Trotwood-Madison sustains success

There are big shoes to fill at Trotwood-Madison. Gone is a deep core of defensive players and a three-year starting quarterback who transferred to the North side of Dayton. The Rams who have won five straight Regional titles will have more questions marks than at any time during their current run of success that began in 2006.

Markell StephensPepper-TrotwoodMadison

In his first year as head coach Jeff Graham, led the program to the state semi-finals where they fell to eventual champ Toledo Central Catholic last December. He is already embracing this upcoming campaign and like what he sees from an unproven cast. One thing you can always count on is Trotwood-Madison will have talent. Big and wide, small and fast along with everything in between the Rams have it all on a yearly basis. Graham just has to hope these guys can find their way and gel early enough they don’t have to eke out the schools seventh consecutive trip to the playoffs.

This is a squad that will get better as the season wears on. They will be all anyone wants to handle in Region 10 if they get to the post-season. A sixth straight regional title is not out of the question. Discipline, focus and execution will be the Rams biggest hurdles out of the gate.

Division III, Region 10
2014 RECORD: 12-2, 5-0 GWOC North
COACH: Jeff Graham (12-2 at Trotwood-Madison, one year, 12-2 overall, one year)

Roland Walder, Sr, LB – Walder is arguably the best defensive player in the GWOC and perhaps in the entire state at the Division III level. As a junior he finished the season with more than 90 total tackles, forced three fumbles, recovered two fumbles, returned one for a touchdown and had two sacks on his way to Second Team All-Southwest District honors. The 6-foot-3, 220 pound Walder has verbally committed to Kentucky.

Raveon Hargrove, So, RB – Hargrove showed he could handle the varsity scene as a freshman. Coach Graham gained enough confidence to give him carries late in the season and well into the playoffs. Hargrove finished the year with 362 yards and four touchdowns rushing in limited action.

Kendall Turner, Sr, OL – The 6-foot-4, 260 pound Turner will be asked to be a leader of some very young and raw offensive linemen. The Rams have great size learning to use it to their advantage is where Turner’s tutelage will be invaluable.

Kobe Vinegar, Jr, DB – The latest member of the Vinegar clan is continuing to keep the family name proud in a Trotwood-Madison uniform. He really found his grove the second half of his sophomore season finishing with 45 total tackles and had a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown against Western Brown in the Rams playoff win.

Dontay White, Sr, RB – White battled injuries on and off as a junior but still found a way to lead Trotwood-Madison in rushing. He gained 700 of his 782 yards during the first nine weeks of the season while scoring six of his seven rushing touchdowns in that span. He played sparingly in five of those contests. On the season, White averaged 9.2 yards per carry and had six runs of 48 yards or more.

Ravon Edwards, Sr, FB – He isn’t going to wow you with his speed but what he lacks as a runner he makes up for with his blocking ability and desire. Edwards will be a vital cog in short yardage and goal line situations.

Jordan McConnell, Sr, WR – McConnell was used sparingly as a junior with just six receptions for 79 yards and a score. At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds McConnell is a big target who could be a pleasant surprise as a senior.

Markell Stephens-Peppers, So, QB – The youngster has a bright future and big arm. Stephens-Peppers will get his chance to win the starting job with the departure of DeWeaver.

(10 appearances, 25-9) – 2014 (Regional Champion), 2013 (State runner-up), 2012 (State runner-up), 2011 (State Champion), 2010 (State runner-up), 2009, 2007, 2006, 2002, 1981 (State runner-up)

Three straight games at Sycamore, at Centerville and hosting Lebanon to end September will tell test the Rams to their limits. How they come out of that stretch and handle league play is going to show how hungry this team really is.

Trotwood-Madison will head into 2015 having won 32 consecutive GWOC North games. They have won seven consecutive division titles. The Rams last lost a divisional game on October 19th, 2007 to Northmont who has since moved into the GWOC Central.

Trotwood-Madison has won 15 consecutive Southwest District playoff games (nine in Division II, Region 8 and six in Division III, Region 10). Their last post-season loss to a team from the Southwest Region was 28-7 to Winton Woods, November 20th, 2009. The Warriors would go on to win the Division II state title.

Trotwood Madison has won at least 11 games in each of the last five seasons. They are a combined 62-11 in that span with three of those loses in the state finals game and another to eventual state champion Toledo Central Catholic last fall in a state semi-final affair. Of the other seven losses, six were to Ohio Division I schools (including a forfeit) and the other was to Florida football factory University School.

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