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2015 OHC Football Picks
The 2015 Football season is officially slated to kick-off on Friday! What a great time of year, High School football brings communities together unlike any other recreational activity. Hundreds and thousands will flock to football stadiums across the OHC on Friday night, cheering on a new season and a new team who all have the same goals; compete for a conference title, compete for a playoff berth and advance deep into the playoffs. Football Friday Night is back! And with that, so is the OHC Football Website Pick'em contest. Good luck to all of the OHC this year! On to the Week 1 picks, with summaries and score projections by our OHC Expert, Matt Hull:
Greenon @ Catholic Central: Greenon and Catholic Central both went 0-10 a season ago. This is a new game to both school's schedule. The difference between these two schools, aside from the fact that Catholic Central is traditionally a very good football team, is that the Irish return about every starter from one of the youngest teams in the state a season ago. Catholic Central's return to the top isn't too far off, and it all starts with picking up their first win since Week 10 of 2012 (a stretch of 20 straight losses). PICK: Catholic Central 21, Greenon 6
Madison Plains @ Cedarville: Cedarville has a lot of holes to fill and their numbers are down. In this game last season, Madison Plains (who finished 5-5) edged the Indians 21-18. The Indians will improve each week, but as a young team it is very hard to come out in Week 1 and make a statement. While Cedarville is certainly capable of doing so, we feel that Madison Plains will be just a touch too tough again this season. PICK: Madison Plains 22, Cedarville 13
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy @ Greeneview: Little did Greeneview know when they added CHCA to their schedule in 2015 that they would be eliminated by the same team the season before in the 2nd round of the playoffs, but that is precisely what happened. CHCA ended Greeneview's season last year, 28-14, before falling to Coldwater in the state semi-finals. A year later, many consider a veteran CHCA team a favorite to return to state. Greeneveiw, while very talented still, has a lot of holes to fill. The Rams can make a statement with a Week 1 win, not only to the rest of the OHC but also to the state of Ohio. However, we feel that CHCA is a better team than a season ago and Greeneview doesn't quite have the experience. PICK: CHCA 42, Greeneview 21
West Jefferson @ Mechanicsburg: Since this rivalry was renewed 19 seasons ago, each team has won 9 games. Someone will look to pull out ahead Friday in Mechanicsburg. Both teams lost a fair amount of talent to graduation, but as is common with small school powerhouses, both teams have a ton of talent back. The Indians actually outgained the Rough Riders a season ago, but turnovers cost Mechanicsburg the game in a 21-14 loss. Kaleb Romero will be a burden for opposing defenses this season and he will be the best athlete on the field Friday night. Look for Mechanicsburg, who fell in OT to the D6 State Champions in the 1st round of the playoffs last year, to come out and make a statement in Week 1. PICK: Mechanicsburg 35, West Jefferson 21
Kenton Ridge @ Northeastern: Northeastern kept this game close in the first half a season ago, before falling 31-14 to Kenton Ridge who ended up in the playoffs. These two schools are in the same district and may be consolidating at some point, so these kids know each other and get "jack-up" to play against each other. A new staff is in position to turn things around at Northeastern. Kenton Ridge lost quite a bit to graduation but like some of the other teams highlighted in this section have a boatload of talent returning. We think this game will be close again early, but in the end, Kenton Ridge has too many weapons that will be unleashed. PICK: Kenton Ridge 28, Northeastern 13
Southeastern @ Northwestern: Northwestern edged Southeastern 14-7 a season ago. This year, Northwestern returns one of the CBC's top passers and much of their team. Southeastern, another school with low numbers, has a lot of shoes to fill from last season's 2-8 team. The Warriors have their eyes set on a CBC Mad River Championship this year and they will want to come out in Week 1 and let everyone know about their plans. This is a tough Week 1 match-up for the Trojans. PICK: Northwestern 35, Southeastern 14
Triad @ Indian Lake: Speaking of teams who have their eyes set on a CBC Mad River Division championship, the Indian Lake Lakers also lay claim to that. Triad will have their work cut out for them when they travel to Northwest Logan County on Friday night. Indian Lake returns much of their roster from a season ago and will be one of the largest and most physical teams the Cardinals face all season. Triad will have, hands down, the best athlete on the field Friday night when Trent McIntyre lines up behind center to lead the Cardinals. Last year, Triad edged Indian Lake 20-18. This Friday's contest should be equally as exciting. You hate to say it this early, but if the Cardinals want to make the playoffs for the 4th year in a row...this game is critical for Triad. Unfortunately, we feel the Lakers return just too much. PICK: Indian Lake 28, Triad 27
