High school notebook: Central Catholic football bumped up to D-II

Share Tweet Share Email Comments Print Perennial state football power Central Catholic will move up from Division III to Division II, if it reaches the 2018 state playoffs. Based on the competitive balance system implemented last season by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, the Fighting Irish will be elevated from the division in which they have advanced to four straight state playoff semifinals, including winning a state championship in 2014 and finishing as runner-up in 2015. The OHSAA’s competitive balance system adjusts divisional brackets based on the type of an enrollment a school has. Those with larger numbers of players who reside outside a school’s defined geographical district have their actual enrollment counts increased accordingly. Central, based on its actual enrollment of 235 boys in the upper three grades (10-12), would ordinarily (minus competitive balance) be considered a Division IV football team in Ohio next fall. But after adjusting its count by adding 200 for out-of-district players who participated in last year’s program (freshman through varsity), the competitive balance number for the Irish becomes 435, putting the team in Division II. Central has previously won two D-II state championships under current coach Greg Dempsey, taking titles in 2005 and 2012, finishing 14-1 both years. The Irish also compete as the smallest enrollment program in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference, with two D-I teams and five D-II teams. “I believe that the competitive balance initiative by the OHSAA is exactly what it says,” Dempsey said. “They are trying to bring a competitive balance to the OHSAA football playoffs. “It is still in its infancy, and therefore needs to be under constant evaluation so that it can be adjusted on a year to year basis to improve the process.” Dempsey believes his program is ready for the challenge. “In terms of moving up a division, I don't really Continue Reading

See who made this year’s American Family Insurance ALL-USA Central Indiana football Super Team

Here is a look at the 2017 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Central Indiana high school football Super Team: OL Justin BrittSchool/Year: Warren Central, JuniorCollege: UndecidedStat: The 6-4, 280-pound Britt was the top lineman on an offense that averaged 413 yards per game. Britt has more than 10 offers, including from Indiana, Iowa and Louisville. OL Bennett ClarkSchool/Year: Zionsville, SeniorCollege: Miami of OhioStat: The 6-6, 265-pound Clark helped Zionsville to a Class 5A sectional title for the third consecutive year. Clark placed 11th in the state track and field meet as a junior in the discus. OL Branson DeenSchool/Year: Lawrence Central, SeniorCollege: PurdueStat: The 6-3, 255-pound Deen was a two-way player for a 6-4 Lawrence Central team. A three-year starter on offense, Deen also had 10 tackles for a loss as a senior. OL Payton DitchleySchool/Year: Franklin Central, SeniorCollege: UndecidedStat: The 6-3, 280-pound Ditchley, who did not give up a sack all season, was named first team All-Conference Indiana. He has offers from Marian, UIndy and Division I interest. OL Emil EkiyorSchool/Year: Cathedral, SeniorCollege: AlabamaStat: The 6-3, 330-pound center is a four-star prospect ranked among the top 100 players in the country. Ekiyor played basketball at Cathedral before deciding to focus on football. OL Luke MartinSchool/Year: Fishers, SeniorCollege: Ball StateStat: The 6-3, 285-pound Martin was a three-year starter for the Tigers. He had five Division I offers before committing to Ball State in the spring. TE Alec BurtonSchool/Year: Danville, SeniorCollege: OhioStat: The 6-6, 205-pound Burton helped Danville to a 13-1 record and Class 3A semistate appearance. Burton caught 52 passes for 752 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior. WR David BellSchool/Year: Warren Central, JuniorCollege: UndecidedStat: The 6-2, 195-pound Bell is a four-star recruit and considered the state’s top prospect in the 2019 class. He caught 52 passes for 1,075 yards Continue Reading

