A look at those teams we think will challenge for the top spot in the region.
2013 Ohio HS Football Preview
Region 12 Preview
Teams To Watch
*Bellevue (13-2, Division III State Runner-Up): The Redmen advanced to their first state championship game where they came up short against Akron SVSM. Gone from that team is standout QB Jalen Santoro and a slew of other impact players. Among the key returners are senior OL Kile Fox (6-4, 250), senior OL/K Jake Strayer (6-0, 270) and junior LB Joey Marin (5-7, 175/119 tackles).
*Bryan (11-1, Region 10 semifinalist): The Golden Bears capped one of the most impressive seasons in school history (undefeated regular season, NWOAL title and home playoff win over Watterson) by winning the inaugural Ohio National Guard JJHuddle Ohio Team of the Year award. This season could be just as special. Bryan returns talent galore including the senior trio of QB/DB Austin Schimmoeller (6-2, 185), WR/DB Brandon Poncsak (6-3, 170) and LB Jake Jones (6-1, 210). Schimmoeller is the reigning NWOAL Offensive Player of the Year, after rushing for 1,349 yards and throwing for 2,315 more. He accounted for 45 Tds (24 rushing/21 passing). Poncsak (five INTs) and Jones (133 tackles) were first team All-NWOAL. Also back are All-NWOAL selections Daniel Pendegrast (sr., WR, 5-8, 150), Jordan Bostater (sr., OL, 6-0, 230), Brock Minor (sr., DB, 6-0, 200) and Dakota McNany (sr., DB, 6-0, 180). McNany had four INTs last year.
*Caledonia River Valley (8-3, Region 10 quarterfinalist): The Vikings are coming off back-to-back playoff appearances and looking for the first three-year postseason stretch in program history. RV is also looking for the school’s first playoff win. And it’s within grasp. Head coach Doug Green (fourth season at RV/82-68 career record) returns a talented group that should produce plenty of points. Senior QB Matt Green (5-9, 160) returns after throwing for 10 TDs and running for five last season. Also back are senior RBs Gage Stuckman (5-9, 185) and Dylan Kelley (5-10, 165) who each ran for over 550 yards and scored nine TDs. Senior RB De Clarke (5-9, 175) had over 200 yards receiving and rushing and scored three TDs last year. Senior kicker Eric Bell (6-0, 200/45 PATs), senior TE Cy Perry (6-2, 200/103 yards receiving, TD) and senior offensive linemen Jimmy Longo (6-0, 250), Collin Mitchell (5-11, 210) and Austin Guthrie (6-2, 230) also return. Defensively, senior DB Tyler Simmons (5-11, 165/79 tackles), senior DE Jordan Hale (6-1, 210/28 tackles), senior LB Garrett Trafzer (5-9, 195/33 tackles) and Kelley (3 1tackles, two INTs) headline the unit. The schedule got a facelift with new non-league games (Granville, Marion Harding and Loudonville) and new MOAC foes (Jonathan Alder and Fairbanks). “We’ve added some bigger schools and some teams that have a playoff history,” Green said. “We’re excited about the change. We hope to improve throughout the season and compete for the MOAC championship and qualify for the state playoffs.”
*Galion (9-2, Region 14 quarterfinalist): The Tigers are coming off just their second playoff berth since 1989 and are poised for another trip to Week 11. Senior QB/ATH Dareian Watkins (6-1, 204) looks to complete his career as a four-time all-conference performer and has committed to Northwestern. Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan State, Iowa, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Kentucky were among those that also offered. Senior DB Cario Davison (6-2, 196) should make an impact after transferring from Walnut Ridge.
*Genoa (11-1, Region 14 semifinalist): The Comets have made the playoffs five years in a row, but must replace the Northern Buckeye Conference back (Kyle Nutter) and lineman (Nick Keller) of the year if they want to do it again. Senior OL Michael Deiter (6-4, 290) gives them a leg up on the latter. A special player and first team NBC selection at both OL and DL last year, Deiter has committed to Wisconsin. Also back for the Comets is two-way NBC first teamer Logan Bryer (OL/DE). Offensively, look for second team NBC RB and senior David Nutter (5-11, 200) to carry a lot of the load after rushing for 535 yards and eight TDs last year. He also added 60 tackles as an LB. Other key contributors for genoa are senior DL Max Reeder (second team NBC), senior DB Casey Gose (second team NBC), senior WR Quentin Spiess (HM NBC) and junior kicker Cody Pickard (first team NBC). Pickard set the state record with six FGs in a win over Fostoria last year.
