I am the Program Director at 1410 WING ESPN Radio in Dayton, Ohio...also host of Dayton Sports Scene weekdays at 5p! Find me on Twitter @ESPNMark!
GWOC Central Preview
by Mark Neal,posted Aug 16 2012 12:11PM
High School football season on 1410 ESPN Radio will begin Friday Augsut 24th as the Fairmont Firebirds take on the Alter Knights. This will mark the 2nd season of GWOC Football on 1410 ESPN Radio. We will get you ready with our GWOC Coaches Show Sunday August 19th at 6p. Eric Frantz and I will talk to all 18 Head Coaches as well as GWOC Commish Eric Spahr.
This is the 2nd of my 3 part GWOCdivision previews...today is the GWOC Central
1. Wayne Warriors: You could argue Wayne has been the best Dayton area football program over the past decade, regardless of level. A 6-4 season in 2011 cost the Warriors a 4th consecutive Playoff trip, but 2012 looks to be another great year in Huber Heights. QB Javon Harrison returns for his Senior season, after throwing for over 2000 yards last season. Also a threat on the ground, Harrison accounted for over 600 yards rushing. He will be well protected, as All-GWOC OL Cole Newsome and Lovell Peterson return up front. Both are considered high D-1 college prosepects. Head Coach/AD Jay Minton enters his 15th season at the helm of the Warriors. He has led the school to 2 state runner-ups in his tenure...2012 wont make it a 3rd. Expect a good season though, 8-2 is my guess.
2. Centerville Elks: The Elks graduated a lot of players after 2010, but 2011 still ended up in the playoffs. A 5-0 Division record was highlighted by a blowout win versus Wayne as season ago. The Elks return a co-starter at QB in Jimmy Brooks, which should make that offense roll again. He will be well protected as OL Evan Lisle is committed to OSU. The defense will be stout up front led by DL and Iowa commit Brant Gressel. Expect Centerville and 13th year Head Coach Ron Ullery to have another solid year. I see 7-3 as their regular season record again this year.
3. Northmont Thunderbolts: I know, it seems to be said before every season..."Look out for Northmont, they will be tough this year!" Last season was supposed to be one of those seasons...but it wasn't. The Bolts ended 2011 at 4-6 leaving Head Coach Lance Schneider to only wonder why. Senior QB Cameron Belton returns to lead the way after a solid 2011. Belton threw for over 2200 yards and 18 TD's a season ago, but looks to improve on the 13 Ints. He will attempt to connect with returning receivers Jonny Lowery and Isaiah Williams. A strong non-conference, as usual, makes for a tough schedule for the Bolts. My faith in Coach Schneider tells me 6-4 in 2012 regardless.
4. Springfield Wildcats: I've said it before, and I will say it again..."Springfield is a school that can win a D-1 state title!" I believe that, and new Head Coach Eric Gillespie is the man in charge of making that happen. A bad 2011 that ended at 2-8, is just out of the norm for the Clark county powerhouse. Junior WR Thaddeus Snodgrass is the big name returning on the roster. He holds offers from Ohio State and Notre Dame, among others. A schedule that starts with Hamilton, Middletown, Sycamore, and Troy is a recipe for disaster though. Oh yeah, that GWOC Central schedule too! Sorry Cats, but 2012 isnt the year. I'm seeing 4-6.
5. Beavercreek Beavers. As a Fairborn graduate, it is tough to see Beavercreek have success in anything, but you have to give it up to Head coach Scott Clodfelter and the Beavers in 2011. A winning record of 6-4 is a step in the right direction of a program on the rise. Coach Clodfelter will lean on a pair of LB standouts to lead the defense. Junior Airius Moore tied for the team's leading tackler in 2011 with 73, while chipping in 4 sacks. Another Junior, LB Tyler Reasoner, also returns as a force for the Creek defense. Reasoner tied with Moore with a team leading 73 tackles. While the program is improving, a tough schedule puts the Beavers at 4-6 in my eyes. Maybe they have some magic from 2011 tucked away somewhere though.
6. Fairmont Firebirds: Watch out GWOC Central, the Fairmont Firebirds are the sleeping giant...just don't expect them to awake up like that for 2012. Head Coach Andy Aracri is the right guy for this job, and will have this program winning very soon. The Firebirds lost a lot of close games in 2011...5 by a combined 32 points! Aracri returns a host of upperclassmen with experience, led by All-GWOC QB Tom West, Saftey Robert Nsenga, and WR Aaron Abbott. 2012 could be the breakout year for the Firebirds, and if it is, I am wrong. I just see this program as a season or two away. 3-7 in 2012 sounds about right.