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St. Henry football: Top 7 players in Redskins history

St. Henry is a wee village tucked on the western edge of Mercer County by the Indiana border. But it’s a big-time producer of several of Ohio’s best-known athletes.

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The locals favor Fish Mo’s Bar & Grill. That’s where you’ll find remnants, photos and laminated newspaper clippings of six high school football, seven girls volleyball, four boys basketball and three baseball state championships. St. Henry should be re-christened as TitleTown.

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Like many of its Midwest Athletic Conference brethren, St. Henry’s population is less than 2,500. Attending Mass at historic St. Henry’s Catholic Church (1897) is a given. Excelling in high school sports is expected.

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Selecting St. Henry’s all-time best football players is easy. Start with NFL All-Pros and work your way through Ohio State University’s lettermen.

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Here’s who we consider the all-time seven best football players at St. Henry High School in a continuing series. Have something to say about this alphabetical list? Email your comments to sports@coxohio.com.

Location: St. Henry, Mercer County.

League: Midwest Athletic Conference, a 1972 charter member.

Division: D-VI, Region 24.

1. Todd Boeckman, QB, 2003 graduate: For starters, the 6-foot-6, 225-pounder was All-Ohio six times in three sports. A four-year starter at QB, he had 7,021 career passing yards and 64 TDs. He led the basketball team in scoring and rebounding as a sophomore, junior and senior and played on two state title teams. He finished as No. 2 all-time in the state in RBI’s (66) and as a pitcher won 19 consecutive games from 2001-03. Also was a rare six-year player at OSU as a grayshirt, then redshirt. The decision to bump Boeckman, a returning senior starter, in favor of highly touted freshman QB Terrelle Pryor by then-coach Jim Tressel didn’t go over well with the St. Henry faithful. Son of longtime St. Henry football coach and AD Tim Boeckman.

2. Scott Brunswick, WR, 1991: Another three-sport standout, a recurring theme for Redskins athletes. All-Ohio in football and basketball. Was the main benefactor of QB Bobby Hoying as the go-to receiver on the 1990 state title team. Among Ohio’s all-time stat leaders with 2,729 career receiving yards and 17 TD catches as a senior. Just as successful at Toledo, where he was All-MAC (114 career catches for 1,524 yards and 12 TDs). Signed with the Cowboys but ankle injury forced him out of football. Remains active with athletes as a certified trainer.

3. Jeff Hartings, OL/DL, 1991: Another standout on the 1990 title team; credited with 200 tackles and 23 sacks as a senior. A two-time, first-team All-American at Penn State as a guard. Played in NFL for 11 seasons as a first-round pick of the Lions in 1996. Signed with Steelers in 2001, switched to center and anchored an offensive line that defeated the Seahawks in the 2005 Super Bowl. Twice an All-Pro. Outspoken about rampant use of painkillers when he played in the NFL. “It was the direct reason I retired,” Hartings told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last March. “I had to take so many drugs. I knew it wasn’t healthy.” Promoted to Worthington Christian’s head football coach last spring.

4. Bobby Hoying, QB, 1991: Yep, another three-sport standout, winning a football state title in 1990 as a senior and two state hoop titles. At 6-5 and 210, was the 4th Mr. Football following a 14-0 season and was just as effective as a defensive back, with seven INTs. Hiked that success at OSU, leaving as the then all-time leader in completions (498) and TD passes (57) from 1992-95. Voted to OSU all-Century Team in 2000. Third-round draft pick of the Eagles, traded to the Raiders and retired in 2001 following elbow injury. A partner of Crawford Hoying, a full service real estate company anchored in Columbus. Partnered with Woodard Development to transform the Water Street District in downtown Dayton across from RiverScape and close to Fifth Third Field. Grandson of former Reds outfielder Wally Post, who played on 1961 team that won NL pennant.

5. Jim Lachey, OL/DL, 1981: The original three-sport standout at 6-6 and 225 pounds while in high school. Started on a state title basketball team. Also ran the 100 and 200 and threw the shot for the track team. All-American guard at OSU. Played in NFL from 1985-95 for Chargers, Raiders and Redskins, shifting to left tackle. All-Pro for Chargers in 1987 and Redskins in 1990-91. At 6-6, 300, was tagged a Redskins “Baby Hog” and helped beat the Bills in the 1992 Super Bowl. Former assistant coach and vice president of football operations for the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League. Longtime OSU football radio color analyst.

6. Andy Puthoff, RB/DE, 2007: At 6-3 and 230 pounds, a bruising hammer at fullback and key player for the 2006 state title team, the Redskins’ last football championship. Rushed for 2,398 yards and 37 TDs during a 14-1 title season. In his career gained 4,002 yards to go with 55 TDs. Also played on state title basketball team and was All-Ohio in baseball. All-Ohio in baseball after setting a then-state record with 11 RBI’s in one game (included two grand slams). Converted to defensive end and tackle at Ball State, lettering four seasons from 2008-11 and serving as a senior captain.

7. Ryan Uhlenhake, QB, 1997: Two-time offensive state player of the year as a junior and senior. Was at his best in a 61-58 triple-OT defeat of Mogadore in a D-VI state title game at Massillon. That day he set a divisional record with six TDs passes and all-division records of 479 passing yards and 588 total yards. Ranks No. 3 among all-time MAC basketball career scorers (1,692 points). Career at Akron was detailed after his broke an ankle to start the 2000 season.

Honorable mention: Tony Borgerding, RB, 1987; Ryan Buschur, LB, ’99; Eric Deizeith, DL, ’94; Greg Gels, RB, ’91; Ben Hartings, OL, ’00; Joe Hartings, OL, ’97; Alan Hartke, DL, ’05; Ryan Hartke, WR, ’07; Randy Hemmelgarn, WR, ’97; Tom Hoying, QB, ’93; Chad Huelsman, DL, ’97; Chris Huelsman, DL, ’95; Paul Kaiser, DB, ’95; Kevin Niekamp, TE, ’91; Brady Schmitz, WR, ’05; Doug Speck, RB, ’94; Jerry Stahl, LB, ’82; Nate Stahl, QB, ’05; Matt Thobe, DL, ’07; Matt Zahn, OL, ’99.

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Ohio State QB #17 Todd Boeckman looking for a target to throw to vs. Michigan.

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