Preseason football: Centerville Elks


Team: Centerville Elks

Division/Region: D-I, Region 3; no change from last season.

Affiliation: Greater Western Ohio Conference, National East Division.

Location: Elks Football Stadium, Centerville (Montgomery County).

» RELATED: Centerville’s top 7 all-time best Elks

Head coach: Brent Ullery, second season as the Elks head coach following three years as an assistant. A former Centerville football standout who walked on as a receiver at Ohio State. Son of former Elks head coach and current Springboro assistant Ron Ullery.

» RELATED: Milton-Union Bulldogs preseason preview

Assistant coaches: Joe Kitchell, defensive coordinator/LB; Greg Karpinsky, DL; Adam Taylor, DL; Cedric Tolbert, safeties; Ryan Thomas, safeties; Roy Thobe, corners; Dan Kerns, WR; Jermaine Bailey, RB; Bill Petraiuolo, OL; Luke Bartlett, QB.

2017 records: 4-0 GWOC National East; 10-2 overall.

»RELATED: Arcanum Trojans preseason preview

2017 highlights: A spectacular debut for Ullery, who succeeded Rodney Roberts . Elks were 7-0 and lost only at Northmont 21-14 in Week 8 of the regular season. Defeated Fairmont and Beavercreek in Weeks 9-10 to go unbeaten in divisional play and end Wayne’s two-season grip on the conference title.

Top seeded, opened the playoffs with a 35-0 thumping of Hilliard Darby. That set up a rematch with Week 3 opponent Pickerington North. Centerville won the regular-season matchup 27-26 on Brandon Walter’s 24-yard FG with no time left. But North landed a 42-12 payback KO of the Elks in the postseason.

»RELATED: Greeneview Rams preseason preview

That was Centerville’s 16th appearance in the playoffs, second only to Wayne (20) among the area’s D-I programs.

Graduated seniors Alec Grandin and Jake Spiewak both were second team All-Ohio. A QB, Grandin was second in GWOC passing (2,483 yards and 25 TDs). His go-to target was Spiewak, a sure-handed 6-4 WR who torched Fairmont with 13 catches for 160 yards in Week 9. He had 66 catches and 1,011 yards (15.3) and 10 TDs. Grandin will play football at Marian University (Ind.) and Spiewak will play at Air Force.

»RELATED: Tippecanoe Red Devils preseason preview

They were part of a robust senior class that intends to play ball at the next level. Also extending their football careers are graduated seniors Ross Garrett (Saginaw Valley State), Dylan Haller (Indiana State), Jevon Henderson (Bowling Green), Trey King (Duquesne), Riley Poulton (Columbia), Donovan Shelton (Indiana Wesleyan), Cody Smith (Baldwin Wallace) and Sam Vance (Air Force).

»RELATED: Fairmont Firebirds preseason preview

Key returners:

Jake Appley, 6-0, 235, sr., OL

Dylan Hiltbrunner, 5-11, 190, sr., LB

J.R. Melzer, 6-0, 180, sr., WR/DB

»RELATED: Valley View preseason preview

Chris Moody, 6-0, 285, sr., DL

Brandon Walters, 6-0, 170, sr., WR/K; first team All-GWOC East kicker.

Max Wynn, 6-2, 205, sr., LB; first team All-GWOC East LB.

About the Elks: Lots of senior turnover from last season, which means the Elks likely will be hard-pressed to contend for a GWOC title and another playoff berth. Wynn led the Elks with 96 total tackles (58 solo, 38 assists) and four forced fumbles. Hiltbrunner had 54 stops (32 solos, 22 assists). They’ll provide a familiar defensive punch. That’s a good thing, because the offense is in rebuild mode.

»RELATED: Key football dates

Ullery’s debut season was similar to Roberts’ in 2014 (10-1), which also benefited from a proven and big senior class.

As of now, Centerville doesn’t have a road game until Week 5 at Springboro. That’s because Centerville has been unable to land a Week 3 opponent after ending a two-year series with Pickerington North. The rest of the Elks schedule is the same as 2017. That won’t hurt the Elks’ playoff shot; an additional computer rankings numerical formula kicks in so teams aren’t penalized for open dates.

»RELATED: Saturday playoff football returns

Look for Trotwood-Madison to eventually return to the schedule. Centerville swept Trotwood in a Week 4 home-and-home series in 2014-15. Besides, Trotwood is the only GWOC American Conference team that won’t jump to the revised Miami Valley League in 2019.

Schedule: All at 7 p.m.

Week 1: Fri., Aug. 24 FAIRFIELD

Week 2: Fri., Aug. 31 LAKOTA WEST

»RELATED: New transfer rule approved

Week 3: Fri., Sept. 7 Open

Week 4: Fri., Sept. 14 SPRINGFIELD

Week 5: Fri., Sept. 21 at Springboro

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

Week 6: Fri., Sept. 28 WAYNE

Week 7: Fri., Oct. 5 at Lebanon

Week 8: Fri., Oct. 12 NORTHMONT

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Week 9: Fri., Oct. 19 at Fairmont

Week 10: Fri., Oct. 26 at Beavercreek



Reader Comments


Next Up in Sports

Ohio State players describe finding out Urban Meyer is retiring, what made him successful
Ohio State players describe finding out Urban Meyer is retiring, what made him successful

Some Buckeyes were caught off guard by Urban Meyer’s announcement he will retire from coaching Ohio State after the Rose Bowl. Others not so much. Robert Landers said the Dec. 4 announcement, “was kind of out of nowhere,” and Chris Olave recalled having no idea what was in store when the team gathered at the Woody Hayes Athletic...
Disciplined Springfield earns hard-fought win at Centerville
Disciplined Springfield earns hard-fought win at Centerville

Springfield High School boys basketball coach Isaiah Carson knew the key to beating rival Centerville was playing disciplined — especially on the defensive end of the floor. The Wildcats had to stay structured in the paint against Centerville 6-foot-9 post player Mo Njie, who stood four inches taller than any player on Springfield’s roster...
HS Scores 12/14: Hall leads Fairmont in win over ‘Boro

Boys Basketball Friday’s Results Alter 40, McNicholas 38: Uhl (A) 19; Burkhardt (M) 16. Ansonia 40, Newton 37, OT: Jamison (N) 11. Arcanum 47, National Trail 41: Meeks (A) 26; Harris (NT) 10. Benjamin Logan 70, Graham 69, OT Butler 58, Troy 50 Catholic Central 68, Cedarville 48 Cin. Christian 70, New Miami 52: Reutener (CC) 15; Duncan (NM) 23...
HS Roundup 12/14: Spears, Ellis push Stivers past Thurgood Marshall

Ivynn Spears sank the go-ahead foul shot with nine seconds to play, giving Stivers a 59-58 victory versus Thurgood Marshall in boys basketball on Friday. Trevon Ellis led the way for Stivers with 16 points and Da’Juan Allen tacked on 14. Anthony McComb paced Thurgood with 18 points. Boys Basketball Alter 40, McNicholas 38: Brady Uhl led the way...
Girls basketball power rankings: Who are the top teams in the area?
Girls basketball power rankings: Who are the top teams in the area?

Here’s who we consider the top girls high school basketball teams for the area power rankings. Division I 1. Centerville (5-0): d. Trotwood-Madison 88-34, d. Springfield 70-34; hosts Beavercreek on Sat., hosts Wayne on Mon. 2. Wayne (4-1): d. Wilmington 55-46; at Miamisburg on Sat., at Centerville on Mon., hosts Belmont on Wed. 3. Tecumseh (3-2)...
More Stories