Team To Beat * Norwayne (14-1, State Champions): The Bobcats broke through for their first state title with a historic 48-42 win over Kenton in a memorable state final. Now what? For an encore Norwayne will attempt to continue writing program history. The Bobcats will attempt to win their first back-to-back Wayne County League titles and will also try to make the playoffs for just the fourth time in program history and third time in a row. Despite the loss of a talented senior class which included standout QB/LB Adam Wallace, head coach Joe Harbour (28-9 in three years) said this year’s team could be more “talented” than last year’s. Offensively, four starters return on the OL in seniors Zac Croftcheck (6-1, 255), Caleb Barb (6-0, 200) and Cody Scrugs (6-0, 230) and junior Zack Weinman (6-1, 255). They’ll block for senior RB Jon Zimmerly who rushed for 1,105 yards and 15 TDs last season. The receiving corps is loaded with seniors Brady Berger (6-1, 190/747 yards, 12 TDs) and Mitch Knieriem (5-9, 160/356 yards, six TDs) and junior Kaleb Harris (6-3, 195/560 yards, eight TDs). Defensively, Zimmerly (77 tackles, 10 sacks) is a beast. The secondary is anchored by junior DB Trevahn Berry (6-1, 170/five INTs, 51 tackles, 18 PBU) and senior DB Logan Studer (5-10, 160/54 tackles). “We have a strong core of returning players in 2012 who either started or saw extensive time as key backups on our 2011 state championship team,” harbor said. “If they do the work and show the growth we expect them capable of then 2012 can also be a very special season in which we compete for a league title, playoff birth, and make a playoff run that maybe if things go right could culminate with another state title.”
10 Players To Watch 1. Jon Zimmerly, DL/RB, sr., Norwayne: Ran for 1,105 yards & 15 TDs as junior, added 70 tackles 2. Jeremy Quinlan, QB/DB, sr., Brookfield: Four-year starter, limited to four games last year (injury) 3. Andrew Vaughn, RB, sr., Black River: Set school record with 1,896 yards rushing last year 4. Kyle Lichti, QB, sr., Orrville: Thrown for 3,527 yards & 32 TDs the last two years 5. Nick Peyakov, QB, sr., Manchester: PAC 7 POY threw for 2,464 yards & 28 TDs last year 6. Elijah Henderson, WR, sr., Lakeview: Could become school’s all-time leader in rec., yards & TDs 7. Brandon Gency, LB, sr., Streetsboro: Had 101 tackles (10 sacks) and three FF as a junior 8. Corey Schmidt, TE/LB, sr., Fairview Park: 25 rec. for 390 yards & three TDs (& 70 tackles) last year 9. Austin Phillips, RB., sr., Black River: 1,358 yards rushing & 72 tackles (11 sacks) last year 10. Dorian Williams, RB/DB, sr., Streetsboro: 1,289 yards & 25 TDs last year, added 45 tackles on D
Top Games Norwayne @ Wellington, Aug. 24 (Week 1) Manchester @ Black River, Sept. 7 (Week 3) Kent Roosevelt @ Sreetsboro, Sept. 28 (Week 6) GlenOak @ Canton CC, Sept. 28 (Week 6) Brookfield @ LaBrae, Oct. 26 (Week 10) Orrville @ Wooster, Oct. 27 (Week 10)
Team To Beat Columbus Hartley (11-1, Region 14 Finalist): The Hawks have a real shot at winning their second state title in three years. Head coach Brad Burchfield (38-10 in four years) returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense, including senior TE/LB Jacob Matuska (6-5, 245) a Notre Dame recruit. Also back is two-stud senior RB/LB JaWuan Woodley (5-11, 225). Woodley (1,600 yards rushing; reigning state defensive player of the year) has offers from several MAC schools. Additional difference makers include junior QB Jared Brandewie (6-4, 190), senior RB Marcellus Calhoun (5-11, 185), junior ATH Alonzo Saxton (5-11, 170) and junior DL Kalil Morris (6-3, 235). New depth this year is supplied by a JV and freshman team that were undefeated last season. Hartley renews its rivalry with Watterson this year (first time since 1996) and also plays Bishop Luers (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Said Burchfield: “This promises to be a very exciting season on the East Side of Columbus.”
10 Players To Watch
1. JuWuan Woodley, LB, sr., Hartley: Toledo recruit is regining JJH D-IV Def. POY 2. Jacob Matuska, TE, sr. Hartley: JJHuddle Top 100 prospect headed to Notre Dame 3. Justin Sawmiller, WR, jr. Kenton: 137 rec., 1,813 yards & 19 TDs as a sophomore 4. Kyle Nutter, RB, sr., Genoa: Has 3,055 yards rushing & 47 TDs last two years 5. Isaiah Conkle, RB, sr., Eastwood: Ran for 1,190 yards and 24 TDs as a junior 6. Tristan Parker, RB, sr., Ottawa-Glandorf: Rushed for 1,320 yards & seven TDs in nine games 7. Isaiah Blevins, DE/OL, sr., North Union: Had 90 tackles (12 sacks) & 75 pancake blocks last year 8. David Nay, RB, sr., Galion: Rushed for 2,004 yards & 29 TDs last year 9. Jeremy Holley, QB, jr., Elyria Catholic: Threw for 1,900 yards & 21 TDs as a sophomore 10. Dareian Watkins, QB, jr., Galion: Top 2014 recruit has offers from Illinois & BG already
Elyria Catholic @ Elyria, Aug. 31 (Week 2) North Union @ Marion Pleasant, Aug. 31 (Week 2) Kenton @ Ottawa-Glandorf, Sept. 21 (Week 5) Watterson @ Hartley, Sept. 28 (Week 6) Wynford @ Galion, Oct. 19 (Week 9) Genoa @ Eastwood, Oct. 26 (Week 10)
Team To Beat * St. Clairsville (10-2, Region 15 Semifinalist): The Red Devils return more starters this season than they did last year when they won 10 games. Junior LB Michael Ferns (6-3, 242/112 tackles) already holds offers from Ohio State and Notre Dame. Senior WR Dan Monteroso (6-3, 175/ 10 TDs) has commited to Boston College. Also back on offense are senior QB Matt Kinnick (6-0, 180/2,768 yards passing, 30 TDs), junior RB Jaylon Brown (5-8, 165/1,500 all-purpose yards, 14 TDs) and four OL starters (Corey Ernest, sr., 6-2, 265; Cole Stephen, sr., 6-0, 195; Tom Parker, sr., 6-3, 250; Joel Giffin, jr., 6-1, 225). Defensively, St. C returns senior DBs Jerrid Marhefka (5-11, 170/8 INTs) and Luke Smith (5-9, 190/102 tackles). Junior K Zac Musilli (5-8, 145) was All-Buckeye 8. The Red Devils, in the program’s 92nd season, are going for their sixth playoff appearance in seven years. Head coach Brett McLean is 71-36 in 10 years.
