A look at those teams we think will challenge for the top spot in the region.
2013 Ohio HS Football Preview
Region 2 Preview
Teams To Watch
*Beavercreek (7-3): The Beavers are coming off one of the most successful seasons in school history. Creek won a share of its first Greater Western Ohio Conference title and first league title of any kind since 1985. The Beavers also beat Centerville and Wayne in the same season for the first time ever and notched the program’s first back-to-back winning seasons since 1968-69. Now what? How about the playoffs. Creek head coach Scott Coldfelter (39-51 in 10 years) returns one of Ohio’s top players in JJHuddle Top 100 prospect Airius Moore. A senior LB, Moore (6-0, 215) is the reigning GWOC Central Division Defensive Player of the Year and holds offers from Indiana, Illinois, Cincinnati, Marshall and several MAC schools. Moore doubles as a pounding RB. Creek’s defense will be bolstered by the return of senior All-GWOC players in DL RJ Cowans (5-9, 200) and senior LB Taylor Reasoner (6-3, 230). On offense, senior QB Mike Berry (6-3, 219) holds an offer from Toledo.
*Centerville (6-4): The Elks have developed more Division I interior lineman than any other programin Ohio over the last three years and the migration won’t slow down this season. Senior DE Tito Idenigbo (6-4, 265) is headed to Illinois, while senior OL Jared Weyler (6-4, 275) and Patrick Osterhage (6-4, 280) each hold offers from over eight schools. At the skill positions, Centerville has two talented seniors in RB Nick Bozzo (6-0, 185/Led GWOC in all-purpose yards) and DB Cameron Langer (6-0, 185/48 tackles, three fumble recoveries). The schedule is brutal and includes non-conference games with Pickerington Central, Springboro and Florida state champion Naples.
*Colerain (12-1, Region 4 finalist): The Cardinals had an astonishing 21 players earn All-GMC honors last year. Of those, nine return for head coach Tom Bolden. Expectations are high again and they should be with a defense that should be one of southwest Ohio’s best. The Cardinals return DL Aric Johnson (sr., 5-10, 215), LB Tegray Scales (sr., 6-2, 215/Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Louisville, West Virginia, BC, Mineesota, Indiana and Illinois offers), DB Jalen Christan (sr., 5-10, 175/four INTs) and DB Ryan Williamson (sr., 6-0, 180/Buffalo offer, five INTs). On offense, senior RB DeTuan Smith (5-6, 177) returns after rushing for 808 yards and eight TDs en route to first team All-GMC honors. Colerain’s receiving corps is one of Ohio’s best and includes four returning All-GMC seniors in WR Kelvin Cook (5-11, 165/five total TDs), WR Tre Hudson (6-4, 205), WR TJ Dula (5-8, 165/three total TDs) and TE Josh Boland (6-2, 225/two TDs). Look for Cook to potentially play QB.
*Elder (8-4, Region 4 semifinalist): The Panthers snapped a two-year playoff drought by rebounding from a 2-2 start to win five of six to close the regular season. An OT loss to Colerain ended the run. Elder has high expectations and for good reason. One of which is senior RB Chris Schroer. A first team All-GCL selection, Schroer (6-0, 215) ran for 1,491 yards and 25 TDs last year. Senior TE Devin Pike (6-6, 225/28 receptions, 310 yards) holds offers from Illinois, Boston College, Lousiville, Virginia, Minnesota and several MAC schools. On defense, Edler features a pair of returning All-GCL senior DBs in Tony Mazza (6-0, 180/55 tackles) and Tom Autenrieb (5-11, 170/29 tackles). First team All-GCL DL Carl Lengerich (5-11, 230, sr./34 tackles, 4.5 sacks) is back too. The schedule includes Middletown, Upper Arlington, St. Edward, St. Xavier, Moeller and Winton Woods.
