Is Springfield more than paper tigers

On paper Springfield looks very impressive heading into the 2015 season. They have size, speed experience and depth. The only thing the Wildcats lack is knowing how to win. Head coach Maurice Douglass has a tall order ahead of him getting a group of player who have only tasted victory four times in the last three years going 1-9, 1-9 and 2-8 in that span.


Getting this team to believe they can play at a level to win on a week in and week out basis is not as easy as it sounds, especially with expectations so high. It will require a discipline that these kids have never had to endeavor. This will be one of Douglass’ toughest coaching jobs.

“We have over 38 returning lettermen who have a better understanding of our coaching staff’s requirements and expectations! We’ve gotten bigger faster and stronger than last year. The leadership from our senior class is much better and the focus is outstanding. We’re expecting a turnaround in our team this year. We have the man power to do it,” Douglass enthusiastically chimes about this group of Wildcats.

Right now this team is the true definition of “paper giants.” Up and down the roster there are impressive physical specimens and offers for players in every class. It is a good looking group but there is work to be done on the field and getting caught up in the accolades before the accomplishments is a trap that Douglass and his troops must avoid.

Division I, Region 2
2014 RECORD: 2-8, 0-5 GWOC Central
COACH: Maurice Douglass (2-8 at Springfield, 104-67 overall, 14 years)

Kordell Looney, Sr, DE – What’s not to like about the 6-foot-4, 280 pound Looney who was a First Team All-GWOC Central performer as a junior. Verbally committed to Kentucky was in on 33 tackles (20 solo) with three sacks in ’14.

Danny Davis, Jr, ATH – Another great season will solidify Davis as one of the nation’s top “athletes” in the Class of 2017. His efforts revived an anemic Wildcats offense last fall running for 882 yards, catching 23 passes for 430 yards, amassing 1,741 all-purpose yards and finding the endzone 19 times (12 rushing, six receiving, one kickoff return). He was garnered First Team All-GWOC Central honors as a sophomore. The 6-foot-3, 180 pound Davis has offers from Michigan St, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Louisville, Illinois, Iowa, BGSU and Toledo.

Darius Harper, Sr, OT – A Second Team All-GWOC Central selection a year ago the 6-foot-8, 268 pound Harper has offers from Pitt, Cincinnati, Maryland, Louisville, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Kent State, BGSU & Miami (OH).

Branden Parker, Jr, C – A stabilizing force on the o-line Parker will be an unsung hero on this squad. The 6-foot-1, 265 pound parker was a Second Team All-GWOC Central selection in ’14.

Antwuan Johnson, So, ILB – An outstanding freshman year saw Johnson come away with Second Team All-GWOC Central honors. He was in on 52 total tackles (26 solo) with two fumble recoveries. Johnson has parlayed his success into offers from Louisville and Kentucky.

Leonard Taylor, So TE/DE – It is going to be fun to watch how Taylor’s game evolves over the next three years. The 6-foot-5, 246 pound Taylor has a unique skill set that could play a large part in this team’s success. He has offers from Louisville and Kentucky.

Saalih Muhammad, Sr, QB/SS – Muhammad showed signs of rust after sitting out the first five games upon transferring from Springfield Shawnee after 2013 season. Expect a crisper, cleaner performance out of Muhammad who has thrown for 2,025 yards, ran for 1,048 yards and accounted for 28 touchdowns (12 passing, 14 rushing) during his career.

Nicholas McCaughey, SR, QB/K/P – Even though he was relegated to a backup role when Muhammad became eligible last October McCaughey has still thrown for 1,203 yards and 10 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He is vital on special teams as the punter and placekicker.

Joe Cochran, So, ILB – A letterman as a freshman Cochran will see his value go up in ’14.

Zach Howard, Jr, SS – A solid sophomore campaign saw Howard get in on 31 tackles and come up with two takeaways (one fumble recovery, one interception).

There is even more experienced beef in the trenches with seniors OL Isaiah Averhart at 6-foot-4 and 283 pounds, OL Darrick Crochran at 6-foot-2 and 268 pounds, TE Harlan Singleton at 6-foot-3 and 238 pounds, NG Aaron House at 6-foot-0 and 275 pounds and junior OL/NG Kelley Kinser weighing in at 6-foot-2 and 290 pounds. House had 36 tackles three sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries in ’14. Kinser will also be a force in the center of the defensive front with House.

The secondary has plenty of inexperienced talent vie for playing time with senior CB Elijah McGee sophomores CB Quincey Scott, FS Jacob Zost and freshman CB Moses “Mini Moe” Douglass all in the mix. Freshman NG Isaiah Gibson and his 6-foot-3, 256 frame will get a long look on the d-line.

Keep an eye on junior QB/slot Dashawn Bradley who could become a big weapon in the offense. He will be a nice compliment to Davis.

(two appearances, 1-2) – 2009, 2010

Before starting league play the Wildcats will have plenty of opportunities to prove they are one of 2015 top teams in Region 2 with games at Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Darby and against Miamisburg. Wayne and Centerville are still the class of the GWOC Central. Springfield has lost to both of them in each of the last four years giving up an average of 47.25 points to both and losing by an average of 35.5 to Center ville and 38.5 to Wayne. The Wildcats are 1-6 versus both since the school’s merger in 2008.

No player in the program has ever won a home game. The last time the Wildcats won at Evans Stadium was November 6th, 2010 over Hilliard Darby, 22-7, in round one of the playoffs. Their last league win was over Fairmont on October 8th, 2010. The current home losing streak stands at 17 games. Springfield gets six shots to end that futility this fall.

Springfield has lost 18 consecutive league games. They have finished 0-5 and in last place of the GWOC Central in each of the past three seasons. The last time the Wildcats won a GWOC Central games was on October 7th, 2011 at Fairmont.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply