Like many of his classmates, Brayden Underwood was a talented and key reason for last season’s successful reboot of the Springfield High School football program. That didn’t result in a playoff berth, but success isn’t always measured in wins and losses.
“I was tired of losing a lot,” said the 6-foot-2, 205-pound outside linebacker who joined several other area players during Friday’s 33rd annual North-South Miami Valley Football Coaches Association All-Star Football Game at Centerville High School.
“Weight room, film study and we made new team chemistry, which we didn’t have. We lost four games by a total of nine points. We could have gone to the playoffs but we finished pretty good.”
RELATED: Photo gallery of area players
Underwood’s North team also started the all-star game pretty good, mounting a 17-0 first-quarter lead, then withstanding a strong South comeback to win, 31-28. The contest drew about 2,500 spectators.
The game featured recent graduates. Joining Underwood on the North All-Stars were Cole Brewer (Northwestern), David Barnett (Shawnee), Seth Jordan (West Liberty-Salem) and former Springfield teammates Isaiah Averhart and Aaron House. Serving as the North head coach was Joel Marratta (Kenton Ridge).
Underwood will at football at Urbana University this fall.
“It’s pretty special,” he said of being an all-star. “I meet a lot of new guys and coaches. … I met a lot of new teammates who’ll be at Urbana. It was a nice experience.”
North running back Rondric Bogan (Trotwood-Madison) scored on runs of 67 and 26 yards and earned MVP honors. He would have neared 200 yards rushing had he not taken a couple designed big losses in the final minutes.
Other award winners were North offensive lineman Trent Clark (Trotwood) and South lineman Tanner Steward (Xenia), North running back Joe Swafford (Milton-Union) and South special teams performer Tellis Kennedy (Fairfield).
The South rallied behind quarterback Danny Naylor (Xenia), who threw touchdown strikes to Rocky James (Xenia) and Alex Feldman (Springboro) that covered 30 and 15 yards.
The South regained possession at its 10 with two minutes remaining but ran out of downs.
• Jim Spoerl, Kenny Amlin and Lowell Storm were inducted into the MVFCA Head Coach Legends hall of fame during halftime.
A Hamilton Catholic grad, Spoerl coached for 46 years, including 41 as the head coach at Carroll. Amlin graduated from Meadowdale and spent most of his coaching career in the Dayton City League. He was the first head coach when Roth opened in 1959 and also oversaw the debut of the Patterson program in 1968. He also was the head coach at Chaminade Julienne from 1979-87.
Storm graduated from Hamilton High in 1943. He was the head coach at Lebanon and was Springfield South’s head coach from 1958-78. He also coached in the NFL and Wittenberg University.
• Inducted into the assistant coaches hall of fame were Jack Stout, Sidney Booker, Mack Bottorff and Dave Tobias.