Preseason football: Tippecanoe Red Devils

Team: Tippecanoe Red Devils

Division/Region: D-III, Region 12; no change from last season.

Affiliation: Greater Western Ohio Conference, American North Division.

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Location: Tipp City Community Stadium, Tipp City.

Head coach: Joel Derge, entering fourth season as the Red Devils' head coach (20-10 combined record).

Assistant coaches: Karl Stanbery, DB; Michael Derry, TE; Brad Klepacz, OL; Matt Johnson, DL; Craig Syphrit, QB; Chad Kuhn, freshman HC; Jason Winblad, freshman assistant.

2017 records: 1-4 GWOC National North, 4-6 overall.

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2017 highlights: Injuries and a leaky defense caught up to Tipp in the second half of the season (1-4). That snapped Tipp's 12-year playoff run. It also was the first non-winning season since the Red Devils were 5-5 in 2004.

The season began with impressive wins at Bellbrook and Springfield Shawnee, but that was followed by lopsided GWOC crossover home losses to Northmont and eventual D-III unbeaten state champ Trotwood-Madison.

Tipp pushed Sidney to the limit in a 49-42 Week 7 loss in which Sidney's All-World RB Isaiah Bowser sped 71 yards with the winning TD with 1:45 left. Tipp grad Cole Barhorst had a season-high 240 yards rushing and two TDs against the Yellow Jackets. He also had a 90-yard kickoff return for another score.

Key returners:

Tyler Altic, 6-1, 210, sr., OG.

Josh Burritt, 6-1, 180, sr., RB; 941 yards rushing, 9 TDs; second team All-GWOC North.

Mason Gostomsky, 5-11, 185, sr., LB; 69 tackles (17 solo, 52 assists).

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Grant Heatherly, 6-4, 270, sr., OT; special mention All-GWOC North.

Josh Walland, 6-2, 220, sr., TE; 5 catches for 74 yards.

About the Red Devils: Tipp was a senior-dominated team last year and must essentially reboot.

“The Tippecanoe Red Devils are on the road to redemption. Last year the Red Devils faced a vast amount of injuries to their starting lineup from Week 1 and want to prove themselves again in the GWOC North.” – Derge

»RELATED: Key football dates

A significant Week 4 schedule change has been made with host West Carrollton (1-9) bumping Trotwood (15-0). Week 5 also changes, with visiting Stebbins (1-9) replacing Fairborn (4-6). Both those games are GWOC crossovers.

This is the last – and only third - season for the Red Devils in the GWOC. Tipp will join all of the current GWOC American North (five other teams) and Fairborn, Xenia, Stebbins and West Carrollton in reviving a  10-team Miami Valley League in the fall of 2019.

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According to Mike McDermott, co-chair of the Tipp Pride Association, the school board approved the installation of new turf field at Community Stadium, utilizing more than $1 million raised by the TPA through a combination of private donations and corporate sponsorship.

That was Phase 1 of an ambitious stadium upgrade. Phases 2 and 3 involve new home and visitor stands, press box, concession areas, locker rooms and restrooms. Another $3.9 million is needed to complete the project, according to McDermott.

Landlocked just a long pass from downtown Tipp, the stadium was built 71 years ago.

Schedule: All at 7 p.m.

Week 1: Fri., Aug. 24 BELLBROOK


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Week 3: Fri., Sept. 7 at Northmont

Week 4: Fri., Sept. 14 at West Carrollton

Week 5: Fri., Sept. 21 STEBBINS

Week 6: Fri., Sept. 28 at Troy

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Week 7: Fri., Oct. 5 SIDNEY

Week 8: Fri., Oct. 12 at Greenville

Week 9: Thu., Oct. 18 at Piqua

Week 10: Fri., Oct. 26 BUTLER

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