2017 Knoxville area all-region football teams and awards

REGION 2-3APlayer of the Year: Jack Warwick, AlcoaOffensive Player of the Year: Chris Hunter, Austin-EastDefensive Player of the Year:Tristan Woody, AlcoaCo-Special Teams Player of the Year: Zeke Rankin, Alcoa and Eduard Hakizimana, Austin-EastCo-Lineman of the Year: Lucas McKeehan, Alcoa and Tyler Thurman, KingstonSophomore of the Year: Isiaiah Ligon, Austin-EastCo-Coach of the Year: Jeff Phillips, Austin East and Brian Pankey, Kingston ALCOAWalker RussellCameron Woody Diandre JohnsonLandon RayBryson PerkinsKareem RodriguezTy BoydJalen McCordDavis MaplesJakobe Robinson* Andrew Coulter*Eli Mitchell*Conner Canfield*K’Vaughn Tyson* AUSTIN-EASTMatthew EscobarCoby SmithJahson JacksonCalvin WilsonDerrian BattleElisah McMillian Kevin AndrewsJazine PelcherRobert Allen*Greg Smith*Trey Foster*Kyiontae Warren*Elijah Jeter-Whitten* KINGSTONMatt SpellmanBrandon Plemons Brandon LurryCam HillNathan JonesBradley KeathleyElijah ReederJonah Lawson*Hunter Smith*Caleb Cruz*Kenny Logan*Hayden Jones* NORTHVIEW ACADEMYJustin HowardJoe GrindstaffJames TurnerDaniel MurphySeth SaulsZeb PettyA.J. Nail* PIGEON FORGEColby ManisAndrew BiamontePreston HickersonJared WatsonHenry BryanNolan Marcum*Jacob McCarter*Christian Ogle*Henry Bryan*Cooper Holbert* GATLINGBURG-PITTMANCollin GarzaAndrew GentryJacob AdessoJoey RenfroTyler Pinkard*Colton Simpson*Joe Bates*Braeden Morris*JD Shults* SCOTTWayne OwensGrainger SmithDawson BranstetterJace King*Daniel Hembree*Ryan Newport*Mason Owens*Tristan Henry*Eli Hembree* REGION 1-4APlayer of the Year: Cade Ballard, GreenevilleCo-Offensive Players of the Year: Jacob Bunch, Grainger County; Carter Everett, Elizabethton; Ethan Ward, Sullivan SouthCo-Defensive Players of the Year: Cameron Coleman, Elizabethton; Jacques Gillespie Taylor, GreenevilleCo- Athlete of the Year: Seth Crawford, Greeneville; Corey Russell, ElizabethtonOffensive Lineman of Year: Nick Rideout, GreenevilleDefensive Lineman of Year: Logan Shipley, Continue Reading

Kettle Moraine lands five players on All-Region football team, including a first-team All Conference choice … in soccer

Kettle Moraine enjoyed a breakout season on the football field this year and was rewarded with ample representation on the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Region Team.The Lasers were placed in the East Central region and had five selections, including senior offensive lineman Nick Wedig, junior kicker Blake Wilcox, senior defensive lineman Logan Ries, senior outside linebacker Trevor Fulton and senior inside linebacker Mike Timm, who was a standout on both sides of the ball this year for KM.Wilcox has the rare distinction of earning All-Region in football and also being named first-team All Conference as a defender for the KM soccer team.Arrowhead’s Chandler Pulvermacher was named All-Region at defensive back.In the Southeast region, Pewaukee’s Seth Bickett capped his four-year career with an All-Region nod at defensive line. Lake Country Lutheran junior running back Dane Vance was also given a nod. More: Kettle Moraine's Blake Wilcox a rare talent as offensive-minded soccer defender and powerful football kicker   Continue Reading

