Edgewood High School made it back to the Division II football playoffs last season. It was the Cougars’ first postseason appearance since 2008 … and it didn’t go so well.
Winton Woods put a 50-7 beating on EHS, ending Scott Clemmons’ first year at the helm with an 8-3 record.
“It’s a building block,” Clemmons said. “You always hate to lose. It lingers for a couple months, but you’ve got to move on. We’re moving forward.”
This is personal for the 1994 Edgewood graduate and his staff, which is loaded with former Cougar players.
“Out of the 12 guys on the high school staff, nine are Edgewood graduates,” Clemmons said. “We’ve all been around and lived through the ups and downs. We talk to the kids about the tradition stuff that Dale (Robertson) started.
“We’re all here because we love this place, and the community loves the kids. They know we’re genuine because we’ve all been here and done it all.”
Optimism is high around Kumler Field, and the varsity roster has grown by about 10 players (to 76).
Not that Edgewood does have some question marks. Indeed, the Cougars lost 17 starters from last season, including their entire offensive lineup.
“It’s not like we can go out and get free agents,” Clemmons said. “We have that next-man-in mentality. It’s their turn. You can’t rest on anybody else’s success. This is their time. It’s their chance to shine.”
He feels Edgewood’s shotgun Wing-T offense can be very effective with junior Trace Reynolds taking over at quarterback. The key is the offensive front: tackles Brett Tucker (6-4, 315) and Zach Baller (6-5, 285), guards Ronnie Ziebarth (6-0, 245) and Dylan Mays (6-0, 210) and center Kyle Taylor (6-2, 240).
“We’ve got about six backs that we feel comfortable with,” Clemmons said. “There’s no ‘me’ part of this. The backs understand that. They can’t be counting balls and numbers.
“It’s all about those guys up front. Can they jell and make it happen for us?”
Among the newcomers within the 4-2-5 defense are senior lineman Tyler Steele (5-10, 270) and senior linebacker Logan Gillespie (6-0, 255). They are returning after a one-year hiatus from football.
Clemmons said Mount Healthy is the team to beat in the Southwest Ohio Conference. The Owls, Cougars and Northwest all made the D-II playoffs in 2012 — all lost in the first round.
Edgewood has dropped its last four playoff decisions since defeating Trotwood-Madison in 2006.
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