MVP Football Preview Excerpt:
A look at Division V, Region 20 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 20 Previews and Predictions
TEAMS TO WATCH
Anna (8-3, D-V R 20 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – DL/OL/P Maverick Long (6-1, 220, sr.), DL Dustin Noffsinger (5-8, 200, sr.), OL Dew Gunsinger (sr.), OL Nick Reier (sr.), LB Caleb Maurer (6-1, 195, sr.), DB Wes Wolters (sr.), RB/LB Cole Furgasen (6-0, 190, sr.), QB Jay Meyer (6-4, 170, sr.); RB Gage Beasecker (5-7, 185, sr.)
* Outlook – The Rockets return eight players who earned All-MAC honors last year in Long, Noffsinger, Gunsinger, Reier, Maurer, Wolters, Fergasen and Meyer. Every year we expect Anna to break out and make a deep postseason push and again this year the ingredients are there. Furgasen and Besecker will log most of the carries after combining for 99 carries, 599 yards and nine TDs last season. Meyer is back after throwing for 1,550 yards and 20 TDs. Defensively, Maurer (85 tackles, eight TFL), Noffsinger (47 tackles, seven TFL) and Long (40 tackles, 10 TFL) are anchors. Head coach Bryan Rioch is 91-32 in 12 years.
Miami East (6-4)
* Players to Watch – RB/DB/K Josh Snyder (5-8, 150, sr.), QB/LB Colton Bowling (6-1, 180, sr.), RB/DB/P Michael Fellers (5-11, 145, so.), OL/LB Dallas Thompson (5-8, 180, sr.), OL Jake Eidemiller (5-11, 215, sr.)
* Outlook – The Vikings have had a resurgence the last few years under longtime head coach Max Current (52-70 in 12 years) and have been to the playoffs twice while going 31-11. Expect another solid season. Snyder, the program’s career leader in PATs (87), carried the ball 95 times for 582 yards and 10 TDs last season, while Bowling returns after completing 43-of-102 passes for 508 yards and five TDs. Fellers is a threat on offense and special teams (36 carries, 10 receptions, eight KO returns and 29 punts). Bowling (70 tackles, 12.5 TFL, three fumble recoveries), Snyder (55 tackles) and Thompson (97 tackles) lead the defense.
Coldwater (11-4, D-V State Runner-Up)
* Players to Watch – QB Austin Bruns (6-4, 205, jr.), K/WR/DB Troy Otten (5-9, 170, sr.), OL/DE Mark Brunet (6-4, 205, sr.), DE Jordan Harlermert (6-2, 220, jr.), LB/TE Jordan Klosterman (6-2, 191, sr.), DB Jordan Chapin (5-9, 170, jr.), DB/WR Caleb Siefring (5-10, 160, jr.), LB/TE Zach Dickman (6-1, 210, jr.), WR/DB Alex Stammen (6-2, 175, sr.), OL/DL Alex Grieshop (6″0, 255, sr.)
* Outlook – Last year the Cavaliers (who own the most wins in the state since 2000 – 134) had a new head coach in Chip Otten and were supposed to have a subpar season. Instead they made it all the way back to the D-V state championship game. What can they do for an encore? How about three straight state finals? It’s a real possibility. Bruns threw for over 2,500 yards and 24 TDs last season despite missing the final three playoff games with an injury. Otten is one of the state’s most prolific kickers (96 PATs) and Siefring is a two-way standout that started all 15 games last year and was the lone sophomore to make All-MAC (first or second team). Chapin, an All-MAC HM pick, returns to lead the defense after making 151 tackles. Klosterman made 119 stops.
Marion Pleasant (7-3)
* Players to Watch – OLB Jasone Montgomery (6-5, 225, sr.), OL/DL Brady Whiting (6-3, 290, sr.), WR/RB Ryan Snyder (6-2, 185, sr.), TE/LB Trevor Miller (6-2, 225, sr.), QB Eli Burris (6-0, 185, sr.), OL/DL Tyler Ferguson (6-0, 250, sr.), FB/DL Reid Masters (6-0, 190, sr.), DB Colt Tanner (5-7, 165, sr.), WR/DB Devlin McDaniel (5-11, 190, jr.), FB/LB Holden Rosebrough (6-0, 230, jr.), RB/DB Zach Galindo (5-10, 195, sr.), WR/DB Jake McCurdy (5-11, 185, sr.), WR/LB Mikey Carroll (5-9, 165, sr.)
* Outlook – After 17 straight playoff berths, the Spartans have been left out of the postseason two seasons in a row. A new streak should start this season. Second-year head coach Aaron Cook returns 10 starters on each side of the ball and has 18 seniors. Montgomery is a D-I prospect.
* Players to Watch – WR/DE Mitchell Campbell (6″4″, 196, sr.), WR/DB Aaron McNeilan (5-10″, 180, sr.), WR/CB Ethan Bruns (6-0, 155, sr.), LB Jordan Luthman (5-10″, 185, sr.), OL/DE Jacob Heitkamp (6-2, 205, jr.), LB Mike Rutschilling (6-0, 165, jr.), DL Luke Schlater (6-0, 205, sr.), OL Lee Kindell (5-11″, 205, sr.)
