Dyer Straight: Coaches, Players agree participation in North-South game is “Dream come true”

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Dyer Straight

By Mike Dyer

Hinton gets second shot to coach South

Chillicothe football coach Ron Hinton can’t wait to get on the Welcome Stadium field on Saturday afternoon.Not only is it the first time Hinton will coach at Welcome, but the North-South Divisions I-III game will represent so much more to a man who has coached high school football for 41 years.This will be the second time Hinton will coach the South squad. Except he didn’t get on the sideline the first game in 2001 because he had triple bypass surgery a week before the game.

Dyer-ColumnHinton, who just completed his fourth year at Chillicothe – his third and final stop, he says – watched the North-South game from his hospital bed and jokes he had a 1-0 record.

“It’s very special,” Hinton said. “It’s a big honor not only to coach a second time but being the head coach twice.”

With so many talented coaches in Ohio, Hinton didn’t think he would get another chance. But, he was flattered to be asked again. In his 41st year of coaching, Hinton, who is the older brother of Ohio State tight ends/fullbacks coach Tim Hinton. Ron previously spent 29 years at Amanda Clearcreek before Chillicothe.

“I don’t have too many more of these days in me,” Ron Hinton said.

Hinton says he remains humbled to be a part of the Divisions I-III coaching staff and wants to soak in everything associated with the staff. “I still step back and listen and try to learn; there are always tweaks you can learn from,” he said.

The South squad will also feature Mount Healthy’s Arvie Crouch, Zanesville’s Chad Grandstaff, Worthington Kilbourne’s Vince Trombetti and Dayton Belmont’s Earl White.

The Divisions I-III game is scheduled for 3 p.m. The Divisions IV-VII game is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Welcome Stadium. Tickets are $10 and good for both games. The teams will practice twice on Thursday and twice on Friday.

Grandstaff, White and Hinton will coach the offense. Hinton says he will coach the offensive line.

Crouch will coach the defensive line and special teams. He said he has a great deal of respect for Hinton. “Awesome guy, great coach,” Crouch said.

Crouch is looking forward to coaching two of his players for a final time in high school – in defensive lineman Demico Jones (Findlay signee) and linebacker Jordan Lackey.

“It’s not a laid back (game),” Crouch said. “It’s a bunch of competitors – the best of the best in Ohio,” said Crouch, who previously coached in the Big 33 among other all-star games.

Crouch said Lackey and Jones are among his favorite players and he feels fortunate to coach them again late in their senior years.

“It’s a dream come true,” Jones said of playing in the game. Jones said he watched older players perform in all-star games when he was younger and he wanted to follow in their footsteps.

“It’s a great chance to meet new friends – to see your talents against (other competition),” Jones said.

69th  Annual Ohio North-South Classic

WHAT: Ohio North-South Classic, the leading high school football all star game in the Midwest
WHO: 144 of the top high-school football players in Ohio playing in two games
WHERE: Welcome Stadium, Dayton
WHEN: Saturday, April 26, 2014
KICKOFF: Division IV-VII game at 11 a.m.; Division I-III game at 3 p.m.
TICKETS: Tickets are $10 and include admission to both games.
MEDIA: Direct media requests to Brent LaLonde at lalondepr@gmail.com

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