Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

WBL, MAC hold football combine

By Tom Haines
Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Minster tight end Cole Albers runs upfield after catching a pass during the first Western Buckeye League/Midwest Athletic Conference football scouting combine at Wapak Ford/Mercy Health Field on Monday.

WAPAKONETA - Western Buckeye League and Midwest Athletic Conference coaches came together to host the area's first football scouting combine for 109 players on Monday.
Seventeen of the WBL and MAC schools were represented, with coaches including St. Marys' Bo Frye and Coldwater's Chip Otten running the players through drills for scouts from an estimated 30 colleges.
"One thing I've always felt like, we've got a lot of great players in this area," said Wapakoneta coach Travis Moyer, who with Kenton's Zach Turner spearheaded organizing the combine. "What hurts us in terms of recruiting process is, we're off the beaten path. We're not in Columbus, Toledo, Cincinnati with the bigger schools. We felt like we needed to give our kids an opportunity to showcase their talents."
Every MAC school besides New Bremen and Versailles participated, with Anna sending one player, St. Henry two and the rest at least three.
Celina had six players participating, while St. Marys had the largest contingent with 13. Bath, Elida, Kenton, Ottawa-Glandorf, Shawnee, Van Wert and Wapakoneta joined them in representing the WBL.
Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Celina quarterback Bobby Morris throws a pass during Monday's showcase.

"We're rivals, we're going to compete later on in the year," Frye said before the event, "but we might as well all come for the good of the cause, to get our kids recruited."
The approximately 90-minute combine, which was limited to rising juniors and seniors, started with lineman and defensive drills and finished with passing, with Bobby Morris of Celina, Justin Knouff of Marion Local and Brogan Stephey of Minster among the quarterbacks participating.
The Minster receiving quartet of James Niemeyer, Conner Schmiesing, Dylan Heitkamp and Noah Schwieterman was joined by Parkway's Wyatt Carpenter and Ashton Minnich and Marion Local's Victor Hoelscher. Receivers were the largest position group with 19, followed by defensive linemen with 18 and offensive linemen with 17.
Moyer wasn't initially sure what sort of response the event would get, but after getting support from the area coaches and good turnout Monday night, he said it's possible future years might include more schools from Northwest Ohio, in addition to hopefully bringing out more colleges.
Photo by Paige Sutter/The Daily Standard

Marion Local receiver Victor Hoelscher stretches to catch a pass during Monday's combine.

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"Oh, there's no doubt," he said of whether the combine would become an annual event. "Obviously it depends on NCAA rules and OHSAA rules; there's a lot going into it logistically. But we're just fortunate to get a lot of cooperation from the coaches of the MAC and the WBL, who came together to collaborate on this night."
The night seemed to be a success for many players as well. Moyer said that several players came away with Division I scholarship offers, with Bowling Green, Cincinnati and Akron among the top-level schools that sent representatives.
"Tonight was a huge success for our area, in terms of getting our kids hopefully to that next level," he said.
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Area Roundup
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
and Tom Haines
Parkway softball got into the third inning of its Division III district semifinal with Van Buren at Bath High School before heavy rain forced the game to be suspended.
The Grand Lake half-marathon, as well as the 5K and Kids Run held alongside it, will not be run this year, according to race director Ryan King.
Fort Recovery pitcher Alex Dues signed a national letter of intent on Monday to play at Marietta College.
Dues, who is thinking of majoring in business, said he first heard from Marietta at the end of last summer and got to visit a couple of times over the course of the year.