MVP Football Preview Excerpt:
A look at Division IV, Region 16 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 16 Previews and Predictions
TEAMS TO WATCH
Clinton-Massie (11-1, D-IV R16 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – OL Jared Salisbury (6-6, 330, sr.); OL Jimmy Singleton (6-3, 280, sr.); OL Trent Smart (6-3, 230, jr.); OL Jake Weaver (6-2, 220, jr.); TE Bradly Burgess (6-3, 220, sr.); LB Wes Clutter (5-9, 190, sr.); DB Dillion Davis (6-2, 185, sr.); FB Wyatt Running (6-0, 190., jr.); RB Bayly Wolfe (6-0, 180, so.)
* Outlook – The Falcons, led by head coach Dan McSurley (123-46 in 15 years), have been to the playoffs nine straight years and won 33 straight regular season games. No reason to think Massie doesn’t make it 10 postseason trips in a row. As for another 10-0 regular season, that may be a little tougher. Size and athleticism on the OL won’t be an issue, especially with Salisbury ( D-I prospect) up front. Experience in the backfield is a small concern. Defensively, the secondary will be a strength.
Waynesville (8-3, D-IV R16 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB Luke Creditt (6-2, 205, sr.), OL/DL Isaac Hammonds (6-0, 255, sr.), K Caleb Keeton (5-10, 175, sr.), WR/DB Matt Hussey (5-10, 160, sr.), WR/DB Ty Black (6-0, 165, jr.), RB/LB Matt Lindsey (5-11,185, sr.), LB Mike Tarkany (6-4, 230, sr.)
* Outlook – Despite a head coaching change last year, the Spartans didn’t skip a beat, making the postseason for the fourth straight time in Brandon Philpot’s first season. For an encore Waynesville will try to make it back to the playoffs and win a game this year for just the second time in history. Creditt, who owns all the WHS single-season passing marks and is five TDs away from the career record, is one of the state’s top QB prospects. Last year he accounted for over 3,000 yards of offense and 40 TDs (threw for over 2,500 yards and 31 TDs and ran for over 900 yards and nine TDs). Keeton is a kicking prospect who holds all the WHS single-season kicking records and is one pace to break the school’s career PAT and FG marks. The key for Waynesville will be the first month of the season when it opens with four playoff teams (East Clinton, Clinton-Massie, Eaton and Carlisle).
* Players to Watch – QB Austin Gearing (6-5, 205, sr.), TE/DE Nick Durham (6-3, 215, sr.), OL/DL Michael Koehkle (6-4, 260, sr.), LB Nick Marchetti (6-1, 185, sr.), DL Lucas Cunningham (6-1, 245, jr.)
* Outlook – The Falcons looked like a team that could make noise in the postseason last year, before losing their last three games by a combined 17 points (to Alter, Carroll and Badin) and failing to make the playoffs. Head coach Fred Cranford (21-29 in five years) welcomes back a “very strong and physical team with lots of talent at the skills position and an incredible amount of playing experience.” Durham was first team GCL, while Gearing (accounted for 19 TDs), Marchetti (three INTs) and Koehike were second team. Gearing has committed to Miami (Oh).
East Clinton (8-3, D-V R20 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – OL/DL Matt Ison (6-3, 275, sr.), RB/LB Matt Blackburn (6-0, 190, sr.), WR/DB Will Henderson (6-0, 165, sr.), WR/DB Nate Witkemper (5-8, 150, sr.), RB/LB Austin Miller (5-7, 160, sr.)
* Outlook – The Astros and head coach Matt Hodge (28-24 in five years) will test the D-IV waters this year. Henderson (117 tackles, three INTs), Blackburn (115 tackles) and Witkeper (six INTs) lead a solid defense. Ison anchors both lines, while Miller (1,390 career rushing yards, 16 TDs) will be the main cog on offense. EC is going for its fourth straight Southern Ohio Athletic Conference title.
Roger Bacon (8-4, D-III R12 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – RB Griffin Mouty (5-9, 175, sr.), LB Ben Rose (5-10, 190, sr.), DB Dalen Wess (5-8m 165, sr.). OL/DL Joe Newton (6-4, 225, sr.)
* Outlook – The Spartans must replace eight first team All-GCL Central performers from last year’s playoff team (their first since 2005). Mouty returns after leading the team in rushing (1,007 yards) and scoring (11 TDs). Rose (three fumble recoveries and three interceptions) and Wess (two fumble recoveries and two interceptions) combined for 10 takeaways last season.
