|Queen City High Get Sports Info WCPO Twitter Facebook YouTube I-High|
|Home Teams Scoreboard Standings News 275 LOOP Player of Week Links Listen Live Awards Podcasts Photos Advertise Contact Us|
Outside of Eaton every team in the SWBL Southwestern struggled with their demons and identity in 2010. It is a different year and don’t expect a repeat performance in 2011 as the league is as balanced as ever from top to bottom. It is difficult to pick a winner of this conference as things are shaping up to be too close to call.
With an outstanding crop of quality head coaches the level of play and the precision to which these schools execute on the field will definitely shine through come late August. If only one team emerges out this bunch to make the playoffs for a second straight season it will be a huge disappointment.
Here is a complete overview of the SWBL Southwestern:
Division III, Region 12
Head Coach: Ron Neanen (171-65 @ Eaton, 23 years, 171-65 overall)
2010 Record: 12-1, 6-0 SWBL Buckeye, Region 12 Runner-Up
Playoff Appearances(7):2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2000, 1989
Overview: Eaton was one of the most pleasant surprises in 2010. The Eagles raced out to 12-0 start before falling in the Region 12 championship game to McNicholas. Things will not be all wine and roses in 2011 for last year’s gridiron darlings. With the addition on Alter and Jonathon Alder to Division III, playoff spots are going to be hard to come by and be well earned. The task is daunting for head coach Ron Neanen as he needs to replace four starters on the defensive line and three more up front on offense.
One reason the transition should go smoothly is that Eaton has the Region 12 Offensive Player of the Year returning in quarterback Cole French. He had a marvelous junior campaign throwing for 2,780 yards, tossing 27 touchdown passes and rushing for five more scores. He even intercepted four passes for the Eagles’ defense. French will not have to carry the load alone as running back Nathan Clark is back for his senior year after racking up 1,366 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground in 2010. Sam Borst will see his share of carries as well. Joey McCafferty is a handful both running and catching the ball. He scored 11 touchdowns on just 80 touches as a junior. There are some very good options at receiver with senior Jalen Taylor as well as newcomers Zach Beare and Austin Pearson. Taylor averaged 20 yards per receptions on 24 catches a year ago. He is in line to have a gigantic senior campaign. Andrew McKee will anchor the line as Neanen looks for immediate contributions from newcomers Dillon Gilbert and Dane Boyd on both sides of the ball.
Pearson and Borst will move into full-time roles at linebacker. Taylor and French are ballhawks in the secondary. It all comes down to this team maturing early with a bevy of new faces on defense. The special teams are above average as French handles the kicking and punting duties and yes even kickoff return chores. With a gifted athlete like the senior Neanen should rest at ease knowing his leader will lead Eaton to great heights again in 2011.
VALLEY VIEW SPARTANS
Division IV, Region 16
Head Coach: Jay Niswonger
2010 Record: 6-4, 4-2
Playoff Appearances(17): 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997 (1st), 1996 (1st), 1995, 1994 (1st), 1993, 1992, 19985
Overview: For whatever reason things just never materialized in Germantown last fall after high expectations in the preseason. This is a new year and a fresh start for head coach Jay Niswonger and a cast of characters eager to redeem themselves and find their way back to the post-season.
Tyler Schenck is back to work his magic all over the field on offense. He will run behind stud lineman Brian Day. Under center is senior Patrick Boyle. He has turned a lot of heads with his abilities during off-season camps and combines. Scoring points won’t be the problem for the Eagles.
The defense has to step their game up and Eaton has the talent to do just that. The Eagles allowed an average of 39.2 points per game during their four losses in 2010. In four of their wins they gave up 14 or fewer points. The must be more consistent if they are to see Week 11. Logan Carpenter will team up with Day on the line. Linebackers Kalab McGinnis and Kenton Reason will give coach Niswonger 110 percent effort flying to the football. Three-year starter Chris Lykins is back to patrol the secondary along with Schenck.
