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Centennial Beechcroft

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Stars Sophomores,
add old Stewart will
wrinkle lead Cougars
to offense By JARROD ULREY
ThisWeek Staff Writer At a glance
By JARROD ULREY
ThisWeek Staff Writer Things aren’t as they appear for BEECHCROFT COUGARS
Colors: Brown and gold
the Beechcroft High School football Coach: Tom Dunlap, 22nd season
Senior running back Owen Gor- team when simply taking a glance at Key players: Darrian Cordell, Wallace
don didn’t know what he was in for its roster. Hale, John Howell, Eric Matthews,
There are only 10 seniors in the Jordan Spivey, Marvin Stewart, Ron Wal-
when he received the Centennial High ton and B.J. Watkins
School football team’s playbook at program, which is the lowest that On the Web: columbus.k12.oh.us/
the beginning of the summer. coach Tom Dunlap — who is in his beech/index.html
Not that it was surprising that the 22nd season as head coach — can 2007 SCHEDULE
Stars were making changes after remember. Aug. 24 ........Independence.........Away
Aug. 31 ........Teays Valley...........Home
going just 1-9 a year ago, but one of The Cougars also must replace Sept. 7.........St. Charles............Home
the offensive alterations was noth- most of their offensive line from last Sept. 14.......Linden....................Away
ing like he and his teammates had year and have lost two Division I Sept. 21.......Mifflin.....................Away
players from a defense which allowed Sept. 28.......East .......................Away
seen before because of what it lacked: Oct. 5...........Brookhaven ...........Home
A quarterback. a combined six points over its final Oct. 12.........Centennial ............Home
With Clayton Clever having grad- four games in lineman Julian Miller Oct. 19.........Whetstone..............Away
(West Virginia) and Markus Burton Oct. 26.........Northland..............Home
uated after completing 39 of 91 passes
for 335 yards for just four touch- (Kent State). 2006 RESULTS
(7-3 overall, 6-1 City-North)
downs a year ago, coach Pat Sergio Those might add up to a rebuild- Independence .......................W, 44-19
went into the offseason knowing he ing season for some, but Beechcroft St. Charles ..............................L, 28-0
had to choose between juniors Tyler has a sophomore class with enough Licking Valley ...........................L, 34-6
Mifflin...................................W, 34-20
Hilliard and Derek Edwards as the depth and talent to compensate for East .......................................W, 22-2
new quarterback. its lack of upperclassmen. Brookhaven ...........................L, 28-20
Considering both are athletic but Three freshmen started a year ago, Centennial ..............................W, 43-6
and half a dozen or more could end Whetstone ..............................W, 33-0
that the strength of neither is pass- Linden ....................................W, 38-6
ing the ball, it seemed logical to cre- up as starters for the opener Friday Northland .................................W, 8-0
ate an offense — or in this case, rein- at Independence.
vent an approach from the past — “We’ve got 71 kids out total, which BE THE ONE to
which could utilize both while tak- By Steven Rodriguez/ThisWeek is the smallest numbers in our school champion
ing the pressure off the passing game. The Stars’ Owen Gordon turns the corner Aug. 11 during a scrimmage history,” said Dunlap, who has a 158- life for patients in need.

The offense will be a variation of the against the Columbus Crusaders. 62 career record and said that this 1-800-GIVE-LIFE
BloodSavesLives.org
single wing, an offense which Ser- season or next likely will be his last.
gio also calls a shotgun wing-T. 3, 300) will be at center, with the “We’ve only got 10 seniors, but the
“Everybody likes it pretty well,” other expected to be at tackle. Senior At a glance strength of our program is the sopho- tackle and sophomore Ryan Marks
said Gordon, whose team opens Fri- Zach Eberlyn (6-0, 250) is a return- more class.” at left guard. Seniors Eric Matthews
ing starter at tackle. CENTENNIAL STARS
day against visiting Hartley. “We’ve Colors: Red, white and blue The Cougars, who went 7-3 and (6-2, 260) and John Howell (6-3, 210)
been learning the new plays and Singh and seniors Julian Bedalli Coach: Pat Sergio, 21st season won a share of their first league cham- have seen action at right tackle and
incorporating them in practice. Nor- (6-1, 239), Landis Johnson (6-1, 295) Key players: Zach Eberlyn, Derek pionship since 2001 a year ago, will junior Jereaul White (5-9, 250) is at
and Carlton Reaves (5-11, 270) are Edwards, Owen Gordon, Cecil Hill, Tyler
mally we have a lot of kids skipping Hilliard, Chinedu Ifedi, Aaron McTurner,
be led by senior quarterback Marvin right guard. Sophomores Darian
practice, but everybody is pretty others who should see action on the Naveed Sadaqat and Jordan Singh Stewart (6-foot-1, 220 pounds). Smith and Chauncey Hilson have
excited. When we got the playbook, offensive line. On the Web: columbus.k12.oh.us/cen- He became a starter midway seen action at center along with
it looked nothing like what we were “Last year we had a running back tennial/index.html through his sophomore season and Matthews.

