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Centerville, Alter to face off in Week 3

Two Canadian high school football teams scuttled plans to play here in Week 3 of this coming season. That’s not a bad thing, because Alter and Centerville instead have agreed to meet in a rare showdown.

Centerville athletic director Rob Dement confirmed on Wednesday the non-league game will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Centerville. They last met in 2010, with host Centerville winning 24-7 also in Week 3.

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The Knights and Elks were to have played a Week 3 doubleheader against the Canadian teams at Centerville. Alter was matched against London South Collegiate Institute of Ontario, Canada. Centerville was to have played Oakridge Secondary School, a government-operated high school in the same London, Ontario, school system.

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“It’ll certainly be a fun week for everyone,” said Centerville coach Brent Ullery, who was returning from Georgetown University in Kentucky where the Elks held their summer camp. “It was going to be an Ohio vs. Canada deal, which would have been fun. Now, it’s Centerville vs. Centerville.”

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Although Alter is located in Kettering off East David Road, many of its students reside in Centerville, making this as close to a neighboring rivalry as Alter vs. Fairmont, the Knights’ traditional season opener. The distance between Alter and Centerville high schools is five miles.

Both Alter and Centerville are established football powers, but have played just five times. Alter, 9-2 last season, has had unprecedented success under coach Ed Domsitz, who was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association hall of fame last month. 

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The Knights (Division III) will open the season with a streak of 17 straight playoff appearances and 23 overall. Alter won D-IV state championships in 2008-09 and placed runner-up twice, including the 2014 season.

Centerville has been to the big-school playoffs 16 times, including 10 appearances since 2004. That included the 2017 team (10-2), Ullery’s first as head coach.

The 2010 Alter at Centerville game drew a capacity crowd of 8,000-plus. Domsitz was in place at Alter, but Centerville’s head coach was Ron Ullery, Brent’s father. Ron is now an assistant at Springboro.

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The Canadian teams shared a letter to the area teams in late June about canceling the trip. School officials cited a “secondary, system-wide professional learning initiative,” that was scheduled the same weekend as the Week 3 games and were “not able to approve excursions that will limit attendance.”

“This is a set of unfortunate circumstances that will end in both communities getting to experience a tremendous football game,” said Dement.

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Many area teams are wrapping up their 10 days of summer coaching, which includes 7-on-7 passing tournaments and runs from June through July 28. The first day of preseason practice is Monday, July 30. Most teams will open the season on Friday, Aug. 24.

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