*Hilliard Davidson (10-3): The Wildcats have made the playoffs 11 times in 13 years and own two state titles since 2006. Davidson has also played in five straight regional finals. The Wildcats welcome back several standouts, including senior OL/DL Jared Johns (5-11, 220), senior DE/TE Alex Backenstoe (6-1, 230/56 tackles, 14 TFL, eight sacks), senior RB Dametrius Clark (5-11, 186/seven TDs), senior DB Parker Foard (All-OCC), senior TE/DE Cody Fravel (6-4, 245/injured for part of 2012) and Phillipie Motley (5-11, 175/offers from Pitt and several AMC schools). Junior DB Markus Bailey (6-1, 205) has offers from Toledo, Bowling Green and Akron. Head coach Brian White is 148-46 in 14 seasons.
*Lakota East (8-4, Region 4 semifinalist): Despite a two-game slide midseason, the Thunderhawks rebounded to earn the program’s first ever playoff berth and win. Gone from that squad are eight All-GMC players. Senior OL Jarrett LaRubbio (6-5, 280) had over 20 offers before committing to Kentucky. He’ll block for senior QB Eric Eichler (6-2, 200) who ran for 644 yards and 12 TDs and threw for 703 yards and 10 TDs. Also back is senior WR Nate Mays (5-11, 160) who had team highs in receptions (12), yards (185) and receiving TDs (five) last year. Senior RB Bobby Brown (6-0, 196) will assume the bulk of the rushing attempts after running for 435 yards and two TDs last year. He also caught three TD passes and owns an offer from Kent State.
*Northmont (7-3): After missing the playoffs three years in a row, T-Bolts Head Coach Lance Schneider set out to change the culture last year. It worked. Northmont missed the playoffs again, but did capture a share of the GWOC Central Division title and made the program “relevant again in the school and community” according to Schneider. Can they keep the momentum going? The roster is loaded. Senior DE Terry Ramsey (6-5, 225) has offers from Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and West Virginia, while senior DB Josh Blanton (5-11, 170) owns an offer from Miami (Oh.). Additional key defenders are senior DBs Isaiah Williams (6-4, 195/four INTs, three fumble recoveries), D.J. Hickman (5-11, 160/five INTs) and Zach Weatherford (6-0, 175/18 tackles). Senior DE Kenny Coleman Jr. (6-3, 240) is a transfer from Dublin Scioto that’s expected to make an impact. Another transfer of note is senior LB Dante Bland (6-2, 270) who returns after a year at Jefferson Township where he had 108 tackles, 14 TFL, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 11 TDs. On offense, the WR corps includes senior Cameron Taylor (6-1, 153) and Williams (54 repections, 719 yards and three TDs). Senior QB Graham Oberer (6-4, 203) steps in at QB. Junior OL Josh Perry (6-3, 260) holds an offer from Toledo. Keep any eye on junior TE Jonte Brski (6-2, 245) and sophomore OL Nick Moore (6-1, 240). The schedule opens with newcomer Dayton Thurgood Marshall followed by Westerville South and Lakota East (both losses last year).
*Pickerington Central (7-3, Region 3 quarterfinalist): The Tigers had a rare down year for a program that is use to playing for regional championships over the past decade, but that down year still resulted in a trip to week 11. PC had to replace a plethora of players on both sides of the ball from their 2011 team, which finished state runner-up in Division I. In 2012, the Tigers found a way to win seven games, which included two improbable victories over Reynoldsburg and Gahanna Lincoln. However, PC did fall victim to city rival Pickerington North for the first time in school history and what made matters worse, they lost to the Panthers twice by a combine score of 61-0. Though, Central did manage to earn a share of the OCC Ohio championship when Pickerington North lost to Grove City in week 10. The Purple and White return plenty from last year’s playoff team starting with three offensive linemen. Brendan Dudziak (6’6/270/Sr.), Josh Clouse (5’10/190/Sr.), and Tyler Boyd (5’11/270/Sr.) all started up front for the Tigers a season ago. Senior quarterback Colby Simkins (5’10/190) returns for his second season under center, while