It could be argued that Trotwood-Madison has one of the deepest and most explosive offensive line-ups in the state. Whether that translates into a regional title is yet to be determined. Winton Woods - the defending D-II state champ - and Turpin will also have a huge say in who wins the hardware.
Cincinnati Turpin (11-1) * Players To Watch – QB Eric Martin (6-2 -1/2, 208, Sr.) RB Will Stocker (5-6, 175, Sr.), WR Shade Whitfield (6-1, 178, Sr.), WR Mike Milliken (6-0, 182, Sr.), FB Chris Kanoza (5-11, 235, Sr.), OG John Adkerson (6-1, 220, Sr.), DL Andrew Flohr (6-3, 235, Sr.) * Outlook – The Spartans are a perennial power in Region 8 and nothing is expected to change this year. Last season, they entered the playoffs with the No. 1 seed in this region. They beat Wilmington 44-21 in the first round, but were then knocked out by Trotwood-Madison 43-7.
Martin is ranked as the No. 11 quarterback in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio and he will lead the way again this season for Turpin. As a junior in 2009, he threw for 1,667 yards (59.1 completion percentage), 17 TDs and four interceptions. He also had 492 rushing yards (7 yards per carry) and eight scores on the ground. Martin will be entering his third season as a starter (1,305 passing yards, 11 TDs, 4 INTs as a sophomore) and even bigger things are expected this time around.
Stocker is a talented running back who amassed 1,002 rushing yards (7.5 ypc) and 10 touchdowns last year. He also had 13 receptions for 299 yards (23.0) and two additional TDs.
Whitfield will be Martin’s main target and last year the big-play threat had 13 receptions for 474 yards (36.5 ypc) and five touchdowns. As a sophomore, he had 12 catches for 322 yards (26.8) and five TDs.
All in all, the head coach Rob Stoll likes the veteran make-up of his team.
“I’ve got six guys returning that will all be three-year starters,” Stoll said. “Four of them are skilled offensive players and we’re going to kind of build our team around them. Our defense is going to be young and fast and we’re going to build around Flohr who is one of those three-year starters. Our offense will be our strength and hopefully we’ll be good enough on that side of the ball to allow our defense a chance to grow up.” Cincinnati Winton Woods (13-2) * Players To Watch – QB Thomas Owens (5-10, 205, Sr.), MLB Antonio Poole (6-1, 207, Sr.), CB Corey Webber (6-2, 182, Sr.), DB Zach Bomar (6-0, 170, Sr.), DB Chuck Wynn (5-11, 195, Sr.), RB Aaron Kemper (5-8, 186, Jr.), DE Walter Richardson (6-2, 198, Sr.). * Outlook – Winton Woods stormed its way to the 2009 Division II state championship and the only thing that would feel better to the Warriors would be a repeat.
However, they must replace several talented starters – such as QB Dominique Brown and RB Jeremiah Goins – but they return with plenty of weapons in their arsenal.
Owens is ranked as one of the state’s top 25 senior wide receiver prospects by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio. He played running back the last couple years, but will move to quarterback this season.
“Yeah, we think Thomas will end up being our quarterback,” former Winton Woods head coach Troy Everhart said. “We had a really good one the last three years, but Thomas filled in for us some and did a good job. He’s extremely explosive and the consensus on the staff is that we need to get the ball in his hands a lot and the best way to do that is to play him at QB.”
Owens is getting some looks from MAC schools, but by far the most highly-recruited player on the team is Poole. He already has over 20 scholarship offers and is ranked as the No. 2 senior middle linebacker in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio. Only Trey DePriest of Springfield (who is one of the top recruits in the nation and will likely pick between Alabama and Ohio State) is ranked higher.
“Antonio is the most high-profile defensive kid we’ve had in a while,” Everhart said.
Other players to keep a close eye on include Webber (ranked the No. 12 CB prospect in the state), Bomar (ranked as the No. 15 S prospect in the state) and Kemper (first-year starter – he will replace Goins in the backfield).
Everhart himself will be missing from the sidelines this fall as well. He resigned in mid-July. Citing "highly placed sources in the Unviersity of Cincinnati football program," the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Everhart will join the Bearcats staff as an assistant coach.
“Troy has communicated to us that he would pursue an outside opportunity,” Winton Woods athletic director Dwight Campbell told the paper. “He didn’t specify what that would be. It’s something that came as a surprise to us, but we understand his position and his aspirations. We’re happy for him but not pleased with the timing.”
Andre Parker, Winton Woods' defensive coordinator, will become interim head coach. Trotwood-Madison (9-4) * Players To Watch – RB Antwan Gilbert (5-10, 174, Sr.), SS Bam Bradley (6-1, 185, Jr.), QB Marcus Graham (6-2, 190, Sr.), WR AJ Jordan (6-2, 180, Sr.), MLB Nicholas Grigsby (6-0, 195, Sr.), Stacy Wheat (6-0, 185, Sr.), CB Julius Ruby (5-10, 145, Sr.), CB Maurice Blacknail (5-11, 165, Sr.), WR Auston Smith (5-11, 165, Sr.), WR Renon Lorenzo (5-9, 160, Sr.) * Outlook – After a disappointing 4-6 season in 2008 when they didn’t make the playoffs, the Rams rebounded to not only qualify for the postseason last year, but advance all the way to the regional finals. They crushed both Cincinnati Mount Healthy (41-6) and Cincinnati Turpin (43-7) before falling to eventual state champion Cincinnati Winton Woods, 28-7.
This year, Trotwood returns absolutely loaded with talent, led by Gilbert who racked up 2,300 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns last year and is ranked as the state’s best senior running back by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio.
The top junior on the team is Bradley who is ranked as the eighth-best junior in the state regardless of position. Graham returns at QB and he threw for 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns last year. He is ranked as the No. 7 player at his position in the state. Jordan is ranked as the No. 2 WR in Ohio and has 4.4 speed. As a junior in 2009, he had 30 receptions and six touchdowns.
Rounding out the top college prospects from Trotwood, Grigsby is ranked as the No. 4 MLB in the state and has 4.50 speed, Wheat is one of the top 30 OLBs in the state and has 4.5 speed, Ruby is ranked as the No. 10 corner in the state and has blazing 4.35 speed, Blacknail (4.6 speed) is ranked as the 11th-best corner in the state, while Smith (4.6 speed) and Lorenzo (4.4 speed) are ranked among the top 70 WRs in the state.
KEEP AN EYE ON
* Cincinnati Mount Healthy (7-4) – The Fighting Owls had an impressive season one year after a 4-6 campaign. They made the playoffs as the No. 5 seed in this region, but were defeated by Trotwood-Madison 41-6 in the first round.Become
this school's Quarterspondent
* Kings Mills Kings (3-7) – The Knights missed the playoffs last year, which is a rarity for them, but they were young and have several key players back. The group is led by QB Jonny Brewster (6-3, 185, Sr.) and RB Jamire Westbrook (5-8, 174, Jr.). Brewster is ranked as one of the state’s top 25 senior quarterbacks by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio, and Westbrook is ranked as one of the top 50 juniors in the state regardless of position.Become
this school's Quarterspondent
* New Carlisle Tecumseh (10-2) – The Arrows have been a playoff mainstay the last few years and this season is expected to be no different. Last year, they qualified for the postseason with the No. 3 seed in this region. They hammered West Carrollton 55-23 in the first round before bowing out against Winton Woods the following week.