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Alter football tradition: “It’s something we take a lot of pride in”

Alter senior Connor Meyer welcomed the challenge of being part of the Alter football legacy.

“It means a lot to carry on the tradition of Alter football, the Knights of old,” said Meyer, a rare two-way starter at defensive tackle and tight end. “That’s really what it is, just one big brotherhood. We just want to keep it going.”

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Alter (11-1) will do just that against Wapakoneta (11-1) in a Division III, Region 12 final at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.

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That’s one of four playoff games that will involve area teams in Week 13. Also on Friday, Coldwater (10-2) and Marion Local (11-1) will get a rematch in a D-VI, Region 24 final at Sidney Memorial Stadium.

Alter senior Connor Meyer is carrying on a family tradition with the Knights. Alter prepares for Wapakoneta during a practice on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

On Saturday, it’s Middletown Madison (12-0) vs. Wheelersburg (11-1) in a D-V, Region 20 final at Hilliard Darby and Fort Loramie (11-1) vs. Convoy Crestview (11-1) in a D-VI, Region 28 final at Lima Senior Stadium.

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The winners advance to the Week 14 state semifinals. The Ohio High School Athletic Association will announce state semifinal neutral sites on Sunday.

Meyer, 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds, is the latest in a long run of outstanding Knights’ down linemen. No coincidence in that. His father, Tom Meyer, is Alter’s offensive line coordinator. Tom Meyer also played on the 1987 Alter team that qualified for the playoffs. Both Meyers excelled for Ed Domsitz, in his 43rd season as a head coach.

Alter senior Connor Meyer is carrying on a family tradition with the Knights. Alter prepares for Wapakoneta during a practice on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

“We’ve had some great defensive linemen over the years,” Domsitz said, “and Connor belongs in that group. Connor has grown up with Alter football.”

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Meyer has been a shut-down force on the defensive line. He’s among the team leaders in solo tackles (37) and assists (43) and has two fumble recoveries. He added the role of a blocking tight end two weeks ago and was key in Alter’s double-tight end, wishbone offense that worked so well in last week’s 13-0 shutout of Badin.

He’ll be key again against Wapak, a traditionally run-heavy offense that has defeated Western Buckeye League rival St. Marys Memorial (11-1), defending D-III state champion Trotwood-Madison (6-5) and most recently Fenwick (9-3) in successive weeks.

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Nolan Meyer, Connor’s sophomore brother, will get his first start as a middle linebacker against Wapak. Missing on the Knights’ defense will be senior middle guard Nathan “Cookie” Armstrong, out with a knee injury.

Alter senior Connor Meyer (center) is carrying on a family tradition with the Knights. Alter prepares for Wapakoneta during a practice on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

“The tradition we have at Alter, to make a nice playoff run is a big deal around here,” said Connor, who remains uncommitted. “It’s something we take a lot of pride in. We’re going to play some Alter football and strap up.”

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• Like Alter, Fort Loramie is on an 11-game win streak since losing to Minster in the season opener. The Redskins are led by first-year coach Spencer Wells. This is the ninth time Loramie has advanced to the postseason in the last 10 seasons.

Alter prepares for Wapakoneta during a practice on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Loramie is a long time Shelby County Athletic League member and is a Cross County Conference member for football only. The Redskins have yet to qualify for the state semifinals.

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• Coldwater has qualified for the playoffs for 22 consecutive seasons, a streak that matches the all-time record initially set by Cleveland St. Ignatius (1988-09). Alter has mounted an 18-year playoff streak (2001-18).

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