Valley View @ West Liberty-Salem: What an aggressive change in schedule for the Tigers. WL-S has played Greenon the last 2 seasons to open up the year. This year they added a former state powerhouse who is on the resurgence in Valley View. Valley View returns most everyone from last year's 6-4 team and their expectations are the highest they have been in years. The Tigers will not face a school larger than Valley View, and they may not face a quarterback as talented in the pocket all year. The good news for the Tigers, this team is as good if not better than a season ago. The offensive line is in tact and larger than ever. Upton and Anderson are back in the backfield, a duo who combined for nearly 4,000 yards a year ago. WL-S only has 4 home games this year, so they will want to make this one count. We are taking the Tigers in what should be a great game. PICK: West Liberty-Salem 41, Valley View 28
2014 PICK 'EM FINAL STANDINGS:
Matt Hull 45-7
2015 OHC Preview & Predictions
Catholic Central: Catholic Central will return just about every starter from last season’s 0-10 team. The programs is beginning to grow again and their return to success is getting closer. Coach Steve DeWitt’s squad will still be young, but they have some important experience this year and that will result in some victories. 2015 Prediction: 3-7 (miss playoffs)
Cedarville: Only 21 players are listed on the preseason roster for the Indians this year, and several of them have never played football. Jacob Gannon is one of those newcomers, and he will be handed starting quarterback duties this season. Offensively the Indians took a big hit by losing star running back Caleb Coe. Mitchell Delp will take over as the feature back in Cedarville’s offense this season. The strength for the Indians in 2015 will be their line, where they return 3 starters. In the Springfield News-Sun head coach Jason Christian stated that linebacker Kosi Al Hasan (another first year player, despite being a senior) is “probably the best athlete on the team.” The key to the Indians 2015 success, with such a small roster, will be staying healthy. The second key will be to see how fast the team can learn the game. 2015 Prediction: 3-7 (miss playoffs)
Greeneview: The Rams will be looking to fill some big voids this season after the most successful season in school history. The biggest shoes to fill will be those of quarterback Chance Frye who stood out from a very talented senior class that graduated a year ago. Junior Collin Matt will take over the quarterback reins with his top target being his 6’6” tight end Ethan Bradds. Bradds was listed as a DV Honorable Mention TE in the JJHuddle Preseason Ohio Football Team. Offensive/defensive lineman Caleb Green will be the anchor for the Rams in 2015. Green is the only returning starter on a young, inexperienced defense. While Greeneview will be inexperienced this season, there is still ample talent on the roster. The Rams may start off a little slow being so young, but by the end of the year they should be one of the better teams in the OHC. 2015 Prediction: 6-4 (miss playoffs)
Mechanicsburg: Mechanicsburg all-time leading rusher Aeryton Erwin has graduated. While his shoes will be impossible to fill, the Indians will likely not miss a beat in 2015. 2014 OHC Football Website Player of the Year, and star dual-threat quarterback Kaleb Romero returns in 2015 along with 5 other offensive starters and 6 defensive starters. The Junior quarterback is strong, fast and, per reports, his arm is stronger and more accurate than ever. An article in “Press Pros Magazine” states that “pound for pound Kaleb Romero has to be the best athlete in the state.” There aren’t too many athletes in the history of the OHC who have had that written about them. After a tough loss, a game many Indian fans still feel was a win, to Minster in the playoffs last year…the Indians will have a chip on their shoulder every week. Add a solid line and what Coach Kurt Forrest called in the Springfield News-Sun as “the best we’ve ever had at the skill positions,” there is no doubt that the 2015 Mechanicsburg Indians will be a force to be reckoned with. 2015 Prediction: 9-1 (Division 6, Region 22 Playoff Qualifier)
Northeastern: Northeastern fans were ready for change and new blood, and this year their wishes have come true. Tim Houseman, a 1990 Northeastern graduate, has taken the head coaching spot for the Jets trying to rejuvenate a program that has won just 6 games over the course of the last 2 season. The Jets lost quite a few of their starters from a season ago, but with new energy and blood leading the way, this team should show a lot of fight. Northeastern has the biggest pool of kids to pull in football players from, and the roster should be larger than in years past too. Houseman and Co. will have their shares of ups and downs this season, but in the end it should be better than the last 2 seasons. 2015 Prediction: 5-5 (miss playoffs)