Williamsport Westfall (7-3)
* Players to Watch – QB Trent Williamson (5-10, 200, jr.); OL Doug Hardin (6-4, 275, jr.); TE Alek Stonerock (6-5, 230, jr.); WR Tim Staten (5-10, 160, sr.), LB Seth Sias (5-10, 210, jr.), WR AJ Gifford (6-3, 180, sr.), DB Luke Cline (5-11, 160, jr.)
* Outlook – The Mustangs, a transplant from R15, are 34-11 under head coach Scott Keller the last four years and have been to the playoffs twice. Williamson is a special player who threw for 2,100 yards (19 TDs) and ran for 1,100 yards (14 TDs) last year.
Chaminade Julienne (4-6)
* Players to Watch – LB Darrien Howard (6-2, 241, jr.), DB Marco Gresham (5-10, 175, sr.), WR/DB Darian Reynolds (5-10, 165, sr.), RB/LB Jamel Sanders (6-1, 190, sr.), WR/DB Sam Spees (5-10, 160, sr.)
* Outlook – The Eagles have had an interesting 12 months. CJ ended a frustrating season last year (five losses by seven points or less) with a win over archrival Alter. In the offseason the Eagles lost both their head coach and quarterback after former head coach Andy Helms (not retained) was replaced with 30-year old Marcus Colvin and senior-to-be and three-year-starting QB Michael Simpson transferred to Trotwood-Madison. With all that out of the way, CJ looks to have a solid fall. Howard (61 tackles in six games) has an offer from UC and Sanders (70 tackles, 5.5 TFL) is a standout in his own right. Reynolds caught 42 passes for 523 yards and five TDs last year. Spees (threw 37 passes, had seven carries, caught 17 passes, kicked 15 PATs) is versatile.
Hamilton Badin (6-6, D-V R20 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – DB/WR/K Luke Wurzelbacher (6-3, 195, sr.)
* Outlook – The Rams must replace 12 All-GCL Central players including Cincinnati QB recruit Patrick Coyne. Wurzelbacher was the Rams second leading scorer last year (two TDs, three FGs, 22 Pats) and led the team in interceptions (three).
KEEP AN EYE ON
* North College Hill (10-1, D-IV R16 Quarterfinalist) – NCH has been a playoff team three years in a row. Senior OL Anthony Griffin (6-3, 285) is a load.
* Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (8-4, D-V R20 Semifinalist) – The Eagles, who have been to the playoffs six times since 2002, will rely heavily on senior WR Austin Jones who hauled in 63 passes for 1,187 yards and 17 TDs last year.
* Valley View (6-4) – The Spartans and head coach Jay Niswonger (241-70-1) are coming off a rare season without a playoff berth. Valley View has been in 16 of the last 19 postseasons. Key seniors this year will be OL Bryan Day (6-1, 240), LB Kalab McGinnis (6-1, 180) and QB Patrick Boyle (6-4, 176).
* Carlisle (10-1, D-IV R16 Quarterfinalist) – The Indians are coming off the first back-to-back playoffs appearances in school history. Graduation hit the program hard.
* Maderia (8-2) – Senior OL Kyle Williamson (6-5, 275) has committed to Cincinnati.
* Brookville (3-7) – According to head coach Mike Hetrick (81-79 in 10 years) the Blue Devils will still be “fairly” young this season but they’re looking for better results. Senior OL/DL Logan Shell (6-4, 270) and junior OL/DL Aaron Honious (6-1, 230) anchor both lines, while senior RB/LB Corbin Caudill (5-10, 175) is a playmaker on both sides of the ball. Caudill ran for 777 yards and 13 TDs last year.
* Jamestown Greeneview (0-9) – The Rams haven’t had a winning season since 1996, but they picked up a huge victory in the offseason with the hire of head coach Neal Kasner. Kasner led D-II Harrison to a playoff berth last year and in 2006 but lost his teaching job due to budget cuts. Kasner also had success at Mechancisburg where he led the Indians to the playoffs five times in six years.
* Cincinnati Shroder (6-4) – The Jaquars have a D-I recruit in senior DT Izaah Lunsford (6-4, 27) who is headed to Bowling Green.
ALSO IN THIS REGION
Batavia (2-8), Bethel-Tate (1-9), Blanchester (2-8), Clermont Northeastern (4-6), Finneytown (3-7), Middletown Madison (4-6), Dayton Northridge (1-9), Norwood (1-9), Dayton Pontiz (2-8), Preble Shawnee (3-7), Reading (7-3), North Bend Taylor (4-6), Milton-Union (4-6)
North College Hill
Dark Horses: CHCA, Badin, Valley View