High school football preview: Springfield Wildcats

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High school football preview: Springfield Wildcats

High school: Springfield Wildcats

Division: I, Region: 3 (no change from last season).

Affiliation: Greater Western Ohio Conference, National East Division.

»SEE PHOTO GALLERY BELOW

Head coach: Maurice Douglass, fourth season as the Wildcats’ coach, 12-18 overall record. Also was head coach at Trotwood-Madison from 2000-13 with an overall record of 101-54. His last four Rams teams all played for state championships and the 2011 team went 15-0, winning a D-II state title.

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Assistant coaches: Chris Wallace, OC; Kelley Kinser, DC; KaWambee Gaines, QB; Deion Weatherspoon, WR; Steve Graves, RB; Jeff Smith, OL; Darnell Carter, OL; Conley Smoot, DL; Dustin Krouse, LB/ST; Vernon Bass, DB; Derrick Atterberry, DB; Danny Dellapina, DL.

2016 record: 3-1 GWOC National East, 7-4 overall.

2016 highlights: Featured All-Ohioan RB/DB/RET Danny Davis (1,195 yards rushing; 559 yards receiving; 13 TDs). Springfield made its first postseason appearance since RB/LB Trey DePriest (Alabama) was a senior in 2010. Lost 35-14 in a first-round game at Pickerington Central, which eliminated GWOC National East champ Wayne 17-14 two weeks later in a regional final. Davis was a fixture in the Wildcats’ offense for four seasons and will be a challenge to replace. He signed as a WR with Wisconsin.

5 key returners

Moses Douglass, 6-2, 190, jr., WR/DB

Austin Garza, 6-4, 275, sr., OL/DL

Isaiah Gibson, 6-4, 270, jr., OL/DL

Cameron Hoelscher, 6-2, 223, sr., ILB

Leonard Taylor, 6-6, 242, sr., QB/TE/DE

Transfers in: Michael Brown, jr., ATH; Tyler Carter, sr., QB (Wayne); Caleb Johnson, sr., WR (Trotwood); Alex Temple, so., OL/DL.

About the Wildcats: Springfield has become an emerging GWOC power under the guidance of Douglass. Expectations are to contend for a rare GWOC divisional title and go deep into the postseason. Why? Start with an abundance of size, add recruitable experience and top with breakaway talent at the skill positions.

The Wildcats have the personnel to accomplish those goals. Taylor, a multi-talented senior, was the QB by default the last two seasons. He’ll likely move to TE with the emergence of Carter from Wayne at QB. A much sought-after recruit, Taylor de-committed to Michigan. He has multiple offers and appears to favor Oklahoma and Kentucky.

Another bonus was the transfer of Johnson. He had 103 catches for 1,481 yards and 19 TDs the last two seasons at Trotwood. Moses Douglass is the coach’s son and also has Big Ten offers from Michigan, Iowa and Rutgers among others. Hoelscher recently committed to Army.

Beating senior cornerback Quincy Scott deep will take top-end speed. Scott was second in the state long jump (23-11.5) this past June and also is a high-end sprinter. However, Dyier Smith, a starter at corner the last two seasons and like Scott a state-quality high hurdler, is not playing as a senior.

There is one notable schedule change. Springfield opens at Lancaster, which replaces Dublin Coffman. Springfield split with Coffman in the two-year series, winning 22-20 at Wittenberg last season. Lancaster was 6-5 last season and was pounded 52-7 by Wayne in a D-I, Region 3 playoff opener.

Coach’s comments: This team has outstanding chemistry and team accountability. This will be the biggest, strongest and fastest team we’ve had since becoming one school.

Schedule: All games 7 p.m.

Week 1: Fri., Aug. 25, at Lancaster

Week 2: Fri., Sept. 1, Princeton

Week 3: Fri., Sept. 8, Lima Senior

Week 4: Fri., Sept. 15, Centerville

Week 5: Fri., Sept. 22, at Lebanon

Week 6: Fri., Sept. 29, at Xenia

Week 7: Fri., Oct. 6, Northmont

Week 8: Fri., Oct. 13, Beavercreek

Week 9: Fri., Oct. 20, at Wayne

Week 10: Fri., Oct. 27, at Fairmont

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

»PHOTO GALLERY 

Springfield QB Leonard Taylor. Wayne defeated host Springfield 38-14 in a Week 9 GWOC National East high school football game at Evans Stadium on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
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