Franklin’s Ryan Montgomery carries the ball during a game against Valley View on Sept. 23 at Veterans Memorial Field at Atrium Stadium in Franklin. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

High school football preview: Franklin Wildcats

High school: Franklin Wildcats

Division: III, Region: 12 (no change from last season).

Affiliation: Southwestern Buckeye League, Southwestern Division.

Head coach: Brad Childers, fourth season, 21-11 overall record, all at Franklin.

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Assistant coaches/positions: Jimmy Goforth, OC; Frankie Russell, DC; Mark Mullins, OL; Ryan Roberts, WR; Rick Thompson, RB; Steve Woods, QB/special teams; Tom Parker, LB; Kevin Allen, DL; Todd Centers, OLB; Mike Cox, defense.

2016 record: 6-0 SWBL Southwestern Division champions; 11-1 overall.


2016 highlights: Dodged Carlisle and Edgewood in Weeks 1-2, then rolled to a perfect 10-0 regular season. However, a leaky defense that performed so well in the middle of the season would cost the Wildcats later, starting with a 66-48 Week 9 shootout defeat of visiting Oakwood. Defeated Tippecanoe 41-40 in a first-round playoff opener. Lost 55-31 in the second round to St. Mary’s Memorial. That marked Franklin’s 10th season in the playoffs and fifth since 2008.

The 11 wins was the most in program history. That also was Franklin’s 13th league title. In all, 23 program team and individual records were reset. Among the records were being ranked No. 1 in Region 12 and securing a top seed and earning its highest placing – No. 4 – in the Associated Press state rankings.

Key returners:

Matt Centers, 6-1, 195, jr., LB

Nate Glossip, 6-1, 245, sr., OL/DL

Logan Hall, 6-5, 355, sr., OL

Jared Kinzer, 6-2, 180, sr., WR

Ryan Knipper, 5-11, 225, sr., LB

Ryan Montgomery, 5-11, 185, sr., RB/DB/ATH

Matt Schneider, 6-0, 180, sr., K

Braden White, 6-3, 225, sr., QB

Transfers in: Drew Gescuk (Monroe), Zach Bowermaster (Centerville) and Jake Bowermaster (Centerville).

About the Wildcats: Formerly Franklin’s defensive coordinator, Childers has overseen a successful transition from the Rodney Roberts era to his own record-setting season. The Wildcats posted a breakout 11-1 campaign in 2016 following consecutive 5-5 seasons.

Franklin High School football coach Brad Childers talks about the 2017 season after a recent practice at the school.

All the key returning players – and many more – have stoked this Warren County community for another championship season. It doesn’t get any better than Montgomery. A second-team All-Ohioan, he also was the D-III Southwest District and SWBL offensive player of the year. Rushed for 1,935 yards to go with 41 TDs. Completed 39 of 54 passes for 541 yards (4 TDs). Had 36 catches for 518 yards (14.3), returned 16 kickoffs for 460 yards (28.7), and punted 10 times (36.4). Accounted for 3,424 all-purpose yards. No wonder Childers says “Ryan’s football IQ is second to none.”

Currently has offers from Ball State, Toledo, Kentucky, Miami, Youngstown State, Western Michigan, Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Iowa State, Michigan State, Indiana and Northwestern.

And there are many more outstanding and returning reasons to rev up Franklin. White completed 139 of 200 passes (69.5 percent) for 2,055 yards, 26 TDs and just 3 INTs. Glossip is a two-way dominator on the lines and will be a rare four-year letterman. Knipper was among the team’s leaders in tackles and has landed a lacrosse scholarship. Schneider handles all the place kicking and had three FGs as a junior. Centers was a rare freshman starter at LB two seasons ago and is on pace to reset the program’s all-time record for solo tackles and assists.

The schedule is the same from 2016.

Coach’s comment: This team has GRIT!

Schedule: All games 7 p.m.

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

Week 2: Fri., Sept. 1, Edgewood

Week 3: Fri., Sept. 8, at Piqua

Week 4: Fri., Sept. 15, Eaton

Week 5: Fri., Sept. 22, at Valley View

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

Week 7: Fri., Oct. 6, Bellbrook

Week 8: Fri., Oct. 13, at Monroe

Week 9: Fri., Oct. 20, at Oakwood

Week 10: Fri., Oct. 27, Brookville

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Franklin’s Ryan Montgomery carries the ball during a game against Valley View on Sept. 23 at Veterans Memorial Field at Atrium Stadium in Franklin. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF