There will be at least 18 new area high school football coaches this season. That new look will be especially different at Troy and Valley View.
Both Steve Nolan (Trojans) and Jay Niswonger (Spartans) spent the past 28 seasons putting their mostly winning stamps on those storied programs. Now, it’s up to Scot Brewer to carry on the Troy tradition and Kris Ketron to do the same at Valley View.
The season opens this week with most teams playing on Friday. A four-game Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown will play out at Welcome Stadium beginning at noon on Saturday. On Sunday, it’s defending Division II state champ Trotwood-Madison playing University (Fla.) at Kings in yet another Crosstown game at 3 p.m. That contest will be televised on one of the ESPN channels.
Brewer, a Troy grad and older brother of former Mr. Football Ryan Brewer, fully grasps what it means to be the Trojans’ head coach.
“You can be 1-9 and you’re fine if you beat Piqua,” he said during Sunday’s Greater Western Ohio Conference coaches show on WING-AM radio.
That’s an exaggeration, but not by much. For the first time in a long time the GWOC North rivals will play in the Week 10 finale at Piqua. If that weren’t fitting enough, the showdown also could determine if either or both teams advance to the playoffs.
“We want to keep the ball rolling,” Brewer said. “I understand the expectations of the community.”
Here’s all that Niswonger did at Valley View: Post a 243-78-1 career record, win 11 SWBL titles, make 16 playoff appearances and win three state titles in 1994, ‘96 and ‘97.
Ketron’s era begins Saturday night at Welcome Stadium when the Spartans square off with Dunbar at 8 p.m.
Can’t beat that: The GWOC Central grabs much of the headlines because it’s loaded with the area’s best D-I football programs. But the GWOC North is up 2-0 on the Central in state titles.
Both Piqua, in 2006 with Brandon Saine, and Trotwood in 2011 have won D-II state titles. Wayne has come the closest most recently among Central teams, placing runner-up in D-I in 2010 with Braxton Miller and 1999. Piqua also was the D-II runner-up in 2000 as was Trotwood in 2010 and 1981.
Defending Central champ Centerville was the D-I runner-up in 1991 as a member of the Western Ohio League.
GWOC South member Lebanon also won the 1998 D-II state title, but that was when the Warriors were in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference.
A new beginning: Northwestern coach Seth Whiting is hoping a bit of family coaching tradition provides a jump start with the Warriors. Whiting’s father, Vic, won consecutive small-school state titles with Delphos St. John’s in 1997-98.
Central Buckeye Conference member Northwestern has had one winning season since 1980, no league titles since 1967 and has won six games in the last four seasons. Whiting was an assistant at Massillon Perry the last two seasons.
Jim Place, now at Cincinnati Withrow, began his long coaching career at Northwestern in the mid-1970s and left for Beavercreek after a rare 6-4 winning season.
Dropping a bomb: Here’s how fickle recruiting services can be. Trotwood cornerback Cameron Burrows has dropped from five to four stars by rivals.com this week.
The site cited “low effort” and “loss of fluidity” in his coverage ability at last month’s Gridiron Kings competition. “He was really struggling and gave up a ton of completions,” the site reported.
If playing for a third straight state title weren’t enough incentive, those words surely are. Burrows has verbally committed to OSU.
One for all: Tickets for Saturday’s four-game Crosstown Showdown are $10 in advance and $13 at the gate. Tickets are available at participating schools and also can be purchased at the Crosstown website. One ticket is good for all four games.
Springfield opens against Hamilton at noon, followed by Northmont vs. Princeton at 2:45 p.m. Wayne plays Winton Woods at 5:30 p.m. and Dunbar/Valley View wrap it up.
New position: Only four of the 18 GWOC teams allowed more points than Central power Wayne last season. That’s why 6-foot-4, 280-pound senior Lovell Peterson has been moved to middle guard after starting the last three seasons at center.
Illinois and West Virginia are among the schools to have made offers to him. 247sports.com reports that Ohio State and Alabama have high interest.
Great game: Better get your ticket now for the Week 3 matchup of Trotwood at Wayne. The game has been moved to Thursday, Sept. 6 and will be carried live on FSOhio, Time Warner Cable Ch. 29. The Rams won 47-27 last season.
Come on up: Place will bring his Withrow Tigers to Centerville in a Week 3 nonleague game.
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