* Outlook – The Tigers enter Year 4 under head coach Bob Olwin and his spread offense intent on making a push for the MAC title. Versailles has gone 2-8, 6-4 and 6-4 under Olwin who had a stellar career at Sherwood Fairview. Campbell already owns the Versailles career records for receptions and receiving TDs, while McNeilan and Bruns were the team’s second and third leading receivers last year, respectively. The QB competition comes down to quick release junior Kyle Niekamp (6-2, 175) and sophomore Nick Campbell (6-0, 165). Campbell led the freshman team to a 9-1 season last year and is “as tough as nails” according to Olwin.
Covington (11-1, D-VI R24 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB Isaiah Winston (5-11, 170, sr.), RB A.J. Ouellette (5-10, 165, so.), DB/RB Kyler Deeter (6-0, 160, jr.), LB Dylan Owens (6-1, 190, jr.), DB/WR Sam Earick (5-11, 150, sr.), OL Steven Blei (5-11, 200, sr.), DL/OL Darren Clark (6-1, 220, sr.), LB/WR Gabe Mohler (6-5, 190, jr.), LB/FB Bobby Alexander (6-1, 195, so.), OL Sam Christian (6-0, 265, sr.), OL Brandon Powell (5-9, 250, sr.), DL/OL Brian Olson (6-0, 195, sr.)
* Outlook – After a successful run in D-VI (been to the playoffs 12 of the last 13 years), the Buccs bump up a division. A small senior class (six) heavy on experience will try to “help motivate a talented group of juniors and sophomores” according to head coach Dave Miller (39-9 in four years). Winston return at QB after rushing for 763 yards and 14 TDs. He also threw for six scores. Ouellette is a dual threat out of the backfield (339 yards rushing and four TDs, 172 yards receiving and two TDs). Owens was the team’s leading tackler last year (121 tackles) and tied two others, including Earick, for the team lead in interceptions (three). Clark (79.5 tackles, six TFL), Mohler (44.5 tackles, 12 TFL and six sacks) and Alexander (39 tackles, 7.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks) anchor a stout defense.
West Jefferson (12-1, D-V R 20 Finalist)
* Players to Watch – DL/TE Chaney Fulton, West Jefferson (6-1, 205, sr.), RB/LB Tommy Blair (5-11, 200, sr.), WR/DB Ryan Love (6-2, 180, jr.), QB/DB Cody Williams (5-11, 170, sr.), OL/DL Cory Ginn (6-2, 210, jr.)
* Outlook – The Roughriders have been in the playoffs five years in a row and should be again. Fulton (65 tackles, 17.5 TFL, 11 sacks) and Ginn (62 tackles, 12.5 TFL) anchor the defensive line, while Blair (89 tackles) and Williams (four INTs) lead the linebacking corps and secondary. On offense, Fulton (16 receptions, 373 yards, four TDs) and Love (10 receptions, 226 yards, three TDs) will be targets for Williams (15 receptions, 257 yards, two TDs) who’ll make the transition to QB.
KEEP AN EYE ON
* Mechanicsburg (4-6) – Head coach Kurt Forrest (9-21 career record) enters his second season at the Burg with a young team looking to restore the tradition that led the Indians to seven straight playoff berths from 2002-2008. Centerburg is new on the schedule.
* Mariemont (5-5) – The Warriors are led by HOF head coach Tom Crosby who is 203-112-1 in 33 years at the school. This season, thanks to a group of experienced skill players and “big/strong” young lineman, Crosby expects his team to make a push for the Cincinnati Hills League title and a playoff berth. Key senior contributors will be QB Eric Nerl (6-2, 185), RB Griffin Donnelly (5-10, 180), RB Kaleb Iles (5-9, 180), OL Nick Butcher (6-3, 275), LB Mike Wirthlin (5-11, 180) and LB Jimmy Beach (6-0, 180). Keep an eye on sophomore OL/DL Jon Bezney (6-3, 230), Joe Jennings (6-3, 255) and Carter Kemper (6-4, 265).
* Purcell Marian (1-9) – The Cavaliers will lean heavily on senior RB E.J. Burnett who rushed for 1,013 yards and eight TDs last season. He also had 20 receptions for 115 yards and two TDs.
ALSO IN THIS REGION
West Liberty-Salem (8-2), Triad (7-3), Summit Country Day (7-4, D-V R 20 Quarterfinalist), Adena (7-3), Bethel (7-3), Clark Montessori (6-4), Dayton Christian (6-4), Deer Park (0-10), Dixie (7-3), Marion Elgin (3-7), Fairbanks (7-2), Chillicothe Huntington (0-10), Madison Plains (1-9), National Trail (0-10), Paint Valley (2-8), Parkway (2-8), Riverdale (5-5), Chillicothe Southeastern (7-3), Twin Valley South (2-8)
Dark Horses: Dixie, West Liberty-Salem