Region 26 Teams To Watch: Triad, Fort Loramie, Covington among challengers

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Region 26

A look at those teams we think will challenge for the top spot in the region.


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2013 Ohio HS Football Preview

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Region 26 Preview

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 last year. “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 seniors Mark Clifford (FB/DL, 6-1, 215), LB Nate Yoakum (LB, 5’9, 180) and Dakota Morgan (OL/LB, 6’1, 205); juniors Clay Archer (OL, 6’1, 225),  Gavin Carter (OL/DL, 6’3, 235) and Mason McCloy (WR/DE, 6’4, 220); and sophomores Teagan McFadden (RB/DB, 5’10, 185), Anthony McFadden (QB, 5’9, 160) and Caleb Johnson (TE/DE, 6’1, 190). Clifford is a two-time Scioto Valley Conference Punter of the Year and Yoakum is vying to become a three-time All-Ohioan. “We return our top three tacklers and over 90-percent of our offensive output,” Hollon said. “We have decent size and better than average speed with the McFadden boys, Clifford and Tony Hatfield (a sophomore RB who qualified for the regional track meet in the 100 meters). Many of our seniors have started for three years and we return a very good sophomore class that had five kids start as freshmen. Hopefully our juniors will step up and fill a few voids left by graduation, but overall, even though we are still fairly young, we are an experienced team.” The schedule is improved. The Bearcats added Lockland and Columbus Africentric to the non-league slate. Paint Valley owns seven playoff berths but is looking for its first trip since 2003.

*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 strong. Senior NG/RB Bobby Alexander (6-0, 190) is a three-year starter, while classmates DL/OL Dalton Bordelon (6-0, 185) and LB/RB Justin Williams (5-8, 200) are two-year starters. Senior Jordan Wolfe (6-0, 265) and junior Logan Perkins (5-11, 190) bolster the OL. “We lost a very talented group of seniors from the 2012 team, which made it to the regional finals,” Head coach Dave Miller said (61-11 in five years at Covington). “Of that group there were several 3 and 4 year starters. Replacing them will be tough. As always, it will primarily be up to the incoming seniors to fill the void, and most importantly provide the leadership necessary for us to max out on our potential as a team, which is always our number one goal.” Covington bolstered its schedule with the addition of St. Henry in Week 1. The game is on the road and is the first of a four-year contract “Obviously, this will be a major test for our football team based on the traditions at St. Henry and the MAC,” Miller said. “Conference-wise Miami East, Tri County North and Bradford all qualified for the 2012 playoffs and have the potential to be very good again this season.”

*Dayton Jefferson Township (5-4): The Broncos have never been to the playoffs, but could make a push for that feat this season. Senior ATH/DB Tmonte Watson (5-10, 165) and senior RB/LB Dante Bland (6-2, 270) are two big reasons why. Watson returns after rushing for three TDs, catching two TDs and returning a kick for another. Bland is back after making 108 tackles, 14 TFL, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He also ran for 10 TDs and had a TD reception. Other key returners are senior FB/LB Almatino Dargan II (5-7, 185/65 tackles, seven TFL), senior WR/DB Trent Works (6-0, 145/27 tackles) and junior DL Lamont Ragland (6-2, 245).

*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 return s 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 senior RB Delaunte Thornton (5-8, 193) who is attempting to become the program’s first Division I recruit ever. Last year, Thronton ran for 1,314 yards and 21 TDs. Also back is senior WR Craig Fullenkamp (5-10, 140) who caught 25 passes for 516 yards and six TDs last year. Senior Tyler Kazmaier (6-2, 185) steps in at QB. The OL will be anchored by seniors Andy Meyer (5-11, 190) and Zach Brandewie (6-1, 205) and juniors Luke Gigandet (5-8, 165), David Ahrns (5-11, 275) and Tristan Stripling (5-10, 190). On defense, senior DL Garrett Eilerman (5-11, 184), the reigning Northwest Central Conference Defensive Player of the Year, returns after registering 76 tackles, 11 TFL and 5.5 sacks last season. Other key contributors are senior DE Logan McGee (6-0, 185/49 tackles, 5.5 sacks), Brandewie (100 tackles), Fullenkamp (three INTs), Kazmaier (66 tackles) and Ahrns (50 tackles, five TFL). Other key contributors will be senior RB/LB Troy Benanzer and junior QB/DB Andy Grewe (5-9, 150). Stripling doubles as an effective kicker (48 PATs last year). Loramie’s schedule includes MAC foes Minster and New Bremen in weeks 1 and 2 and then new non-league games against Defiance Tinora and Ada in weeks 3 and 4. “This is the best schedule we have had in our short history of football at Fort Loramie,” Burgbacher said. “After our first 4 games, we will know what kind of football team we have. It’s imperative we get off to a great start. We play in one of the toughest regions in the state with the likes of Marion Local, Ada, Minster,and St. Henry. We know what it takes to advance in the playoffs.”

*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 the 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. Senior DB/WR Tre McIntyre (6-1, 195) had 2,200 all-purpose yards and 27 TDs last year. He also had 95 tackles, nine INTs, four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and 13 pass breakups. Also back are senior receiver threats Doug Lowe (6-2, 180) and Steven Feasel (6-2). Lowe had 300 yards receiving and five TDs last year, while Feasel had 34 receptions and seven TDs. Full-time QB duties transition to sophomore Trent McIntyre (6-0, 185) who threw for 1,200 yards and 12 TDs in four starts last year. He also ran for four TDs. Junior OL Colton Coil (6-1, 310) anchors both lines. Junior LB/FB Chaz Adams (6-0, 185) leads the defense. He had 87 tackles last year. Triad’s first three games (all non-league) are on the road at Indian Lake, Marion Pleasant and Fairbanks. The Cards only have four home games. Could be five with Week 11.  Joked Printz: “If our players can overcome our coaching…they may just win a State Title.”
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Region 26: Team To Beat

Our favorite to win the Region is…CLICK HERE

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Region 26: Keep An Eye On

Teams, players and programs of note entering 2013…CLICK HERE

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Region 26: Also In This Region

Who rounds out the region?…CLICK HERE

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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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