running back Tawain Gordon (6’0/190/Sr.) should have a breakout season after splitting time as a junior. Central welcomes back two of the better receivers in Central Ohio in junior Eric Marshall (5’10/170) and senior Andrew Meyer (6’1/190). Meyer was hampered by injuries throughout his junior season. Tight end Cris Reyes (5’11/195/Sr.) returns as well. On defense, the Tigers will be stout once again. Linebackers senior Isaiah Richmond (6’0/220), junior linebacker Clay Burk (5’11/195), senior Jae’Sean Tate (6’4/215), and junior Clayton Glasco (6’2/215) should be a force. Tate is an Ohio State verbal for basketball, but owns several D1 football offers as well. Keith Roberts (5’10/200/Sr.) and DaVon Hamilton (6’3/285/So.) will hold down the defensive line, which was very undersized a year ago. Seniors Vinnie Allen (5’9/170), Jordan Piecczynski (5’8/180), and Rudy Stefanitsis (6’1/190) along with Marshall return in the secondary. In addition, keep an eye on sophomore Seth Currens (6’3/185), who dressed varsity as a freshman. Another solid weapon for the Tigers will be sophomore kicker Devon McMillin (6’1/175), who made some key extra points as a freshman. Pickerington Central will replace opening week games with Cincinnati Colerain and Columbus Marion-Franklin with heavyweights Centerville and Middletown. The Tigers will have a bye week (2) between the two Southwest Ohio opponents. “Our two non-league games have even a bigger impact on our season with the modification to the Division I regional assignments,” head coach Jay Sharrett believes. “Level two points are more critical due to splitting level two points once a team enters conference play.” Sharrett, who is (101-21) in his 10 years as the Tigers’ boss, believes he has close to 12 potential Division 1 prospects on his team. Meyer owns an offer from Ohio University.
*Pickerington North (12-2, Region 3 Champion): The Panthers had a historical run last year. Pick North beat Pick Central for the first time ever (during the regular season_ and then did it again (in the playoffs) en route to the school’s first regional title. Graduation took its toll, but talent lingers. Senior LB Dylan Weigel (6-0, 205) returns after leading the team in tackles last season (74 tackles, 12 TFL). The offense will be led by senior QB Zephaniah Miller (6-0, 180) who accounted for 10 TDs last season.
*Springboro (10-1, Region 4 quarterfinalist): The Panthers accomplished a program first last season by earning the school’s first D-I playoff berth. This year the goal is to get the second. Senior QB Jack Schaaf (6-2, 195) is back after throwing for 1,305 yards and 16 TDs and rushing for 776 yards and 16 TDs en route to first team All-GWOC honors. Senior TE Jordan Rigg (6-5, 245) holds offers from Ohio and Ball State. Look for versatile junior DL Knock (5-8, 185) to make an impact in the running (103 yards, three TDs) and passing (28 receptions, 403 yards, seven TDs) game. Senior Billy Palcic anchors the OL. Senior LB Austin Tarantino (5-11, 200) was the team’s second leading tackler last year (81) and forced four fumbles. Watch out for senior TE John Luke Arrington (6-6, 205) a transfer from Fenwick who caught four TDs last year.
*Sycamore (9-2, Region 4 quarterfinalist): The Aviators made a second straight trip to the postseason and should challenge this year to run that to a school-record three straight. Sycamore needs to replace nine All-GMC performers, but last year they had to replace eight. The parts coming back are big. Senior QB Greg Simpson (5-9, 185), the reigning GMC Offensive Player of the Year, returns after running for 1,915 yards and 28 TDs and throwing for 1,024 yards and 13 TDs. Simpson also punts (35.2 yard average). Three All-GMC offensive lineman return in seniors Jake Barnhorst (6-4, 230) and Max Engelhart (6-1, 285) and junior Mat Severence (6-0, 260). On defense, senior LB Tinashe Bere (6-2, 230) is a first team All-GMC player that’s committed to Duke. He headlines a unit that also features DL Cayden Richter (sr., 6-5, 240), DL Todd Lewis (sr., 6-1, 230/All-GMC) and DB Jamar Hunter (sr., 5-10, 160).
