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April 13, 2011

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OHSAA rejects spring football By JARROD ULREY ThisWeek Community Newspapers

The OHSAA sparked emotion in more than one direction April 7 when it denied a proposal from the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association to allow a two-week period of skill instruction in May. According to the official OHSFCA release that has been posted online by several news outlets, including, the proposal asked for two weeks of football instruction during the final two weeks of May. The timeframe for the workouts would have been a maximum of 10 hours and would not have exceeded more than two hours per workout. Also as part of the proposal, athletes participating in an OHSAA spring sport would have been required to complete their season before participating in the football workouts. For spring sport coaches such as A.J. Auld of the Dublin Jerome High School boys lacrosse program, the OHSAA’s unanimous rejection relieves the continuing pressure for prep athletes to specialize. “I encourage my guys to be multi-sport athletes because it’s good for a number of reasons,” Auld said. “I know the OHSAA promotes all sports and not just football. If they approved this, why would they just allow one sport to be able to do that? Why wouldn’t they allow basketball to do it? I have a good relationship with the football coach at Jerome, and us sharing players has been mutually beneficial. I know I can’t simulate the intensity (during a practice) that one of my players can have going up against one of their rivals on a Friday night, and the same is true in the other direction.” For others such as Brookhaven’s Steve Ayers, the OHSAA’s decision to deny the proposal was “kind of disappointing.” In its official release, the OHSAA cited “concerns over the impact it would have on other spring sports, as well as the requests that would come from other sports.” The OHSAA indicated, however, that it is examining the possibility of expanding the 10 days of coaching currently permitted over the summer in all team sports. Some of the nation’s most recruited football states, including California, Florida and Texas, are among those that have some format that includes spring football practice. “We really don’t get that many days in the summer,” said Ayers, who is an assistant football coach with the Bearcats and the school’s head coach for wrestling and boys track and field. “Down south they all have spring football, and as a state, it kind of puts us behind. It seems like another thing to hold us back. We kind of felt good that they were thinking about it. When coaches collaborate, they can work it out.”

By Tim Norman/ThisWeek

Davidson coach Brian White knows weightlifting and conditioning are important for his team in the offseason and he doesn’t place much stock into the 7-on-7 passing drills during the summer. The Wildcats have to restock much of their offensive and defensive lines for next season.


’Cats have much riding on lines By FRANK DiRENNA ThisWeek Community Newspapers

At a glance

Hilliard Davidson High School football coach Brian White realizes the success of his program relies on a year-round commitment. That commitment has led to Division I state championships in 2006 and ’09, five OCC titles and four regional championships. Last season, the Wildcats finished 131, losing 28-14 to Huber Heights Wayne in a state semifinal. “Any team that considers themselves to be a program, it’s a year-round thing,” White said. “I don’t necessarily like it being that way. I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there that think we’re not letting kids be kids anymore, but in order for us to keep up with the (Dublin) Coffmans, the Upper Arlingtons, the Darbys

•Coach: Brian White, 13th season •2010 record: 13-1 overall, 7-0 (first) in OCCCentral Division •Final 2010 computer ranking: Second in Division I, Region 3

and schools like that, we have to do the same things they’re doing, and any school that is competing now at a high level is doing it for the most part 11 months out of the year.” Once the mandatory 30-day rest period after each season is complete, White said his players return to the weight room and their focus remains on lifting weights for most of the offseason.

“Our main goals in the offseason center around just commitment to the weight room,” he said. “We ask our kids if they can commit 90 days or take advantage of 90 opportunities to get in and train to make themselves better between the start of our lifting program in January all the way up to the first day of two-a-days. If we can get 90 days from a kid, we feel like they’re doing pretty good.” Though players must adhere to that 30day rest period, White said the coaching staff remains busy during that month, attending clinics and contacting collegiate coaches in an attempt to secure scholarships for players. While several programs participate in 7-on-7 drills during the summer, White said his program puts little emphasis on such drills since they stress more of a passing offense. The Wildcats’ offense centers around their ground game.

Davidson loses 18 seniors, including four of its five starters on the offensive line in Kyle Annis, Logan Backstrom, Michael Berg and David Montenaro. Expected to return is right tackle Jordan Weatherby. “We have a multitude of concerns,” White said. “We lose four out of five offensive linemen and that’s where the basis of our program starts offensively. We have a few more kids back on the defensive side of the ball than we do on the offensive side of the ball, but we also lose some great kids on the defensive side as well. “We have some holes to fill up front. That’s where, if we’re going to be any good at all, we have to be good up front and especially on offense with our offensive line.” See WILDCATS, page B3


Panthers seek new leaders who can step up fast By AARON BLANKENSHIP ThisWeek Community Newspapers

This offseason, the Hilliard Darby High School football team is in the process of trying to find suitable replacements for seven seniors who started on its spread option offense, including quarterback Matt Allen and four linemen, and four seniors who started on defense. Allen will be particularly difficult to replace, as he rushed for 655 yards and 16 touchdowns and passed for 590 yards and seven touchdowns and was named co-OCC-Central Division Player of the Year last fall. As a starting cornerback, Allen also was second-team all-district See OHSAA, page B2 in Division I.

At a glance

•Coach: John Santagata, third season •2010 record: 8-3 overall, 5-2 (third) in OCC-Central Division •Final 2010 computer ranking: Sixth in Division I, Region 3

While coach John Santagata acknowledges that he has some big holes to fill in his lineup, he said his top priority is replacing the excellent leadership that his 15 seniors provided last season, when the Panthers went 83 a nd qualified for the playoffs for just the second time in program history, despite having only

By Lorrie Cecil/ThisWeek

Darby must replace several key players, including quarterback-cornerback Matt Allen (center) and lineman Tae Bradley (right). Two-way starter Caleb Day (left) is expected to return.

48 athletes in the program. “Our seniors were great leaders both on and off the field, and that’s why we were able to win so many games with such a small team,” Santagata said. “We’ve got some good athletes in the younger classes who are going to move up and help fill the voids left behind by our seniors, but it’s so important that

we find new leaders and that we develop some good team chemistry before the start of next season.” Thirty days after the season ended with a 22-7 loss to Springfield in the first round of the Region 3 playoffs on Nov. 6, the Panthers began lifting weights and working on their conditioning for next season.

Santagata said the number of players who show up to those training sessions is sometimes pretty small because so many of his athletes are involved in winter and spring sports, but he doesn’t mind the low turnouts as long as his players are staying physically active. See PANTHERS, page B3

ThisWeek Hilliard 4/14  

Hilliard edition 4/14

ThisWeek Hilliard 4/14  

Hilliard edition 4/14