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Warhawks’ success gives hope to others

By PATRICK DOLAN “I think one of our goals should
ThisWeek Staff Writer Inside the division be to make sure that that 10th game
will again be for the OCC champi-
Chances are few people outside of 2006 STANDINGS Delaware at Thomas Worthington onship,” said Marysville coach and
Westerville predicted that the West- Team League Overall Pickerington North at Westerville Central former Worthington Kilbourne coach
Westerville Central 5-0 6-4 Oct. 12
erville Central High School football Marysville 4-1 6-4 Westerville Central at Central Crossing Jeff Gafford, who is in his first sea-
team would win the OCC-Central Delaware 2-3 4-6 Pickerington North at Delaware son with the Monarchs.
Division championship last year. The Pickerington North 2-3 3-7 Marysville at Thomas Worthington “Just like any competitive athletes,
Warhawks had finished just 2-8 in Thomas Worthington 1-4 2-8 Oct. 19 (that loss) is something (the players
Central Crossing 1-4 2-8 Central Crossing at Pickerington North
2005. will) remember and make a mental
2007 SCHEDULE Marysville at Delaware
But Central proved last season that Thomas at Westerville Central note of it to use while they’re work-
Sept. 28
anything can happen from one year Thomas Worthington at Central Crossing Oct. 26 ing out over the summer. They’ll use
to the next by going 5-0 in the OCC- Westerville Central at Delaware Delaware at Central Crossing it to make themselves better.”
Central and 6-4 overall. Marysville at Pickerington North Westerville Central at Marysville Gafford, who employs the triple-
As a result of Central’s rapid Oct. 5 Pickerington North at Thomas Worthington
option offense, took over at Marysville
Central Crossing at Marysville
change in fortune, how the league last February after Rich Weiskircher
unfolds this season seems to be any- stepped down after 19 seasons.
one’s guess. Perhaps Central Cross- “You have to look at the returning football teams in the conference with In addition to Thomas, Central
ing or Thomas will ascend to the top champions,” said the former Lima new coaches that have done great Crossing and Marysville, North also
of the league. Thomas coach Scott Senior coach, who is in his first sea- jobs in other programs,” Central coach have new coaches.
Gordon definitely isn’t discounting son with the Comets. “That is who Bob Fresch said. Tom Phillips, who spent the last
his team from achieving such a is at the top of the list until you knock The only other team in the OCC- three seasons as the coach at Bexley,
turnaround. them off. All the other programs will Central to finish with a winning record took over from Tim Bahen, who
“I think it’s pretty balanced and improve.” a year ago was Marysville, which stepped down after four seasons with
pretty wide open,” said Gordon, who Among the key returnees for Cen- went 6-4. the Panthers.
spent the last four seasons as the coach tral are senior running back Ryan Marysville, which lost fullback Gordon pointed out that the teams
at Grandview and is one of four Smith, who led the team in rushing and OCC-Central Player of theYear with new coaches may struggle at the
coaches new to the division. “West- last season with 703 yards and eight Sean Mulholland to graduation, and start of the season as their players
erville Central is the defending touchdowns on 150 carries, and kicker Central played in the final game of adjust to new coaching schemes and
champs and has a lot of talent, but I Ben Buchanan, an Ohio State recruit the regular season last season with philosophies. But he stopped short
don’t think you can say any team is who made a 54-yard field goal last the league title on the line. The of saying that the teams that did not
the heads-on favorite to win the season in a 7-6 loss to Big Walnut. Warhawks prevailed 14-7 at home, undergo a coaching change in the off-
league.” Both made first-team all-league. and it’s safe to say the Monarchs season would have an advantage over

. . . .
By Adam Cairns/ThisWeek Central Crossing coach Ricky “Our No. 1 goal is to obviously haven’t forgotten that game. the ones that did.
Jeff Gafford is in his first season Vaughn believes the best team in the focus in on a league title, and we The teams meet in the regular-sea- “By the time we hit league play,
with Marysville, replacing Rich league is Westerville Central until know that’s going to be a monumental son finale again this season, at all the teams should be hitting on all
Weiskircher. proven otherwise. task because you have tremendous Marysville. cylinders,” he said.

Delaware Hayes
Depth adding to confidence for Masi, Pacers
By BRAD EMERINE make because of our depth is to make sure we Decker, Blair, Burns, Turner, and Ogletree are Decker and Dunlap return at cornerback and
ThisWeek Staff Writer keep them fresh on the defensive side. We want among 16 juniors on the 68-player roster. Dalga moves from safety to linebacker, where
our best guys on defense.” Delaware returns eight defensive players he joins senior Stan Gibson and junior Evan
Jamie Masi is hoping his team will perfect Dunlap, Dalga and Vanway are among 23 who started at least part-time a year ago and
the option offense this season. As well as the seniors on the roster, replacing 15 graduates. six on offense. See DELAWARE, page 40
option defense.
Central Ohio High School Football Preview ’07 • August 22, 2007

Well sort of.

With greater depth, the fourth-year coach of
the Delaware Hayes High School football team
will have more options available.
“This is the first time since I’ve been here
Good Luck
Delaware Hayes
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that, as a staff, we feel we have enough depth

to be able to do some different things,” Masi
said. “We won’t have to play as many guys the
whole game.”
Check on your rivals
That would be a bonus for the Pacers, who What kind of

finished 4-6 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Cen- Meet the new coach

season will it be?

tral Division last season when they played most
opponents close in the first halves of games See award-winning
before wearing down after intermission.
Delaware was outscored 102-84 in the first
halves and 174-78 in the second halves.
With a bevy of fast and talented receivers
This special sports
Find up-to-date local
high school scores
and defensive backs, Masi said he won’t hes- feature will cover all fall from
sports in central Ohio.
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itate to give players a breather for a series or

two. See our Sports Section Visit us online
“We’ve got guys who can flat-out fly like August 23 and 30 for the best
for in-depth coverage. local high school
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Nate Decker, Brian Dunlap, Alex Blair, Cody

Dalga, Kees Burns, Calvin Turner, Girard Ogle- Disbennett Real Estate sports coverage, 740-888-6000
tree and Luke Vanway,” Masi said. “That’s a toby@tobysellshomes.com every day. We’re in Your Neighborhood.
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core group of receivers and defensive backs.

We can rotate receiver packages to give them Toby Boyce Realtor
rests between plays. They are all capable 740-990-9748 ThisWeekNews.com ThisWeekNews.com
34 receivers. The philosophical change that we’ll