Homestead, Whitefish Bay each place seven on All-Region football team

After sharing the North Shore Conference title, Whitefish Bay and Homestead each received plenty of postseason recognition from the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. The Blue Dukes and Highlanders each placed seven players on the All-Region team in the South Central region, the precursor to any All-State selection. All-Region selections from Whitefish Bay include senior offensive lineman Jacob Ross, senior kicker Zach Lichosik, senior wide receiver Alex Anthony, senior quarterback Cade Garcia, senior defensive back Case Fleck, junior outside linebacker Tommy Brunner and senior defensive lineman Thomas Deakin. Senior Bradley Woldt was a two-way selection for Homestead, earning All-Region at utility and punter.Also honored from the Highlanders were senior outside linebacker Julius Washington, junior defensive end Jake Raddatz, senior defensive lineman Jordan Schroeder, senior offensive lineman Jordan Haddad and senior inside linebacker Mike Bruner. Cedarburg senior tight end/fullback Mitch Moeller was also named All-Region in the South Central. Dominican junior tight end/fullback Drew Dlugopolski and Shorewood/Messmer senior defensive end Eli Rivera earned All-Region in the Southeast.  Continue Reading

Brookfield Central places seven on All-Region football team, Brookfield East, Brookfield Academy, Tosa East, Tosa West also represented

After an undefeated regular season and winning the Greater Metro Conference title for the third straight season, Brookfield Central will undoubtedly receive many postseason honors.The first of those commendations came when seven Lancers were named All-Region in the East Central region by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. The honorees include junior quarterback Drew Leszczynski, senior utility player Max Meves, junior wide receiver Julian Banda, senior defensive lineman Blake Fehrmann, senior outside linebacker Reggie Jennings, senior inside linebacker Nick Leszczynski and junior offensive lineman Alec Mejchar. Brookfield East had four players picked to the East Central region team -- senior defensive end Caleb Wright, senior defensive back Patrick Cartier, senior inside linebacker Brad Dati and senior offensive lineman Everett Cartier. Senior defensive back Jonathan Jensen and senior kicker Michael Ornek of Brookfield Academy were named to the Southeast region team. Wauwatosa West senior Austin Ertl was named to the East Central region as an offensive and defensive lineman. Wauwatosa East punter Matthew Kubicek was also picked to the East Central region team.   Continue Reading

Waukesha West, New Berlin Eisenhower heavily represented on All-Region football team

Led by senior Peter MacCudden being selected on both sides of the ball, Waukesha West had four players earn All-Region honors in the East Central region from the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. MacCudden, who topped the 2,000-yard mark for the second straight season after a Level 3 win over Monona Grove, was honored as a running back and as a defensive back. Senior defensive end Justin Baker, senior offensive lineman Bryce Texeira and senior tight end/fullback Tyler Zirpoli were also named All-Region. Also honored in the East Central region were senior wide receiver Mike Naze, junior running back Tate Kopulos and senior inside linebacker C.J. Goetz of Catholic Memorial, junior utility player R.J. Bosshart and senior offensive lineman Sam Kurth of Muskego, senior defensive end Will McDonald of Waukesha North and senior quarterback Grayson Cooley of Waukesha South.In the Southeast region, New Berlin Eisenhower had four players honored, including senior offensive lineman Dylan Abbott, senior utility player Jake Belongia, junior defensive lineman Mark Shields and senior wide receiver Stephen Halusan.   Continue Reading

WATCH: Central’s Bickford sets school rushing record, helps Golden Eagles to win over Brick

BERKELEY – Central Regional senior running back Mike Bickford saved his best play until after the game.His teammates were standing at midfield in a straight line and Bickford slowly walked down the line and personally thanked all of his teammates, one-by-one, for their effort on Friday night.It was a performance that enabled Bickford to rush for 287 yards on 31 carries as he had three rushing touchdowns and he broke the school’s all-time rushing record in an impressive 21-7 Class A South victory over visiting Brick.“I’ve been with these guys for three years and we have great chemistry together. I grew up with all of them,” Bickford said. “They played their hearts out for me and I played my heart out for them. They did what they had to do to get me the record and I thanked them.”Bickford entered the game with 4,836 yards just 172 yards away from surpassing Kalyph Hardy’s career total of 5,007 rushing yards. By halftime, he had 16 carries for 147 yards and was well on his way to a historic night. HS Football: Bickford had 3 rushing TDs as Central defeats Colts Neck“It feels great. But my record is my team’s record,” Bickford said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without any of them.”Friday night belonged to Bickford.On just his second carry of the game, he rumbled 24 yards for his first touchdown of the night. Shane Black’s extra point made it 7-0 Central with 9:35 left in the first quarter.On his 13th carry of the game, Bickford scored from seven yards out with 4:03 left in the second quarter and Black’s extra point pushed the lead to 14-7 Central.The monumental moment came on Central’s first drive of the third quarter. Bickford had the first three touches on the drive with runs of 15, 3 and 23 yards. That last run of 23 yards on second and seven from the Central 48-yard line put him over 5,000 yards for his career and subsequently broke Hardy’s all-time Continue Reading

