HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COUNTDOWN: FRANKLIN

The following is a brief high school football preseason preview.

High school: Franklin Wildcats

Division/region: D-III, Region 10

League/conference: Southwestern Buckeye League, Southwestern Division.

Head coach: Brad Childers, first year, succeeds Rodney Roberts who took over for Ron Ullery at Centerville. Childers has worked in the Franklin school district for 18 years and previously was the Wildcats’ defensive coordinator.

Assistant coaches: Mark Wolfinbarger-OC, Steve Woods-OC, Joe Lewis-WR, Rick Thompson-RB, Matt Pierce-OL, Tom Parker-DC, Frank Russell-DB, Matt Money-DL, Mark Mullins-TE/DL, Ed Standifer-DB, Mike Cox-LB.

2013 record: 6-0 SWBL; 9-2 overall.

2013 highlights/notable achievements: Third straight SWBL Southwestern championship and third straight playoff appearance. Lost only to Miamisburg 35-25 in Week 3 and 42-7 to eventual state runner-up Trotwood-Madison in the playoff opener. Had streak of five consecutive games in Weeks 6-10 in which Wildcats scored 41 or more points. Winning close games was a habit; beat Carlisle 35-34 in the opener and Valley View 42-39 in Week 7. Much of that success was due to standout junior QB Luke Kennard. He completed 162 of 274 passes (59 percent) for 2,144 yards, 26 TDs and just five INTs. That earned him state co-Division III offensive player of the year honors. The Wildcats’ greatest challenge? Finding a successor to Kennard, who opted not to play as a senior. Also the reigning Mr. Basketball, he’s headed to Duke University to play hoop. There are three schedule changes. Edgewood and Springboro replace West Carrollton and Miamisburg in the non-league Weeks 2-3 games. Also, Madison rotates off the SWBL crossover schedule and is replaced by Waynesville in Week 6.

Key returners:

Jake Riddell, 5-10, 170, sr., WR; 53 receptions for 704 yards; first team All-SWBL.

Evan Crowe, 6-3, 180, sr., TE/QB; 18 receptions for 355 yards; first team All-SWBL.

Connor Fulton, 6-3, 280, sr., OL/DL; first team All-SWBL.

Matt Thompson, 6-0, 170, sr., QB/WR/DB.

Michael Crocket, 5-10, 230, sr., DL; first team All-Ohio; SWBL defensive player of the year.

Layne Coffey, 5-10, sr., DB; first team All-SWBL.

Christian King, 5-7, sr., DB; returning starter.

Key newcomer:

Wyatt Hillard, so., OL/DL; started as a freshmen.

Coach’s comments: “We have several guys competing for a starting position. We have seven returners on offense and six on defense. We will be a multiple formation team on offense and a stack defense. We are working to achieve a fourth straight SWBL championship.”

Schedule:

Sat., Aug. 30 vs. Carlisle at Monroe, 7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 5 at Edgewood, 7:30 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 12 at Springboro, 7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 19 at Eaton, 7 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 26 Valley View, 7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 3 Waynesville, 7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 10 at Bellbrook, 7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 17 Monroe, 7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 24 Oakwood, 7 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 31 at Brookville, 7 p.m.

Coming Sunday: Northmont Thunderbolts

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