*Upper Arlington (6-4): The Golden Bears have long been one of the premier programs in Central Ohio under head coach Mike Golden, who is just two wins shy of 200. “Daily success is our milestone,” Golden said. The Golden Bears return 15 starters from a six-win team led by Michigan State commit LB/RB/KR Chris Frey (6’2/200/Sr.). Frey had 13 D1 offers, which included Syracuse, Boston College, Kentucky, and Purdue. UA, who is looking for its third playoff appearance in the last six years, returns WR/DB Jackson Finfrock (6’2/165/Sr.), WR/DB Nick Blazek (6’2/170/Sr.), QB/DB Kyle Kaparos (6’1/185/Jr.), WR/CB Sam Wheeler (5’11/170/Sr.), WR/LB Graham Devine (6’1/180/Sr.), WR/DB Lewis Hughes (6’0/180/Sr.), RB/LB Chase Greenlee (6’3/222/Sr.), and TE/DE Nathaniel Jones (6’1/184/Sr.) at the skill positions. Greenlee is another Division 1 prospect on UA roster. The line will welcome back OL/DL Blake Reid (6’0/180/Sr.), OL/LB Bo Brunton (6’2/220/Sr.), OL/DL Noah Spielman (6’2/251/Sr.), OL/DL Ben White (6’1/170/Sr.), OL/DL Hakkon Borstad (6’4/240/Sr.), and OL/DL Andrew Reed (6’3/205/Sr.). Spielman, who is drawing D1 interest, is the son of former Ohio State and NFL great Chris Spielman. The schedule’s only change will be the opener, as Columbus Marion-Franklin will replace Columbus Walnut Ridge. The Golden Bears will try to get some revenge on out-of-conference opponents Cincinnati Elder and Gahanna Lincoln after losing 45-7 to each a season ago. “We have a very tough Marion-Franklin, Cincinnati Elder, and Gahanna (Lincoln) teams in our non-league, and (Hilliard) Davidson, (Dublin) Coffman, and (Olentangy) Liberty in our league,” Golden mentioned.
*Wayne (7-4, Region 4 quarterfinalist): The Warriors made the playoffs for the 10th time in 14 years and look primed to reach Week 11 again. Head coach Jay Minton (178-70 career record) welcomes back eight starters on defense including Kentucky commit Dorian Hendrix (6-1, 220) at LB. Also back are a pair of standout DBs in senior Jordan Whitfield (6-1, 182) and junior Tyree Kinnel (6-1, 185/Kentucky and Arkansas offers). Junior DL Robert Landers (6-0, 260) is one to watch. On offense, junior D’Metrik Trice (6-0, 165) takes over at QB after throwing for 379 yards and three TDs in a back-up role last season. Senior RB Trey McFadden (5-9, 200) returns after rushing for 617 yards and seven TDs, as does senior WR Tristan Davis (5-11, 175) who caught 37 passes for 425 yards and three TDs. Junior athlete Devin Reed (6-1, 178) is a threat anywhere on the field (15 receptions, 275 yards, three TDs). The Warriors have their first home opener in 12 years when they host Gahanna Lincoln in Week 1. After that Wayne plays at Trotwood-Madison before hosting Lakota West in Week 3. In GWOC Central Division play, the Warriors host Centerville and Northmont in weeks 8 and 10, respectively.
*Westerville South (8-3, Region 3 quarterfinalist): The Wildcats made the program’s 10th postseason appearance last season and would like to add No. 11. South features two JJHuddle 2014 Top 100 prospects in senior WR Torrodd Carter (6-2, 180/Offers from Ohio, Miami, Akron and Marshall) and senior TE Darryl Long (6-5, 220/Kentucky commit). Also back is DB Tim Bates (6-3, 190) who had 45 tackles and eight INTs last year. Bates also expects to fill in at QB for Nick Renzetti (the Ohio National Guard Ohio Player of the Year). Junior OL Rob Dowdy (6-7, 240) is among the state’s top 2015 prospects. He has offers from Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, West Virginia, Georgia Tech and Arkansas.
Region 2: Team To Beat
Our favorite to win the Region is…..CLICK HERE
Region 2: Keep An Eye On
Teams, players and programs of note entering 2013…..CLICK HERE
Region 2: Also In This Region
Who rounds out the region?…..CLICK HERE
D-I Preseason All-Ohio Team
Playoff Teams: Our Predictions
10 Players To Watch