The Rams are teaming up with Edgewood, Monroe and Bellbrook to host the Southwestern Buckeye League combine on Monday, May 1 — which will allow players from all four programs to showcase their skills to collegiate coaches.
Beginning in the fall, Edgewood and Ross will compete in the SWBL after 10 years of playing in the Southwest Ohio Conference.
“I’m excited about this. I’m excited about the season. I’m excited about promoting our kids, which is why we’re doing this,” said Commins, who spearheaded the conversation of putting together the event.
“Going into a new league, it’s something new and shiny. You just can’t wait to get your hands on it and see what happens.”
Seven stations will be set up, including everything from the 40-yard dash to pro shuttles to broad jumps — “the usual stuff you’d see at a combine at the higher level,” Commins said.
According to Commins, each team will be separated on different parts of the field, stations will last about 15 minutes, and the morning event is expected to take roughly an hour, 45 minutes.
“This should be a good time and a good way for coaches to see our kids who can play at all different levels,” Commins said.
Commins said he hopes to add more teams from the SWBL to future combines.
“We wanted to get this one established the first year,” he said. “I think it would be a great thing for us all to do. We’re sort of getting our feet under us, and we will go from there. I would love to see it turn into a whole conference thing.”
Monroe coach Bob Mullins commended Commins on taking the reins in making the combine happen.
“You’ve got to give Coach Commins at Ross a lot of credit,” Mullins said. “One of the things that this is going to do is it’s going to allow our kids at smaller schools to get some exposure. Getting college coaches to come see our players in person is huge for our programs.
“All of our programs — we’ve got really good players that oftentimes get overlooked,” Mullins added.
Bellbrook coach Jeff Jenkins said this is the first time the Eagles have been a part of a workout combine since he’s been in charge. Jenkins will enter his eighth season at Bellbrook this fall.
“We’ve made college visits and sent kids to college camps,” Jenkins said. “But this might be the first time any team in the league has participated in something like this.
“It’s a good opportunity for our league to get noticed,” Jenkins added. “We figured the best way to do it was in one day and everyone meet at one spot.”
Edgewood coach Scott Clemmons said participating in the SWBL combine is a no-brainer having been a part of leagues in the past that included schools the Cougars will be facing in 2023.
“We’ve played Monroe and Franklin and other schools. There was a connection for so long,” Clemmons said. “This will sort of be a homecoming because of some longstanding rivalries. There’s going to be some great competition.
“It’s always nice to showcase the kids with other kids we’re going to be playing against in the league,” Clemmons added. “Us being unified and being together for other colleges to see will be a good thing.”