboys have holes to fill after graduating one of their most successful classes ever. Wyoming had three DL sign D-I scholarships and had one OL go D-II. Their QB –standout Kyle Seyfried – walked-on at Miami (Oh). This year head coaching legend Bernie Barre (311-104 in 20 years) returns five starters on each side of the ball, including Davis who is another D-I recruit. New additions to the schedule include Amelia and Walnut Hills.
New Richmond (7-3)
* Players to Watch – LB/TE Danny Scholz (6-1, 205, sr.), DB/WR Jakcob Gundler (6-0, 170, sr.), QB/DB Derrick Dillow (5-11, 175, sr.), LB/RB Jay Glueck (5-10, 185, sr.), TB/DB Nick Hill (5-7, 165, sr.), OL Jeff Snider (6-0, 305, sr.), OL/DL Cole Bird (5-11, 195, jr.), LB/TE Alex Horn (5-11, 185, jr.)
* Outlook – The Lions are 16-5 the last two years and own a D-II playoff appearance in 2009. New Richmond should challenge for the postseason again. Led by head coach Dan Scholz (29-12 in four years), the Lions return several experienced players from their 2010 SBAAC championship team. Linebackers, the defensive secondary and offensive skill positions are strengths as is the return of four offensive lineman. New additions to the schedule include Indian Hill and Taylor. Other tests include McNicholas and Oak Hill.
Dayton Dunbar (7-4, D-III R12 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – RB/LB D’Gary Wallace (5-11″, 180, sr.), DL/TE Jarrod Clements (6-3, 225, jr.), DL/TE Gary Akbar (6-4, 215, sr.), OL/DL Timauri Freeman (6-3, 230, sr.), RB/DB Leo Montgomery (5-10″, 210, jr.), QB/DB Kris Hall (6-1, 180, sr.), OL/DL Charles Armstrong (5-11″, sr.), OL/DL DeShawn Dunston (5-10″, jr.), OL/DL Dorian Harden (6-3, sr.)
* Outlook – The Wolverines have been to the postseason two of the last three years and head coach James Lacking (35-27 in six years) has the horses to do it again. Hall is a dynamic player who threw for 1,981 yards, 21 TDs and just three INTs last season. He holds an offer from Eastern Illinois. Wallace returns after scoring seven TDs and logging 58 tackles and six sacks. Clements already holds an offer from Toledo.
Kettering Alter (11-3, D-IV State Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – LB Danny Thimons (6-2, 195, sr.), QB Malik Zaire (6-1, 185, jr.), OL Cody Collins (6-3, 270, jr.), FB Jackson Vandergriff (5-10, 215, jr.), RB Joe Penno (6-0, 180, sr.), K Andrew DiMario (n/a, sr.)
* Outlook – The Knights have won more games (64) than any program in Ohio over the last five years. They’ve also won two state titles and four regional championships over that span. A usual Alter has holes to fill but capable replacements. Zaire is one of Ohio’s top junior prospects and already owns an offer from Cincinnati. DiMario has scored 119 points the last two years (98 Pats, seven FGs).
Jonathan Alder (10-2, D-IV R16 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – OL Max Pollom (6-7, 320, sr.), TE/DE Trey Rudolph (6-5, 220, sr.), RB/LB Nicholas Wrightsel (6-1, 220, sr.), K Nick Smith (5-10, 150, jr.)
* Outlook – The Pioneers have been to the playoffs 10 years in a row. Expect them to make it 11. Wrightsel will lead the defense after registering 153 tackles (93 solo), 14 TFL and 10 sacks last year. Pollom is a D-I prospect as is Smith.
Cincinnati Taft (7-4, D-IV R16 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – TE/DE Adolphus Washington (6-5, 245, sr.), WR Dwayne Stanford II (6-4, 190, sr.), RB Dequan Smith (5-10, 185, sr.)
* Outlook – The Senators came within OT of upsetting Clinton-Massie in the first round of last year’s Region 16 playoffs. Now in D-III, Taft is still very dangerous. Washington is a D-I basketball prospect too but his body makes him more valuable in football. Last year, Washintgon, who has offers from Ohio State, Texas, USC, Oregon and Alabama, had 101 tackles and 14 sacks. Washington (44 catches, 865 yards, 10 TDs) is another big-time prospect who holds offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida State. Smith returns after rushing for 1,190 yards.
Springfield Shawnee (10-2, D-III R12 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB Brad Jarzab (6-0, 195, sr.), RB Alex McCrory (6-1, 215, jr.), LB Ryan Mayfield (n/a, sr.), OL Joel Schilke (n/a, sr.), DL Lucas Sparks (6-1, 215, sr.), DB Jordan Huggins (n/a, jr.), DB James Williams (n/a, jr.)