Central’s Bickford, Corbin look to continue dominance at East Stroudsburg

LAKEWOOD- For the past two years, Mike Bickford and Denis Corbin have been key parts of a powerful Central Regional offense, with Bickford running the ball while Corbin served as his lead blocker. Close friends since their Pop Warner days, the two will now continue to dominate together as teammates at East Stroudsburg University, located in northeastern Pennsylvania.“I grew up with Denis,” said Bickford, who rushed for a total of 5,473 yards during his time at Central Regional High School. “It’s a great feeling knowing that I have someone to go to college with and block for me.”The relationship is just as close for Corbin, who says he and Bickford have known each other since they were both five-year-old youth football players. That friendship has included bouncing back from numerous challenges, the biggest of which was a brawl against Toms River High School East in 2016 that left both teams ineligible for postseason play. When thinking of that moment, Corbin says that while the situation was tragic, he is proud of how he and Bickford were able to respond positively.“He appreciates everything that happens,” Corbin said of his teammate. “He knows I’ll make sure he gets his touchdowns, and we’ll do well together.” MORE FOOTBALL: History of the All-Shore game MORE FOOTBALL: Vianney's DeGennaro has one last shotCurrently a two-way player at tight end and defensive end, Corbin says he is comfortable playing both positions, but will follow the advice of East Stroudsburg head coach Denny Douds.“I’m going to go out there and try my best to play and position,” he said. “I’m just happy to be able to go up there and play with my boy Mike.”For Central Regional assistant coach Dennis Pidgeon, there is no doubt that Bickford and Corbin will be successful players in college. Pidgeon has been most impressed by Bickford’s stamina, commending him as a player who will Continue Reading

College football title game brought $274 million to Arizona economy

January's college football championship game had a $274 million impact on the economy and helped the state land several new employers, officials said Wednesday.The Jan. 11 College Football Playoff championship game between Alabama and Clemson showed metro Phoenix in its best light and also helps keep the region in the mix for future mega events, said Gov. Doug Ducey in a news conference touting the game's value."The economic impact is incredible but equally important is the lasting impression we make on all that visit the Valley of the Sun and watch the game," he said. "The evidence is in. We do it very well. We'll continue to be at the table. Whether it's a Super Bowl, a national championship or other mega event, they're welcome to come to Phoenix."Even as officials took a victory lap of sorts for the game's estimated impact, they also acknowledged the growing competition in markets like Dallas and Los Angeles for hosting similar events, a reality that could require more public financing, though no one could say how much or how soon."I'll be honest, fundraising is always a challenge. We got there, but it was hard," said Brad Wright, who co-chaired the Arizona Organizing Committee that put on the championship game. "Some of the cities that we compete against have sustained funding sources that facilitate their bids. As a community, we should evaluate those kinds of options to ensure we maintain our competitiveness."Four of the 24 out-of-state business executives Arizona officials met with ahead of the game have made commitments to work in Arizona, said Greg Linaman, the chief operating officer for the Arizona Commerce Authority."These projects represent 650 total jobs, about $15 million in capital investment and, in the cases of these projects, incredible wages in the vicinity of six figures," Linaman said.One of the companies is ZipRecruiter, a California-based online human resources company, Continue Reading