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Division title appears to be up for grabs

ThisWeek Staff Writer Inside the division
Pickerington High School Central 2006 STANDINGS Worthington Kilbourne at Mount Vernon
football coach Jay Sharrett believes Team League Overall Westerville South at Olentangy
Pickerington Central 5-0 13-2 Oct. 12
his team was well-prepared for the Olentangy 3-2 8-3 Mount Vernon at Dublin Jerome
Division II playoffs last season after Westerville South 3-2 8-3 Pickerington Central at Olentangy
surviving the OCC-Cardinal Division. Worth. Kilbourne 3-2 4-6 Worthington Kilbourne at Westerville South
The Tigers, who finished 13-2 over- Dublin Jerome 2-3 2-8 Oct. 19
all after losing to Piqua 26-7 in the Mount Vernone 0-5 1-9 Dublin Jerome at Worthington Kilbourne
2007 SCHEDULE Olentangy at Mount Vernon
state final, won the OCC-Cardinal at Pickerington Central at Westerville South
Sept. 28
5-0. Olentangy at Dublin Jerome Oct. 26
“One thing we try to do every year Mount Vernon at Westerville South Westerville South at Dublin Jerome
is just stay alive in the OCC,” Shar- Pickerington Central at Kilbourne Mount Vernon at Pickerington Central
rett said. “We don’t worry about the Oct. 5 Worthington Kilbourne at Olentangy
playoffs. If you’re in the race for the Dublin Jerome at Pickerington Central
OCC, the playoffs generally take care
of themselves.” 120 passes for 1,186 and 13 touch- The front-runner might be Kil-
Central outscored league opponents downs and rushed for 994 yards and bourne. The Wolves return 17 starters
an average of 39.8-8.8 last year — it 13 touchdowns before suffering a sea- — nine on offense and eight on
finished ahead of Olentangy (3-2), son-ending ankle injury in the seventh defense. Kilbourne won three of its
Worthington Kilbourne (3-2), West- game, and Cunningham had 45 recep- last four games, with the loss being
erville South (3-2), Dublin Jerome (1- tions for 770 yards and nine touch- 21-20 to South.
4) and Mount Vernon (0-5) — but downs. The Wolves will be led by running
Sharrett said winning the league cer- Central is without ChazzAnderson, back Rodney Tate, who ran for 904
tainly didn’t feel easy. who last season completed 139 of 251 yards and seven touchdowns on 124
“Every team in the league is well- passes for 2,066 yards and 12 touch- carries last year.
coached,” he said. “Some are well- downs and rushed for 140 yards and South will turn to junior Ryan Clark,
coached with a lot of talent and some six touchdowns on 66 carries. He was who last year had 134 carries for 796
are well-coached where the talent the league and district Player of the yards and seven touchdowns, and
might be a little down that year. Some Year and first-team all-state. senior receiver Brent Carter, who had
of these might not have had the ath- Gone from Olentangy are quarter- 35 catches for 517 yards and three
letes, but if you took them too lightly, back Daniel Johnson and receiver Ryan touchdowns and was second-team all-
suddenly you’re in a 10-7 dogfight.” Randolph. Johnson completed 82 of OCC and special mention all-district.
Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti 182 passes for 1,206 yards and nine Central lost seven starters on
said he is not sure who is going to be touchdowns, and Randolph caught 35 offense, including Anderson, running
the one who wins the league this year. passes for 695 yards and eight touch- back Jordan Jarrell and wide receiver
“I’m hoping it’s going to be real downs. Brian Peters. Four offensive starters
competitive,” Trombetti said. “I think “There’s a whole new generation — senior left guard Aaron Rittgers,
it’s anybody’s race. It’ll be pretty even of the players out there,” Olentangy senior right tackle Tim McGougan,
this year.” coach Ed Terwilliger said. “Every- junior wide receiver Patrick White
The OCC-Cardinal may not have body is just like us. We graduated some and junior tight end Blaine Burgess
the marquee players of a year ago. really good players, but we hope to — have returned, and even though
By Chris Parker/ThisWeek Gone are South quarterback Rocco see if our younger players have they will have to break in an inexpe-
Brennen Fraley, a senior linebacker, will help lead the defense for Picker- Pentello and South receiver B.J. Cun- matured enough to turn into good play-
ington Central, which moves up to Division I this season. ningham. Pentello completed 78 of ers.” See CARDINAL, page 28

Dublin Jerome
Team unity will be key for Celtics
August 22, 2007 • Central Ohio High School Football Preview ’07
to rebound from dismal 2-8 season
By FRANK DiRENNA for his third season as the starting quarterback, Seniors Benjamin Hartman (6-1, 170) and
ThisWeek Contributor Hundley noted the offense should have a new Adam Can (6-1, 175), and juniors Cody Burris
look. The team will continue to utilize its power (6-0, 185), Jeffrey Robison (6-0, 175) and Robert
The concept of unity has been a major empha- running game, but also will emphasize a pass- Carmona (6-0, 170) will be other targets at wide
sis during the preseason for the Dublin Jerome ing game. receiver. Senior Tyler Kiste (5-11, 185) will play
High School football team. Jackson, who missed the first three games last tight end.
Practices have featured team-bonding drills, season with a knee injury, completed 28 of 70 The offensive line will include seniors Jor-
including where the players catch each coach passes for 305 yards and one touchdown. dan Foreman (5-7, 210) and JonVogel (6-4, 275)
as they fall backward. The Celtics are hoping “The main focus this year is getting every- and juniors David Harless (6-0, 190) and Spencer
that philosophy carries over to the football field. body to be together as a team,” Jackson said. Breseman (6-3, 205).
“The biggest thing that we have to work on “We can’t get anybody hurt and we have to pull Kovatch, who was named first-team all-OCC-
with these guys is that unity,” said coach Mark everybody together. People getting hurt last year Cardinal last season, should anchor the defense
Hundley, whose team will open Friday at home really hurt us. Even if someone goes out, we at linebacker.
against Westerville Central. “We can’t let other have to stick together as a team.” “We have to get the defense and the offense
people dictate how we’re going to be. We have Seniors Tanner Seago (5-8, 190), who rushed to play together as a team,” Kovatch said. “We
to dictate that ourselves. We have to go out and for 247 yards and two touchdowns on 61 car- just have to go out there and have fun. It’s all
play our game. When a team does a certain thing ries, and Ricky Kovatch (6-2, 230) return in the about having fun. Sometimes we think too much
we can’t get down if they get up on us. You’re backfield. and we’ll just make stupid mistakes.”
going to have adversity and how you react to Senior Marshall Burkhart (6-1, 190), who Senior Tyler Mordecai (6-3, 210), another
that adversity makes a huge difference.” was featured in the backfield last season (50 car- Johns Hopkins lacrosse recruit, will be featured By Steve Friend/ThisWeek
Last season, the Celtics finished 2-8 overall ries for 269 yards), is expected to play wide on the defensive line. Sophomores Chris Bahr Coach Mark Hundley and the Celtics open
and 1-4 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.As junior receiver. Burkhart will play lacrosse at Johns the season Friday as host to Westerville
Kevin Jackson (5-foot-9, 151 pounds) prepares Hopkins. See JEROME, page 28 Central.