* Outlook – The Braves have been to the playoffs two years in a row and should make it three. Jarzab, the reigning CBC Kenton Division Player of the Year, returns after throwing for 928 yards and seven TDs and rushing for 1,094 yards and 17 TDs. McCrory is one of Ohio’s top juniors after rushing for 704 yards and 11 TDs as a sophomore. Defensively, Mayfield (110 tackles), Sparks (71 tackles), McCrory (55 tackles), Huggins (54 tackles) and Williams (46 tackles) return.
McNicholas (11-3, D-III State Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – OL Jack Dooling (6-3, 215, jr.), DB Max Harmon (6-0, 185, sr.), DB Dillon Stanfield (5-8, 150, sr.)
* Outlook – The Rockets made the state semis last year but have a lot of holes to fill (must replace QB and leading rusher and receiver). Harmon (four INTs), Stanfield (321 yards rushing, four TDs) and Dolling will play key roles.
Eaton (12-1, D-III R12 Finalist)
* Players to Watch – QB/DB Cole French (6-5, 195, sr.), RB Nathan Clark (5-11, 170, sr.), WR/DB Joe McCafferty (5-11, 168, sr.), OL/DL Andrew McKee (6-3, 270, sr.)
* Outlook – The Eagles had a historic season last year, making it to the regional final for the first time ever. Another lengthy postseason run could be in the cards. French (Toledo offer) is one of the state’s most versatile players. Last season he completed 63-percent of his passes for 2,780 yards and 27 TDs; ran for five TDs; picked off four passes as a DB; kicked 54 PATs and two FGs; and averaged 36 yards per punt. Clark returns after rushing for 1,366 yards and 21 TDs. McCafferty is a standout too.
KEEP AN EYE ON
* Jackson (9-2, D-III R12 Quarterfinalist) – The Ironmen made the playoffs for the first time since 2006 last year. Senior RB Drew Ervin (6-0, 217) returns after rushing for 1,010 yards and 22 TDs. He also had 67 tackles.
* Logan Elm (3-7) – Head coach Scott Bartholomew and the Braves will look to rebound from last year’s losing record after going 21-4 with two playoff berths in 2009 and 2010. Key contributors to a team that returns 16 starters (nine on defense) are QB/DB Anthony Vagnier (6-3, sr.), WR/CB Blake Riffle (6-4, sr.) and LB Luke Thompson (6-1, sr.).
* Dayton Oakwood (5-5) – The Paul Stone era is over at Oakwood after six playoff trips. Enter veteran head coach Rick Robertson, who led Springfield to the DI R3 Semifinals last year and also coached previously at Kettering Fairmont and Springfield North.
* Dayton Thurgood Marshall (8-2) – The Cougars are 18-2 on the field the last two years but still have yet to make the postseason. An ineligible player kept them out in 2009 and last year they scored 17.8899 computer points, which was only good enough for 11th place in D-IV R16. That tally, however, would have been enough for the final playoff spot in R12.
* Circleville (4-6) – Head coach Keith Downing (75-70 in 14 years) welcomes back seven starters led by two-way standout Andy Taylor. Taylor is the top returning rusher (319 yards, three TDs) and receiver (183 yards). Senior DL Anthony Dietrich (56 tackles) and senior DB Jed Taylor (45) will lead the defense.
* Indian Hill (3-7) – After four straight playoff berths, the Braves are looking to snap a three-year absence. Senior RBs Austin Trout (6-1, 190) and Jack Schaub (6-1, 220) will look for daylight behind the blocking of seniors Steve Bell (6-6, 290) and Rob Becker (6-2, 24) and junior Sami Kassem (6-4, 305).
* Fairfield Union (3-7) – The Falcons and head coach Tom McCurdy (ninth year at school) return eight starters on offense and five on defense. Key contributors to what could be a turnaround season include: DE/OL Zach Wolfe (6-2, 210, sr.), LB/RB Cody Vanlinge (5-11, 205, sr.), LB/RB Josh Stewart (6-1, 205, jr.) and DE/OL Sam Green (6-1, 205, jr.).
* Washington Court House (8-3, D-III R12 Quarterfinalist) – The Blue Lions had a great season last year (made playoffs and beat county rival Miami Trace for first time in 21 years). This season head coach Corey Dye and Court House must replace 14 seniors. Two key returners are senior FB/LB Riley Shaw (6-3, 230) and senior DE/RB Jerome Pettiford (6-3, 240). Shaw has led the team in tackles the last three years, while Pettiford set the school’s single-season sack record last year with 12.5.
ALSO IN THIS REGION
Cincinnati Aiken (2-8), Athens (5-5), Gallipolis Gallia Academy (7-3), Goshen (3-7), Hillsboro (2-8), Kenton Ridge (6-4), London (5-5), Greenfield McClain (6-4), Dayton Meadowdale (1-9), Miami Trace (2-8), Monroe (6-4), Vinton County (2-8)
Dark Horses: New Richmond, Thurgood Marshall