August 22, 2007 • Central Ohio High School Football Preview ’07
used to.” but we didn’t have the line that we 2007 SCHEDULE blossomed last year by completing Defensively, Howell, King (6-4,
needed,” Sergio said. “We’ve got two Aug. 24.......Hartley ...................Home
Hilliard was the team’s second- Aug. 31.......Africentric.................Away 84 of 143 passes for 1,243 yards and 220) and Nelson (6-1, 230) are
leading rusher with 222 yards and real good athletes in Derek Edwards Sept. 7 .......Ready.....................Home nine touchdowns. He also rushed 58 expected to be at end and Spivey and
one touchdown on 72 carries a year and Tyler Hilliard and for the last Sept. 14 .....Mifflin.....................Home times for 348 yards and four scores Christopher Noble will be at tackle
two years we’ve been trying to make Sept. 21 .....Northland.................Away
ago behind graduate Tyrell Richard- Sept. 28 .....Brookhaven..............Away
and was special mention all-district in a 4-4 front.
son (706 yards, 7 touchdowns). He them quarterbacks, so then I started Oct. 5 .........East .......................Home in Division II a year ago. Senior Deion Sophomore Larez Harper is a
will be a starter in the backfield along looking into the single-wing offense. Oct. 12 .......Beechcroft ...............Away King is the backup. returning starter at outside linebacker
with Edwards, and either could be We maybe have one of the biggest Oct. 19 .......Linden....................Home Senior running back Darrian
Oct. 26 .......Whetstone ...............Away and classmates Wallace Hale and
snapped the ball in the setup. offensive lines physically that I’ve Cordell also is back after leading the Watkins are returning starters at inside
2006 RESULTS
Gordon, who had 16 catches for had.” (1-9 overall, 1-6 City-North) team in rushing with 575 yards and linebacker. Stewart is expected to be
171 yards and two touchdowns last The Stars will utilize a 4-4 defense, Hartley ....................................L, 25-7 four touchdowns on 79 carries. He is the roverback, with juniors Timothy
season and has been a starter since with Bedalli, Eberlyn, Johnson, Belmont Union Local ................L, 41-8 joined in the backfield by sophomore Hill and Raynard Transou and Math-
Reaves, Singh and Stepp all seeing Ready....................................L, 48-20
his freshman season, will be the slot- Northland ..............................L, 35-14 B.J. Watkins and senior Shane Math- urin at cornerback.
back. Sophomore Anthony Aulette action on the line. Sadaqat and Brookhaven ...........................L, 40-21 urin, a transfer from Brooklyn, N.Y. Stewart is expected to be the kicker
also will see time in the backfield. Edwards will be at inside linebacker East ......................................L, 34-14 Miller, who was the leading and Croom will be the punter. Junior
Senior Cecil Hill and junior along with Aulette, and senior Owen Beechcroft...............................L, 43-6 receiver with 25 receptions and five
Linden ..................................W, 31-20 Joseph Simpson also could punt and
Chinedu Ifedi are at wide receiver O’Grady will play outside linebacker Mifflin......................................L, 14-6 touchdowns, has been replaced at should serve as the long snapper.
and junior Aaron McTurner will be along with Hilliard. Whetstone.................................L, 7-6 tight end by junior Chaz Nelson (6- Last season, Beechcroft opened
the wingback. Seniors Youssef Hill and Gordon will be at cor- 2, 225). Sophomores Ron Walton and with a 44-19 victory over Indepen-
Kasheer, Jordan Singh and Derek nerback and Ifedi and junior Stephen BE THE ONE to William Croom will be the top dence, but non-league losses to St.
Riofrio have been competing at tight Parish also will be in the secondary. champion receivers. Charles (28-0) and Licking Valley
Edwards and Turner are battling life for patients in need.
end. Matt Jones and Tim Patrick, who (34-6) the next two weeks ultimately
Sergio, who has a 48-152 record for kicker and punter positions. 1-800-GIVE-LIFE were starters on the offensive line as kept it from a playoff berth.
BloodSavesLives.org
in 20 seasons with the Stars, believes “Last year was the first time in my Travis Coates started at wide receiver Last season marked the second
the new offensive approach could career that we didn’t get shut out in and also contributed on defense, now time in three seasons that Beechcroft
work because of his offensive line’s any of our games,” Sergio said. “I’m ing and depth and that we’re not quit- are playing at Tiffin University. failed to advance to the playoffs. It
size. Senior Naveed Sadaqat (6-0, not saying we’re content with that, ters. We’ve got 43 out, and I think Expected to start on the offensive again will compete in Division II after
211) or classmate Harold Stepp (6- but it all comes down to condition- that’s a great number.” line are senior Jordan Spivey at left 53
placing 11th in Region 7 last season.