Division VII: Region 26 Overview

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Region 26

Regional breakdown, top players, big games, big names, teams to beat, teams to watch and more…


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Region 26 Preview

Team To Beat

*Marion Local (13-2, D-VI State Champions): The Flyers have won back-to-back D-VI state titles and now reside in D-VII. ML lost just six players to graduation. “Although we have
the bulk of our team back, we do have some big shoes to fill,” head
coach Tim Goodwin (154-40 in 14 years) said. “We lost three linebackers
to graduation, with two of them being first team All-MAC. We have a
handful of guys who have been working their way back from injury and
have not been able to participate fully in the offseason program, which
is a concern. Like any small school, we will be a little thin in terms
of depth at a couple of positions.” The bulk that returns is talented…MORE

Teams To Watch

*Bainbridge Paint Valley (6-3-1): The Bearcats are set up for success. In addition to dropping from D-V to D-VII, PV returns eight starters on each side of the ball and 21 letterwinners from a team that finished 10th in Region 20. “We are very excited for the 2013 season,” head coach Pete Hollon (102-74-1 in 17 years at PV) said. “We have always been one of the smaller D5 schools.” PV returns a ton of talent, including…MORE

*Covington (12-1, Region 20 finalist): The Buccs had a season to remember in 2012. Covington won its 27th league title and earned its 17th playoff berth. The Buccs only loss was to Coldwater in the regional final. Among the team records set in 2012 were points scored (656), total yards (5,858) and rushing yards (5,560). The great news? Last year’s catalyst is back. Senior RB A.J. Ouellette (5-10, 190) returns after posting school single-season records for points (317), TDs (46) and rushing yards (2,434). In 14 games, Covington’s defense allowed just 122 points. The unit remains.…MORE

*Dayton Jefferson Township (5-4): The Broncos have never been to the playoffs, but could make a push this season. Senior ATH/DB Tmonte Watson (5-10, 165) and senior RB/LB Dante Bland (6-2, 270) are two big reasons why…MORE

*Fort Loramie (8-3, Region 24 quarterfinalist): The Redskins have made the playoffs four years in a row. The next step? A regional title. This could be the year. It won’t be easy in a section of the state dominated by the MAC, but Loramie has its own horses. Head coach Matt Burgbacher (36-11 in four years) welcomes back a veteran club that returns eight starters on each side of the ball. “We are cautiously optimistic for the upcoming season,” Burgbacher said. “One area we need to focus on is continuing to improve and fight complacency. Our program has taken great strides in the last four years, and this year should no different.” Offensively, the Redskins will ride…MORE

*North Lewisburg Triad (8-3, Region 20 quarterfinalist): The Cardinals are thinking mountain top – as in state title. Head coach Payton Printz (13th year) is high on a club that returns 18 of 22 starters on offense and defense. “We graduated seven seniors and four of them started for us in 2012,” Printz said. “We have players waiting in the wings to fill their void. I believe we will be a league contender, playoff contender and Division VII contender.” Triad’s go-to guy is one of Ohio’s most versatile…MORE

Keep An Eye On

*Bradford (8-3, Region 24 quarterfinalist): The Railroaders reached the playoffs for the first time in 30 years (1982) last season. Head coach Curtis Enis has…MORE

*Cedarville (1-8-1): The Indians will lean on senior LB Justin Liming (5-11, 190).

*Dola Hardin Northern (0-10): The Polar Bears, who won the D-VI
state title in 2004 and own 12 playoff berths as a program, decided to
not play varsity football this season. As of early July only 12 players
were committed to the program. The school said it would try to play a
junior varsity schedule.

*Waynesfield-Goshen (4-7, Region 24 quarterfinalist): That’s no misprint, the Tigers made the playoffs last year with four wins. In 2011 they had…MORE

*Springfield Catholic Central (2-8): Head coach Steve DeWitt enters his 35th season with the Irish (222-147-1). SCC has…MORE

*South Charleston Southeastern (5-5): The Trojans have one of the state’s top small school defenders in senior LB James South (6-2, 175) who had 98 tackles and 15 sacks last season. Other key senior contributors will be…MORE

*Portsmouth Notre Dame (7-3): The Titans are ready to challenge for the program’s second playoff berth since 2000. Key contributors will be…MORE

Also In This Region

DeGraff Riverside (0-9), Manchester (1-8), Ansonia (1-9), Lockland (2-8), Cincinnati Gamble Montessori (5-4), Cincinnati College Prep Academy (4-4), Upper Scioto Valley (1-9), Cincinnati Christian (2-8), Fort Recovery (3-7), Franklin Furnace Green (3-7), Ridgeway Ridgemont (5-5), Portsmouth Sciotoville (4-6), Lehman Catholic (4-5)

D-VII Preseason All-Ohio Team

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Playoff Teams: Our Predictions

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10 Players To Watch

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Top Games

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