Southeastern: Southeastern won 2 games a season ago. The smallest school in the OHC will likely struggle again this year. Head Coach Greg Bonifay will look for some younger players to step-up in 2015. The Trojans last 4 games are against Triad, Greeneview, West Liberty-Salem and Mechanicsburg; so Southeastern will need to be ready to go early as it is the easiest part of their schedule. 2015 Prediction: 1-9 (miss playoffs)
Triad: Star quarterback Trent McIntyre is back this season at full strength; after missing time with various arm, leg and knee injuries over the past few years in both baseball and football. McIntyre accounted for 27 touchdowns and had nine interceptions on defense as a sophomore before missing most of last season. If he can stay healthy, McIntyre is potentially the best dual threat quarterback and defensive back in the conference. For the 2nd straight season, Triad will be low on total numbers…but not on talent. Nearly every player for the Cardinals this year will be a 2-way starter. The Cardinals should be very dangerous on offense, but the defense will be young and inexperienced. As with any team with dwindling numbers, health is the key to the Cardinals success in 2015. The Cardinals are looking to make the playoffs for the 4th season in a row. The bad news is, the Cardinals moved up to division this season, which makes the margin for error in making the playoffs much slimmer than it was in Division 7. 2015 Prediction: 7-3 (miss playoffs)
West Liberty-Salem: The Tigers have made the playoffs in 9 of the last 11 seasons and there is nothing that leads anyone to believe they won’t make it 10 out of 12 in 2015. The Tigers return JJHuddle 2015 Division VI Ohio Preseason Football 2nd Team quarterback in Brandon Upton. Upton threw for 2,458 and 28 touchdowns as a Junior and is well on his way to being West Liberty-Salem’s all-time leading passer. Joining Upton in the backfield is shifty running back Trevor Anderson who rushed for 1,342 yards and 20 touchdowns a season ago. The Tigers also have the largest and most experience line back this season. While there are some holes to fill, especially at the receiver position, the 2015 Tigers are set-up for another great season and playoff run. While their non-conference schedule is the toughest of any team in the OHC (Valley View, @Ben Logan, @Kenton Ridge) and the Tigers only have 4 home games this year; there is no doubt if this is the one team in the conference who can handle it. 2015 Prediction: 9-1 (Division 6, Region 22 Playoff Qualifier)
All OHC Football Teams Announced
The 2014 All Ohio Heritage Conference football team was announced this week. Senior Greeneview Quarterback Chance Frye was voted the OHC player of the year by participating coaches. Congrats to everyone who made the list. For the full All-OHC football list, including 2nd team and honorable mention, click here.
Thomas Kavanagh, Catholic Central
2014 OHC Website Player of the Year
Congratulations to the 2014 OHC Football Website Player of the Year, Kaleb Romero of Mechanicsburg. Romero, a Sophomore, becomes the 8th MVP in this websites history and the third player from Mechanicsburg to take the award. Romero was excellent in 2014, leading Mechanicsbug to a second consecutive 8-2 record, a share of the OHC championship and a playoff berth. Romero combined for 2,372 offensive yard and 24 touchdowns (1,141 passing yards, 13 passing TDs / 1,231 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs). Romero finished the regular season 3rd in the OHC in passing and 3rd in rushing. Romero was also excellent on defense, where he accumulated 71 total tackles.
This award is voted on in a three step process; a poll, Facebook vote and a Twitter vote. Romero was the clear winner this season, finishing 1st in the 2 social media votes and 2nd in the poll vote. In all, 1,154 votes were cast. Romero had 348 total votes (30.2% of the total vote) to take the crown, 129 votes more than the runner-up.
2nd Place: Chance Frye, Greeneview (219 votes - 19.0%)
3rd Place: Aeryton Erwin, Mechanicsburg (178 votes - 15.4%)
4th Place: Trevor Anderson, WL-Salem (176 votes - 15.3%)
5th Place: Klay Partin, Greeneview (138 votes - 12.0%)
6th Place: Brandon Upton, WL-Salem (95 votes - 8.2%)
The Best OHC Teams of All-Time
We recently counted down the Top 10 OHC Football teams of all-time based on a formula designed by our expert. Below is a list of the rankings. To see a full list and description of each team and why they are ranked where click here: Top 10 OHC Times of All-Time
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