The following is the Glen Este football preview for the Community Journal Clermont.
UNION TOWNSHIP – Some in the West Clermont School District think when Glen Este and Amelia High Schools combine, it will be a football powerhouse.
Others, like Glen Este Trojans coach Nick Ayers think, “Why not now?”
The Trojans practice with attitude and a chip on their shoulder.
They were 6-5 last season, but 5-2 in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference, tying them with Loveland and behind Kings. Their 2014 losses came to tough teams like Mount Healthy, Loveland, Kings and Division II state champion La Salle.
This season, Ayers has more athletes to hand a purple jersey.
“We went from 67 last year to 91,” he said proudly. “Our seniors are doing really well and we’re really excited.”
The Trojans coach has been relentless in pumping up the numbers, by enticing promising athletes spotted in the hallways to pump iron. Once they begin to labor in the “laboratory”, he continues the sell.
“We get them to buy in to the culture of the program,” Ayers said. “We do a lot of extracurricular activities. We had a canoe trip, a volleyball trip and paintball. We make it fun and ultra-competitive. The kids thrive on that.”
One example of hours in the weight room is senior quarterback Tyler Pilcher, who could pass for a high school lineman if he had a higher number. Pilcher led the ECC in passing as a sophomore and was second last season. In the past two years, he’s thrown for close to 3,300 yards and 34 touchdowns.
When he tucks and runs, he’s also effective, gaining 378 yards and scoring five times last fall.
“Pilcher does a great job and had a great off-season,” Ayers said. “We also have an offensive line who are all seniors and committed.”
Several of Glen Este’s sled-movers have had small college offers and 315-pounder Seth Crissman was recently offered by Indiana State. They clear holes for backs like Robby Boone who ran for 774 yards and five touchdowns.
Along with a committee of H-backs and receivers like transfer Isaiah Toole, Jacob Hamilton and Tanner Ayers, Glen Este’s offense can be potent and strike quick.
The elusive Hamilton led the ECC in receiving yards and averaged 20 yards per catch. He also is Glen Este’s primary punt and kick returner and brought a kickoff back 77 yards last season against Loveland.
“We feel confident that we can spread it out,” Ayers said. “Injuries are going to be key, just like everybody else in our league. We have to take care of our kids and put them into positions to succeed.”
To jump above teams like Kings and Loveland, Ayers is testing his team in preseason by scrimmaging state champion La Salle, along with Tecumseh, Findlay, Clinton-Massie and Elder.
“We want to develop our kids with the best competition possible,” Ayers said.
After the treacherous preseason, Glen Este opens at home with Amelia Aug. 28.
Glen Este 2015 schedule @GEourtime
Aug. 28 – Amelia
Sept. 4 – Winton Woods
Sept. 10 – at Mount Healthy
Sept. 18 – Loveland
Sept. 25 – at Turpin
Oct. 2 – Milford
Oct. 9 – at Walnut Hills
Oct. 16 – Anderson
Oct. 23 – at Kings
Oct. 30 – at Withrow (7:30 p.m.)
All games are Fridays at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.