10 Players To Watch
1. Michael Ferns, LB, jr., St. Clairsville: Top 2014 prospect has offers from Ohio State & ND 2. Donyelle Simpson, RB, sr., Heath: Ran for 1,828 yards & 16 TDs as a junior 3. Tanner Cognion, LB, sr., Coshocton: ECOL Def. POY had 131 tackles & seven TFL 4. Corbin Grassman, LB, sr., J-Monroe: Registered 156 tackles as a sjunior 5. Jake Davis, RB, so., Indian Valley: Ran for 1,444 yards & 14 TDs as a freshman 6. Nick Culbertson, DL, sr., Ironton: Had 45 tackles and batted down 12 passes last year 7. Matt Kinnick, QB, sr., St. Clairsville: Threw for 2,768 yards and 30 TDs as a junior 8. Austin Smith, QB, sr., Amanda-Clearcreek: Accounted for 1,186 yards, 13 TDs & 54 tackles last year 9. Nathan Campbell, RB/DB, so., Fairland: Had 65 tackles, three INTs and eight TDs as a freshman 10. Jacob McCray, OL, jr., Minford: Already has offer from Akron, BCS schools interested
Amanda-Clearcreek @ Hartley, Aug. 24 (Week 1) Johnstown-Monroe @ Heath, Aug. 31 (Week 2) Akr. Manchester @ Indian Valley, Sept. 28 (Week 6) Watterson @ Ironton, Oct. 5 (Week 7) Martins Ferry @ St. Clairsville, Oct. 19 (Week 9) Hartley @ Coshocton, Oct. 19 (Week 9)
Team To Beat * Chaminade-Julienne (9-4, Region 16 Finalist): The Eagles rebounded from an 0-2 start last season (losses to playoff teams Troy and Thurgood Marshall) to win nine of the next 10 games and land in the regional finals. CJ will contend for the Region 16 title again. Senior LB Darrien Howard (6-2, 241) is a JJHuddle Top 100 prospect and has committed to West Virginia. Howard had 154 tackles, three INTs and two fumble recoveries last year. He also doubles as a bruising back and scored 13 TDs. Two other big names are senior LB JaMel Sanders (6-1, 190) and senior RB Brandon Payne (5-10, 215). Sanders, who has offers from Miami (Oh) and Eastern Michigan, had 70 tackles, 5.5 TFL and returned both a kickoff and interception for TDs last year. Payne ran for 1,490 yards and 13 TDs as a junior. All three (Payne, Howard and Sanders) were first team GCL North. Other key returners are senior DL Chris Darden (5-11, 215), senior DL Kris Lampkin (6-1, 215/57 tackles, three fumble recoveries) and senior OL Zach Poelking (6-1, 245). Replacing QB Sam Spees is a concern.One possibility at QB, though, could be incoming freshman Jacob Harrison, a Centerville resident who is reportedly enrolling at CJ this school year. Harrison is an Eastbay Youth All-American.
10 Players To Watch
1. Darrien Howard, LB, sr., Chaminade-Julienne: JJHuddle Top 100 prospect is headed to West Virginia 2. Trent Williamson, QB, sr., Westfall: On pace to end with 10,000 career total yards & 100 TDs 3. Ty Black, WR, sr., Waynesville: Will become school’s all-time receptions, yardage leader 4. Bayle Wolfe, RB, jr., Clinton-Massie: Ran for 1,390 yards & 31 TDs as a sophomore 5. Ricky Davis, QB, sr., Fenwick: Transfer from Moeller has MAC offers 6. Zach Jansen, QB, sr., Maderia: Career numbers are 3,167 yards passing & 40 TDs 7. Tevin Brown, RB, sr., North College Hill: Scored 21 TDs and ran for 1,626 yards as a junior 8. Nate Jackson, WR, sr., Dayton Northridge: Caught 58 passes for 970 yards and seven TDs last year 9. Marquez Sneed, WR, sr. Finneytown: Caught 37 passes for 628 yards & nine TDs as a junior 10. Trent Smart, DE, sr., Clinton-Massie: Holds offers from Ohio & Miami (Oh); 12.5 sacks last year
Waynesville @ Clinton-Massie, Aug. 31 (Week 1) North College Hill @ Maderia, Sept. 7 (Week 3) Badin @ Fenwick, Sept. 14 (Week 4) CJ @ Fenwick, Oct. 12 (Week 8) Waynesvile @ Milton-Union, Oct. 19 (Week 9) CJ @ Alter, Oct. 26 (Week 10)