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Tough division looks to be tougher

By CORY STEGER finals were represented by our divi-
ThisWeek Staff Writer sion (last year),” North coach Chad
Williams said. “From top to bottom,
Entering last season, it was almost it can’t get much tougher.”
a given that life in the OCC-Buck- Grove City made the playoffs in
eye Division would be difficult. And 2005 and hopes to return this season,
that’s exactly what it turned out to but will have a lot of new faces on
be. both sides of the ball after graduat-
The Hilliard Davidson High School ing 27 players. It will be led by seniors
football team used a power running Elijah Smurthwaite (QB) and Gar
game and a punishing defense to fin- Chappelear (OT) as well as Central
ish the regular season undefeated and Crossing transfers Shane Usner (DT)
win the OCC-Buckeye. The Wild- and Cody Beatty (DT). Usner was
cats then went on a run in the play- second-team all-state last season.
offs that culminated with the Divi-
Reynoldsburg will have a new start-
sion I state championship.
ing quarterback in junior Matt Perkins,
Dublin Coffman and Upper Arling-
ton showed improvement after going but the team’s strength will be it’s
6-4 in 2005. The Shamrocks finished running game led by Jay R. Taylor,
9-4 overall and 3-2 in the OCC, and who ran for 1,251 yards last season.
UA finished 10-2 overall and 4-1 in Key games to watch include David-
the league. Both were Division I play- son at UA on Sept. 28, UA at Coff-
off qualifiers. man on Oct. 5 and Coffman at David-
The league was rounded out by son on Oct. 12.
Westerville North at 3-7 overall and “Coffman is supposed to be very
2-3 in the OCC, Grove City at 4-6 strong. They have a lot of nice kids
and 1-4 and Reynoldsburg at 2-8 and back,” Golden said. “Grove City has
0-5. By Jon Malis/ThisWeek a proud tradition. Chad Williams does
But that was then, and everyone While his team has been considered as the one to beat, Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said, “Hilliard David- a great job with the program at West-
has turned their attention to now. son has to be considered the team to beat since they’re the returning champion.” erville North and Reynoldsburg has
“All summer we’ve been trying to a lot of good athletes. I know (David-
put the state championship in our and Stoneburner have committed to son) lost a lot of players, but they
past,” Davidson quarterback Connor Inside the division Ohio State. have a good solid program. I’m sure

. . . .
Dietz said. “The seniors who played The Golden Bears return only three they’ll be good.
last year have to realize that it’s the 2006 STANDINGS Grove City at Westerville North starters in seniors Andre Colosimo “We have a tough conference, I’ll
seniors’ last year and we will be Team League Overall Reynoldsburg at Hilliard Davidson
Hilliard Davidson 5-0 15-0 Oct. 12
(TE), Tommy Farwick (RB) and tell you that.You have to be ready to
remembered for what we do this year.” Mikel Berry (DL), but have a lot of play every week, that’s for sure.”
Upper Arlington 4-1 10-2 Dublin Coffman at Hilliard Davidson
Davidson suffered significant grad- Dublin Coffman 3-2 9-4 depth.
Grove City at Reynoldsburg “In no particular order, Grove City,
uation losses. Dietz, Drew Dolder Westerville North 2-3 3-7 Westerville North at Upper Arlington “There’s no reason to expect a
(LB), Jake Dougherty (DB), Matt Grove City 1-4 4-6
Upper Arlington and Hilliard David-
Oct. 19
Reynoldsburg 0-5 2-8 dropoff, but we do have to get expe- son are going to be tough to beat,”
Rine (DB), Clay Trubiano (RB) and Dublin Coffman at Reynoldsburg
Joey Ciamacco (WR) will be leaned 2007 SCHEDULE Upper Arlington at Grove City rience and we have to do that fast,” Coffman coach Mark Crabtree said.
upon heavily. Sept. 28 Hilliard Davidson at Westerville North UA coach Mike Golden said. “We “Reynoldsburg is as athletic as any-
Dublin Coffman at Grove City Oct. 26 don’t have time (to wait). one in our conference, and you’ve to
The early practices did not go as Hilliard Davidson at Upper Arlington Westerville North at Dublin Coffman
Davidson coach Brian White would Westerville North at Reynoldsburg Grove City at Hilliard Davidson “I really like this team. I like our believe that Westerville North is going
have liked. Oct. 5 Reynoldsburg at Upper Arlington physical strength. We’re physically to make a run at some point and beat
“We have zero sense of urgency Upper Arlington at Dublin Coffman prepared for this season.” some teams. We have the most back,
right now to improve,” he said. “I’m North must replace a lot of play- but that doesn’t guarantee results.
very disappointed with the way things Coffman looks strong with the urner (WR/TE) and juniors Trey ers at the skill positions and will move Hilliard Davidson has to be consid-
have gone up to this point. It’s get- return of players including seniors Fairchild (WR/QB/DB), Justin Baltzer to a two-back, option-oriented offense. ered the team to beat since they’re
Central Ohio High School Football Preview ’07 • August 22, 2007

ting to the point where it’s too late.” Mike Adams (OL) and Jake Stoneb- (RB) and Chris O’Brien (OL). Adams “Three of the four regional semi- the returning champion.”

Hilliard Davidson
Reigning state champs
focusing on new season
By FRANK DiRENNA behind us sooner rather than later — and I hope
ThisWeek Contributor it’s not too late — we’re going to be in for a
rude awakening.”
It’s been more than eight months since Bo The Wildcats, who finished 15-0 overall and
Delande ran in a two-point conversion, giving won the OCC-Buckeye Division at 5-0 last
the Hilliard Davidson High School football season, have won their last 29 regular-season
team a 36-35 double-overtime win over Men- games, dating to a 28-12 loss to Bloomfield
tor in the Division I state final. Hills (Mich.) in the opener in 2004.
For coach Brian White, whose team will As the Wildcats prepare for Darby, White
open Friday against Hilliard Darby in Crew noted that they have yet to reach their poten-
Stadium, that is a distant memory. His focus tial during preseason workouts.
is on this year’s team. “We have zero sense of urgency right now
“We’re trying as much as possible to forget to improve,” he said. “I’m very disappointed
about last season,” he said. with the way things have gone up to this point.
By Darrin Bryan/ThisWeek “As great a memory as it will be for the It’s getting to the point where it’s too late. We’re
The Wildcats’ Joey Ciamacco (left) tries to avoid a tackle after making a catch against seniors of last year and even some of these
16 Dublin Scioto during a scrimmage Aug. 11. kids to have down the road, if we don’t put it See DAVIDSON, page 17