When he took over the Springfield High School football team, former Trotwood-Madison coach Maurice Douglass vowed to “restore the roar.”
The Wildcats officially start Friday with the first day of coaching allowed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Douglass takes over a team that went 1-9 in both 2012 and 2013. The victory in 2013 was by forfeit over Trotwood.
Douglass — who coached Trotwood to eight postseason appearances in 14 seasons and a state championship in 2011 — isn’t promising immediate results in Springfield. He did promise one thing when he was hired, though, saying: “We’re going for it. Fifteen weeks is all I know. We’re going to compete every day.”
He’ll have them ready for Week 1. Their opponent? Trotwood-Madison in a 7 p.m. kickoff in Springfield.
More storylines from area high school teams:
Thrown for a loss: Shawnee is in recovery mode. The Braves were 9-2 last season, but were forced to forfeit their five non-conference games by the OHSAA in January for use of an ineligible player, standout sophomore QB Saalih Muhammad.
That ruling awarded forfeit wins to area Braves’ foes Catholic Central, Northwestern and Greenon. Muhammad (1,296 yards passing and 1,020 yards rushing) has since transferred to Springfield High and will be eligible in Week 6.
A better ending: Kenton Ridge is looking for a stronger finish. The Cougars dropped their final three games to end 7-4, although that’s somewhat misleading. Two of the setbacks were to then unbeaten Tippecanoe in Week 9 and the first round of the D-III playoffs.
Senior QB Mitchell Schneider passed for 1,602 yards and 19 TDs and ran for 702 yards and nine scores last season.
No luck for the Irish: It can only get better for Catholic Central (1-9). Coach Steve DeWitt’s beloved Irish were down on numbers and their luck in 2013. Central will play just nine regular-season games and won’t open until Week 2 against visiting Graham.
New face for Knights: Kevin Ferguson replaces Dave Miller Sr. in Greenon. The Knights are coming off a 2-8 record, but snapped a 17-game losing streak with a win in Week 9. They were also awarded a forfeit in Week 5. The offense needs to find some consistency: The Knights scored seven or less points in seven straight games, including four straight shutouts during a stretch.
Northwestern moving in right direction: The Warriors are young this season but confident coming off their first consecutive non-losing seasons since the 1970s. Replacing the offense created by Hunter Houseman is key. He graduated and took with him all but 52 of the Warriors’ passing yards (3,051) and all but 77 of their rushing yards (1,076) from last season.
Air Urbana: Expectations are high in Urbana with return of potent offense that averaged 45 points. Senior quarterback Nathan Mays and its top three receivers – seniors Cody Grim, Ethan Edwards and junior Sam Niswonger – return for the Hillclimbers. Only one team on the Hillclimbers’ schedule in 2013 had a winning record.
Arrows on the mark: Coach Kent Massie enters his 10th season looking to bounce back from a 4-6 season. Tecumseh has reached the playoffs six of the past eight seasons under Massie, who has a .636 career winning percentage. Both are records among Tecumseh coaches.
Graham faces fast challenge: The Falcons are working to get back to the 8-2 program they were in 2009. That’s how many total wins they’ve had since (8-32). New coach John Tullis and the Falcons see where they’re at in Week 1: Graham hosts Tippecanoe, a team that beat them 68-0 in last year’s opener.
Mechanicsburg back for more: The Indians are coming off their first regional championship and have the talent to get back, led by all-state first-team selections Aeryton Erwin (2,193 yards rushing, 29 TDs) and offensive tackle/defensive tackle Brandon Woodruff. Their only conference loss was to Triad. They hook up again Oct. 3 at Triad.
It’s a date: The West Liberty-Salem Tigers have Oct. 10 circled in red ink. That’s when WL-S travels to Mechanicsburg. The Tigers lost their first game in Week 7 to Mechanicsburg, then ended their season with a double-overtime loss to Mechanicsburg in the D-VI regional final. Eight starters are back on offense, including standout tight end/linebacker Ben Burden.
Cardinals rule: Triad rolled through the Ohio Heritage Conference with the program’s first 10-0 season. Triad ended up 12-1, the best record in school history, and reached its first regional final, falling to three-time state champ Marion Local. Junior quarterback Tre McIntyre, the OHC player of the year, is healthy and ready for an encore.
Rams tough: Greeneview (6-4) is coming off its first winning season since 1996 and just missed the playoffs following an overtime loss to Mechanicsburg in Week 10. Senior quarterback Chance Frye, who accounted for 1,900 yards passing and rushing, returns to try and get them over the hump this year.
Cedarville regroups: The Indians enjoyed their first winning season since 2001 and their only losses were to 12-win Triad (twice), 11-win Mechanicsburg and 10-win West Liberty-Salem. Cedarville, which also made its first playoff appearance since 2001, returns three starters on both sides of the ball.
High school football teams hold first day of practice on Friday