Alter hopes to win for Domsitz in state semifinals

Alter defeated Ross 35-21 in the Division III, Region 12 finals at Ross on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED
Alter defeated Ross 35-21 in the Division III, Region 12 finals at Ross on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

Longtime defensive coordinator steps into head coach role with Domsitz sidelined by COVID-19

Tom Alig doesn’t remember Ed Domsitz ever missing an Alter High School football game.

Domsitz coached the Knights for seven seasons in the 1980s and returned to the program in 1999 after 11 seasons at Northmont. Alig, a 1988 Alter grad, played for Domsitz and has coached at Alter for the last 32 seasons. He took over as defensive coordinator in 2008 and has served as the head caoch this week with Domsitz sidelined by COVID-19.

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No. 10 Alter (8-2) plays No. 8 Columbus DeSales (8-1) in the Division III state semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday at London High School. Alter doesn’t need much extra motivation at this point in playoffs but has it in Domsitz.

“It’s kind of a rallying cry," Alig said Tuesday. “Let’s do it for him. He’s done a lot for all of us. We want to do the best for him.”

Alter seeks its sixth state championship game appearance. It won state titles in 2008 and 2009 and lost in the championship game in 2006, 2014 and 2018. This is the program’s 12th final four appearance, and all have come with Domsitz as the head coach, including the first one in 1984.

DeSales will also make its 12th final four appearance. It won state championships in 1995, 1997 and 1998 and lost in the final five times, most recently in 2009. This is its first semifinal appearance since 2016.

DeSales beat Alter 35-31 in Columbus in the regular season in 2019, and they were scheduled to play in Kettering this season until the coronavirus pandemic shortened the season to six games.

Last year against Alter, DeSales running back Quintell Quinn gained 147 yards and scored two touchdowns, one on a 90-yard kickoff return. Quinn, an Ohio Bobcats recruit, scored four touchdowns last week in a 38-7 victory against Columbus Bishop Hartley. He has rushed for 11 scores in three postseason games.

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“You get to this point, and they’re all good,” Alig said. “They run the ball really well. (Quinn) gave us a little bit of a problem last year, but once we settled down, we started to make some plays. We just can’t give up the big play. We can’t get ourselves out of position.”

Alter beat Hamilton Ross 35-21 last week in the regional final, rallying from a 14-0 deficit. Domsitz coached that game but started to feel sick Sunday and tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. Alter determined he had taken the necessary precautions when he was with the team and at school and didn’t have enough close contact with the other players and coaches, so preparations for the game continued without Domsitz.

Alig said if he gives a pregame speech Friday, it will be about Domsitz, and it will be hard for him to keep his emotions in check.

“I think up until kickoff, it’s going to be awkward, the unknown of him not being there,” Alig said. “But we’ve got a pretty experienced staff. I think he’s confident in what we can do, and the kids have confidence in us. I feel good about that. It’s not like I’m a new guy. I taught a lot of these kids at St. Albert’s. That helps. I’ve had a relationship with a lot of these kids for a long period of time.”

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