OAK HILLS HIGHLANDERS Division I, Region 4 Head Coach: Dan Scholz (0-0, first year @ Oak Hills, 37-14 overall, five years) 2011 Record: 4-6, 2-5
Overview: Change is in full force on the West side of Cincinnati. New head coach Dan Scholz is back in the GMC after being a long time assistant at Colerain and running the show at New Richmond. Being able to adjust on the fly is a must for the incumbents in this brigade. Players must buy into the new systems being put in place by Scholz. An energetic bunch will look to bring the Highlanders back to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
One player that Scholz is hoping to adhere to the new triple-option that is being installed is running back Demarco Ruffin. As a sophomore he ran for 1,044 yards, racked up 1,661 all-purpose yards with 18 rushing touchdowns. Quarterback Liam Sallquist has to flip his two touchdowns to 11 interceptions ratio around for this team to see more wins. Matt Elliot, Cody Herbig and Alec Steffen will play prominent roles in the Highlanders’ new offensive scheme. Herbig and Elliot combined for 36 receptions, but neither found the end zone. The play of a very young and green offensive line is going to go a long way in determining just how good this squad can be. Cody Jent will be called upon to provide leadership.
Four times Oak Hills gave up 40 or more points and allowed 370 yards per outing in 2011. That isn’t going to cut it if this troop wants to become an upper tier GMC contender. Lineman Michael Brackett, linebackers Zack Leftenant and Gus Carpenter and secondary members Darrien McDowell, Steffen and Herbig look to change the image. Getting more pressure in the backfield is a must for the Highlanders as they only registered 9.0 sacks in 2011. Leftenant and Carpenter would benefit greatly from a healthy Ethan Anderson and Jayson Essell joining them in the middle of the field.