Fairborn Skyhawks football preview

High school: Fairborn Skyhawks

Division: II

Region: 8

League/conference and division: GWOC American South.

Head coach: Chris Roark, first season at Fairborn; overall career record 42-59 as head coach at Alter, Fenwick and Jefferson (last two seasons).

Assistant Coaches:

O-Coordinator & Special Teams: Brad Walker

WR’s & JV: Zema Bivins

RB’s: Chris Roark

CO-D-Coordinator & LB’s: Matthew Shawvner

CO-D-Coordinator & DB’s: Chris Hunter

O-Line Coordinator: Charlie Spain

O-Line & D-Line: AJ Wallerstein

D-Line & O-Line: Jarrod Smith

O-Line & Freshman O-Line: Dale Binkley

Head Freshman Coach: Bill Dawson

Freshman D-Coordinator: Dennis Bliss

2015 record, conference / overall: 0-6, 2-8.

Notable achievement: Placed seven of nine senior starters into college football programs. The remaining two chose not to play in college.

5 key returners:

• Brandon Easterling, 5-11, 185, sr., WR/DB: All SW District DB Division II (AP), All-AREA Division’s I & II (Cox Media) – All GWOC South; active leader GWOC South in receptions (74) and receiving yards (842). Led the GWOC in solo tackles with 70 and 102 overall. Second to Trotwood’s Raveion Hargrove in all-purpose yardage (1,760) among active returnees. Recorded 4.07 & 3.94 Pro Shuttle Times at NIKE “The Opening” and Miami University placing him in the nation’s top 1 percent for the Pro Shuttle Agility Test. Holds a Senior Class Leading 4.4 GPA.

• Wesley Watts, 6-2, 184, jr., QB: Active leader in GWOC South for “Per Game” Passing Yards & Touchdowns ahead of Markell Stephens-Pepper (Trotwood). One of four QB’s out of more than 50 chosen to work out in front of Coach Urban Meyer at OSU’s Camp. Tutored by Coach Mike Fisher of Springboro at Triton Quarterback Academy; 3.6 GPA.

• Gacen Barnhart, 5-9, 160, sr., WR: Active Leader GWOC South in receiving TD’s (7), 2nd among Active Leaders GWOC South in Receiving Yds (786), 3rd in Receptions (37) and 4th All Purpose Yds (1411). Had the both the longest kick off return (96 yds) and longest pass reception (81 yds), both for TD’s, in the GWOC last season; 3.6 GPA.

• Kermit (KJ) Redmon, 5-10, 185, jr., RB: 3rd among active rushing leaders in GWOC South (564) and 5.6 yd average behind Hargrove (Trotwood) & Hickey (Stebbins); 3.5 GPA.

• Damien Mentzer, 5-11, 200, jr., DL: 3rd in GWOC South among active sack leaders with 4 sacks.

Transfers, key player(s) who either have transferred in or out of your program:

• Tray White, former starting cornerback, has returned to Fairborn for his senior year after playing last year in Virginia.

• Nico Elam, a junior linebacker, transferred to Stebbins, ineligible at Fairborn due to grades. Fairborn has a 2.0 GPA eligibility requirement, which is higher than the state minimum requirement of passing five classes with at least a D in each.

• Max Morgan-Elliot, senior OL/DL, honorable mention All-GWOC South as sophomore, transferred to Wayne last year.

• Wendell Wheeler, senior OL/DL, honorable mention All-GWOC South as sophomore, transferred to Wayne last year.

• Josh Morgan-Elliot, junior LB, transferred to Wayne last year.

Coach's comments: "We are fortunate enough to play in one of the most challenging leagues in the state and with that comes great opportunity. We have three playoff teams and five teams with seven or more wins last year on our schedule. We must be prepared week in and week out, and as with any great challenge there is opportunity for great reward."

Schedule

Week 1: Fri., Aug. 26 at Tecumseh

Week 2: Fri., Sept. 2 host Bellbrook

Week 3: Fri., Sept. 9 host Beavercreek

Week 4: Fri., Sept. 16 host Troy

Week 5: Fri., Sept. 23, at Tippecanoe

Week 6: Fri., Sept. 30 at Stebbins

Week 7: Fri., Oct. 7 host Trotwood-Madison

Week 8: Fri., Oct. 14 at Springboro

Week 9: Fri., Oct. 21 host West Carrollton

Week 10: Fri., Oct. 28 at Xenia

* All games at 7 p.m.

OHSAA infraction: On Thursday, Aug. 4, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that Fairborn's football staff had violated a bylaw by coaching on one day prior to June 1. Fairborn was limited to nine other coaching days from June 1-July 31.

Fairborn was one of 12 statewide schools to have violated OHSAA regulations. The following was released by the OHSAA about Fairborn:

“Fairborn High School’s football staff violated General Sports Regulation 7.5.1, Coaching Football Squad Members, when they coached members of the Fairborn football team on one date prior to June 1. In accordance with Bylaw 11, Penalties, the Commissioner’s Office has restricted the coaching staff (paid and volunteer) to nine days of permissible instruction during the period of June 1-July 31.”