*Indian Lake (6-4): The Lakers are on the verge of something big. Indian lake returns its top three rushers from a year ago in the senior trio of L.J. Henderson (5-11, 185/657 yards, eight TDs), Chris Teague (5-10, 145/781 yards, nine TDs) and Montel Morgan (6-0, 175/247 yards, six TDs). Junior RB Hunter Vance (5-11, 170/five TDs) adds depth. Senior QB Christian Grider (6-3, 175) is also back after throwing for 883 yards and five TDs. On defense, the Lakers return their top five tacklers, including Henderson, a LB who had 111 stops last season and is the reigning Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division Defensive Player of the Year. Other key returners are senior LB Ben Wahl (5-10, 160/98 tackles), senior DL Ethan Downing (6-1, 250/77 tackles, 5.5 sacks), Teague (72 tackles) and junior LB Cody Winegardner (5-11, 185/53 tackles, four fumble recoveries).
*La Grange Keystone (5-5): The Wildcats have never been to the playoffs, but that could change this year. Junior WR/TE/DB C.J. Conrad (6-5, 218) is becoming one of the state’s top junior prospects. Last year he caught 59 passes for 924 yards and 14 TDs. He also had three INTs and 87 tackles. Key seniors are QB Marcus Gunter (6-0, 170/1,207 yards, 12 TDs), LB Pierce Young (5-10, 165/54 tackles) and LB Kendle Stiner (6-0 190/75 tackles). Junior LB Ryan Tobicash (6-1, 220/68 tackles) is one to watch.
*Lorain Clearview (7-4, Region 14 quarterfinalist): After a three-year playoff absence, the Clippers earned the program’s 15th postseason berth last year. A 72-0 first round loss to Ottawa-Glandorf still stings. The good news? Talent returns. Junior quarterback Roger Engle returns after throwing for 1,491 yards and 15 TDs. His top target – senior WR Gerrell Williams (6-4, 180) – is also back. Williams had 26 catches for 699 yards and eight TDs last season.
*Millbury Lake (4-6): The Lakers were an up-and-down football team last year. A week after getting shutout by Genoa, Lake scored 54 points in a win over Elmwood. The next week they lost 41-16 to Rossford. The next week they beat Fostoria 66-13. Consistency is something this program needs and something new head coach Mark Emans hopes to provide. Emans, who spent 21 seasons at Wauseon and won a D-III state championship in 1993, replaces former Sherwood Fairview and Versailles HC Bob Olwin who left after one year to go to Ada. The cupboard is far from bare. Junior QB Jared Rettig (6-2, 180) returns after throwing for 2,838 yards and 32 TDs in eight games. He also ran for 354 yards and five TDs. Lake’s top two WRs return in junior Connor Bowen (59 catches, 844 yards, nine TDs) and sophomore Adam Duncan (28 catches, 460 yards, four TDs). Defensively, senior LB Nick Walsh (first team NBC) is back.
*Ontario (6-4): The Warriors will again ride the talented senior backfield of RB Jordan Campbell (5-10, 200) and QB Tyler Boatwright (5-11, 200). Campbell ran for 1,785 yards and scored 33 TDs last year, while Boatwright accounted for 1,030 total yards and seven TDs. Defensively, Ontario returns its top four tacklers, including junior LB Bronson Krull (6-2, 230/74 tackles), senior DB Logan Armstrong (5-11, 180/72 tackles), Boatwright (62 tackles) and junior LB Aaron Baker (5-11, 200/59 tackles).
*Wooster Triway (7-3): The return of junior QB Parker Carmichael (5-11, 160) gives the Titans a shot in any game. Carmichael threw for 2,745 yards and 30 TDs and ran for 220 yards and eight TDs last year. Junior Jordon Miller (5-8, 155/43 receptions, 445 yards, nine TDs) leads a young receiving corps. Junior LB Troy Haven (5-10, 165/77 tackles, 18 TFL) spearheads the defense.
Region 12: Team To Beat
Our favorite to win the Region is….CLICK HERE
Region 12: Keep An Eye On
Teams, players and programs of note entering 2013….CLICK HERE
Region 12: Also In This Region
Who rounds out the region?….CLICK HERE
D-IV Preseason All-Ohio Team
Playoff Teams: Our Predictions
10 Players To Watch