Division III, Region 12
Head Coach: Rick Robertson (0-0 @ Oakwood, first year, 125-89-1, 22 seasons overall)
2010 Record: 5-5, 4-2
Playoff Appearances(7): 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2001, 1985
Overview: When a coach resigns an athletic director always hopes he can come up with a good replacement and that is just what Oakwood found this spring. The Lumberjacks lost long time head coach Paul Stone only to have the no nonsense and former Springfield head coach Rick Robertson literally fall into their lap. The addition of Robertson automatically means this squad can no longer be taken lightly.
Unlike most of the schools in this conference, Oakwood is searching for young players to step up at the skills positions. Underclassmen Max Banke and Austin Erbe should have an instant impact on the offense. Dan Roll could emerge as the team’s primary running option. In four of Oakwood’s last five games last season they scored 35 points or more after failing to score more than a touchdown three times in the first half of 2010. Robertson is hoping that confidence carries over into 2011.
Developing depth up front will be a major obstacle for the Lumberjacks. This squad can’t get pushed around in the trenches if they are to be a factor in the race. Noah Roberts and end Brooks Thompson will be asked to help the youngsters out on the line. The secondary will be a bright spot for Oakwood. Erbe and Banke are joined by Robbie Wagner in patrolling centerfield. Linebackers Levi Miller, Bobby Greer and Michael Cadash make the back seven very formidable. Miller showed flashes of his brilliance last year when he intercepted three passes against Monroe.
MONROE FIGHTING HORNETS
Division III, Region 12
Head Coach: Brett Stubbs (6-4 @ Monroe, one year, 6-4 overall)
2010 Record: 6-4, 3-3 SWBL Buckeye
Playoff Appearances(8): 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 1994, 1993, 1986, 1983
Overview: It wasn’t a bad debut for head coach Brett Stubbs, but there are definitely things for his Monroe program to work on in order to better their outcome. The Fighting Hornets were either really good or really bad on defense in 2010. They registered two shutouts but allowed 42 or more points four times. Those are red flag numbers for a team that played .600 football. The Fighting Hornets must now prove they can beat the league’s elite if they want a title. That was something the squad had disastrous results I trying to do last fall.
The defense should be much improved as one of the league’s best. Ben Klaiber is back at linebacker. Klaiber was sensational as a sophomore recording 13.5 tackles for losses, six sacks and recovering two fumbles as a sophomore. Jarron Teagarden and Ethan Cox showed flashes of brilliance along the line and now Stubbs looks for them to become more consistent. The secondary is above average as classmates Travis Rice and Ramone Boyce have a nose for coming up with the ball. The duo combined for six takeaways as juniors. Mozell Miree, Kevin Sloneker, Taylor Larison and Max Agee add great depth to the defensive backfield.
On offense Stubbs must replace a two-year starter at quarterback and a 3,000 yard rusher. Chris Wilson is poised for a breakout campaign as Monroe’s featured back. He ran for 511 yards and caught 14 passes for another 200 yards as a sophomore. Boyce will play a bigger role sliding in and out of all the skill positions. Miree and Sloneker will be threats as receivers. The Fighting Hornets will be just fine if their signal-caller can take care of the pigskin and not force things under pressure.
BELLBROOK GOLDEN EAGLES
Division II, Region 7
Head Coach: Kevin Basinger (98-59 @ Bellbrook, 15 years, 124-87 overall, 19 years)
2010 Record: 4-6, 2-4 SWBL Buckeye
Playoff Appearances(7): 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1991, 1981
Overview: Finishing strong will be the theme for Bellbrook in 2011. Three times in the last four games the Golden Eagles gave up 41 points to end 2010. The team withered down the stretch losing four of their last five clashes.
Help should immediately felt on the defensive side of the ball with returnees Timmy Lovett, Zack Morgan, Josh Easter and Nathan Easter manning the front line. The Easter’s combined for 78 tackles and eight tackles for losses as juniors. Classmate Lovett is one of the most underrated linemen in Montgomery County. Taylor Wood is coming off of a sophomore campaign that saw him recover five tackles and register five tackles for losses. Big things are expected out of linebacker Alex Oldham as well.
