The Roughriders had played in five of six regional finals before
missing the playoffs all together last season. They finished ninth in
Region 20. West Jeff’s three losses? To D-VI state champion Marion
Local, D-V state semifinalist Liberty Union and D-II playoff team
2013 Ohio HS Football Preview
2013 JJHuddle HS Football Previews
*West Jefferson (7-3): The Roughriders had played in five of six regional finals before missing the playoffs all together last season. They finished ninth in Region 20. West Jeff’s three losses? To D-VI state champion Marion Local, D-V state semifinalist Liberty Union and D-II playoff team Licking Heights.
This season the Roughriders face a new challenge with a new league (switching divisions in the Mid-State League). Five of the 10 teams on 2012’s schedule have been replaced.
New games loom with Jackson (non-league), Madison Plains, Bexley, Columbus Academy and Whitehall-Yearling. There’s also a trip to Marion Local in Week 2.
“We will be a senior laden football team with big game experience,” head coach Shawn Buescher (86-40 in 12 years) said. “We feel that our out of conference schedule will prepare us for the new challenges we will face once we start league play. We are extremely excited about starting in our new conference.”
West Jeff should be. It returns a ton of talent.
Senior RB/LB Jake Hatfield (5-10, 195) is back after rushing for a team-high 678 yards and 11 TDs last year. He also ranked second on the team in tackles (60). Look for senior Logan Stepp (6-0, 170), the team’s second leading receiver last year (36 catches, 600 yards, five TDs), to step in at QB for the departed Seth Castro.
Other key contributors will be senior OL/DL DJ McAninch (6’2″, 215/49 tackles/eight sacks), senior WR/LB Nick Mendenhall (6’5″, 185/45 tackles, three INTs), Senior OL/DL Brandon Doran (6’3″, 300), senioir WR/DB Ross Brennenman (6’0″, 160), senior RB/DB Hayden Fulton (5’9″, 155) and senior OL/DL Carter Harris (6’0″, 215/33 tackles).