High school: Springfield Wildcats
Division: I, Region: 3 (no change from last season).
Affiliation: Greater Western Ohio Conference, National East Division.
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Head coach: Maurice Douglass, fourth season as the Wildcats’ coach, 12-18 overall record. Also was head coach at Trotwood-Madison from 2000-13 with an overall record of 101-54. His last four Rams teams all played for state championships and the 2011 team went 15-0, winning a D-II state title.
Assistant coaches: Chris Wallace, OC; Kelley Kinser, DC; KaWambee Gaines, QB; Deion Weatherspoon, WR; Steve Graves, RB; Jeff Smith, OL; Darnell Carter, OL; Conley Smoot, DL; Dustin Krouse, LB/ST; Vernon Bass, DB; Derrick Atterberry, DB; Danny Dellapina, DL.
2016 record: 3-1 GWOC National East, 7-4 overall.
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2016 highlights: Featured All-Ohioan RB/DB/RET Danny Davis (1,195 yards rushing; 559 yards receiving; 13 TDs). Springfield made its first postseason appearance since RB/LB Trey DePriest (Alabama) was a senior in 2010. Lost 35-14 in a first-round game at Pickerington Central, which eliminated GWOC National East champ Wayne 17-14 two weeks later in a regional final. Davis was a fixture in the Wildcats’ offense for four seasons and will be a challenge to replace. He signed as a WR with Wisconsin.
5 key returners
Moses Douglass, 6-2, 190, jr., WR/DB
Austin Garza, 6-4, 275, sr., OL/DL
Isaiah Gibson, 6-4, 270, jr., OL/DL
Cameron Hoelscher, 6-2, 223, sr., ILB
Leonard Taylor, 6-6, 242, sr., QB/TE/DE
Transfers in: Michael Brown, jr., ATH; Tyler Carter, sr., QB (Wayne); Caleb Johnson, sr., WR (Trotwood); Alex Temple, so., OL/DL.
About the Wildcats: Springfield has become an emerging GWOC power under the guidance of Douglass. Expectations are to contend for a rare GWOC divisional title and go deep into the postseason. Why? Start with an abundance of size, add recruitable experience and top with breakaway talent at the skill positions.
The Wildcats have the personnel to accomplish those goals. Taylor, a multi-talented senior, was the QB by default the last two seasons. He’ll likely move to TE with the emergence of Carter from Wayne at QB. A much sought-after recruit, Taylor de-committed to Michigan. He has multiple offers and appears to favor Oklahoma and Kentucky.
Another bonus was the transfer of Johnson. He had 103 catches for 1,481 yards and 19 TDs the last two seasons at Trotwood. Moses Douglass is the coach’s son and also has Big Ten offers from Michigan, Iowa and Rutgers among others. Hoelscher recently committed to Army.
Beating senior cornerback Quincy Scott deep will take top-end speed. Scott was second in the state long jump (23-11.5) this past June and also is a high-end sprinter. However, Dyier Smith, a starter at corner the last two seasons and like Scott a state-quality high hurdler, is not playing as a senior.
There is one notable schedule change. Springfield opens at Lancaster, which replaces Dublin Coffman. Springfield split with Coffman in the two-year series, winning 22-20 at Wittenberg last season. Lancaster was 6-5 last season and was pounded 52-7 by Wayne in a D-I, Region 3 playoff opener.
Coach’s comments: This team has outstanding chemistry and team accountability. This will be the biggest, strongest and fastest team we’ve had since becoming one school.
Schedule: All games 7 p.m.
Week 1: Fri., Aug. 25, at Lancaster
Week 2: Fri., Sept. 1, Princeton
Week 3: Fri., Sept. 8, Lima Senior
Week 4: Fri., Sept. 15, Centerville
Week 5: Fri., Sept. 22, at Lebanon
Week 6: Fri., Sept. 29, at Xenia
Week 7: Fri., Oct. 6, Northmont
Week 8: Fri., Oct. 13, Beavercreek
Week 9: Fri., Oct. 20, at Wayne
Week 10: Fri., Oct. 27, at Fairmont
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