A healthy Kevin Crane at quarterback will be a major factor as to why Bellbrook doesn’t repeat last year’s collapse. Crane threw for 622 yards and seven touchdowns in six games. Running back Stevie Rasso played a shortened season due to injuries as well. He did manage to rack up 659 yards and seven touchdowns rushing in seven tilts. Fullback Daveon Greene will be his lead blocker. Keep an eye on playmaker Thomas Crute, who averaged 40.8 yards with three touchdowns on eight receptions. If Crane can get him the ball more often it really opens up the offense for the running game. Throw in the versatile PJ Eckley and Joe Licher, who can give you productive snaps on each side of the ball and the Golden Eagles show good balance across the board.
BROOKVILLE BLUE DEVILS
Division IV, Region 16
Head Coach: Mike Hetrick (10 years @ Brookville, 81-79 overall)
2010 Record: 3-7, 1-5 SWBL
Playoff Appearances (10): 2008, 2007, 2000, 1994, 1992, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1976 (2nd)
According to head coach Mike Hetrick (81-79 in 10 years) the Blue Devils will still be fairly young this season but they’re looking for better results. Senior OL/DL Logan Shell (6-4, 270) and junior OL/DL Aaron Honious (6-1, 230) anchor both lines, while senior RB/LB Corbin Caudill (5-10, 175) is a playmaker on both sides of the ball. Caudill ran for 777 yards and 13 TDs last year and tallied 32 tackles.
Overview: For little ole Brookville this could be a rough go around with so many veteran teams in the SWBL Southwestern division. The young Blue Devils will have their work cut out for them with a young and inexperienced squad. It will all come down to mental toughness for head coach Mike Hetrick and his kids.
Running back Corbin Caudill will be the team’s workhorse on offense. He ran for 777 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior. Paving the way for him up front are monsters Shell and Honious. Brookville will have to find a way to get more consistent scoring points if they want to compete for a league crown. Five times last season the Blue Devils scored 14 points or fewer.
Most players will play downs on both sides of the ball for Hetrick. Caudill will be joined at linebacker by junior Alex Oldham. His classmate, Colin Bowers, should be even better in the secondary after a year of varsity under his belt. Seven times in 2010 the Blue Devils gave up 30 or more points. They must tighten the screws and double the amount of three and outs on their opponents if they want to be successful this fall.
Division II, Region 8
Head Coach: Rodney Roberts (27-24 @ Franklin, five years, 80-77 overall)
2010 Record: 3-7, 1-5 SWBL Buckeye
Playoff Appearances(6): 2008, 1993, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1985
Overview: The time to move up to Division II could not have come at a better time for Franklin. The transition up will be made easier with the return of 20 starters. The addition of Carlisle linebacker Kelly LaForce and the return of Cody Priest from injury must have head coach Rodney Roberts grinning from ear to ear.
There is little doubt that the strength of the Wildcats lies in the middle of the field on defense. Joining LaForce and Priest are Cody Wagers, Nate Woods, and Ricky Kemp. The latter trio combined for 205 total tackles and five fumble recoveries. Junior Caleb Miller sets the tone in the secondary where he had 89 total tackles and five interceptions a year ago. There are a bunch of thieves in the defensive backfield with him as Brendon Sexton, Scott Dwyer, Austin Robinson, Oscar Romero, and Corey Hammond all came up with interceptions and were in on a combined 195 tackles in 2010. Another junior who looks to play an even bigger role this fall is lineman Kraig Hill, who had two sacks a year ago.
Franklin has a bevy of running backs to go to at any time. Chris Hymer is a threat catching and returning the pigskin after posting 947 all-purpose yards as a sophomore. Classmate Ben Kirby showed great promise down the stretch picking up 229 yards to end the season. Quenton Richards and Daniel Johnson combined for five rushing touchdowns in ’10. Don’t be surprised to see Priest running the football. He was pretty solid out of the backfield as a sophomore. Ricky Johnson anchors the line. Connor Stickelman and Kevin Stewart will battle it out at quarterback. They will the luxury of throwing to Edward Williams, who Roberts thinks might just be the next Wildcats’ star.
Greg is a co-founder of TSF and is now entering his ninth season as a Featured Analyst for the website. The Xavier University grad also serves as the Content Manager for the website and is widely considered one of the top high school football experts in the region. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.