UNION TWP. – They have inherited the fierce determination and work ethic of their coach.
Glen Este High School is looking at a second consecutive Ohio Division II playoff spot under Coach Nick Ayers, class of ‘99. As a player, Ayers went from a walk-on at Georgetown College to a three-time All-American who played on NAIA championship teams. That led to a free agent look with the hometown Bengals.
According to reports, then-Bengals running backs coach Jim Anderson liked his effort. Apparently, no one ever told Nick Ayers that he couldn’t do anything.
Likewise, the Glen Este High School football job in 2012 wasn’t as appealing as it is today. Participation fees in the West Clermont School District approached $500 per student/per sport. It began to affect numbers on the football roster.
Fortunately, the fees were reduced, the numbers have risen and the Trojans have had one of their better seasons.
“They’re very hungry,” Ayers said. “The kids come in extra and stay late.”
Program-wide, Ayers says there are 96 Trojans involved. The coaching is intense. The players play with a chip on their shoulders and play fast.
As a result, Glen Este has topped the Eastern Cincinnati Conference in offense, averaging more than 460 yards per game and usually topping the 40-point mark. In three years, Glen Este has gone 4-6, 5-5 and 6-4, with this season being the best for the seniors that first put on their purple gear during Ayer’s first fall.
Among those are quarterback Tyler Pilcher, who led the ECC in passing in 2013 as a sophomore with 1,632 yards. The following year he threw for 1,645 yards for second place, with many of those going to ECC receiving leader Jacob Hamilton. This season, he’s obliterated those marks and often finds Hamilton or fellow seniors Tanner Ayers and Robby Boone.
The Trojans can also pound the ball with Boone who ran for 300 yards against Milford and went more than 200 against Mount Healthy and Anderson.
“These seniors deserve our best effort as coaches,” Ayers said. “I love these kids like my own children.”
An example of Ayers’ dedication is the multitude of team bonding activities the Trojans have done. Among those are competitive paintball sessions and basic lessons in life like how to tie one’s own tie.
After wins, Ayers is quick to praise his team but usually looks beyond the game.
“We know good or bad, we’re going to be a family and that’s all that matters. It hasn’t nothing to do with the field, we’re only out 10-15 games a year. It’s the culture these kids have to come to every day.”
The culture has passed on to the students, who routinely are loud and decorated. The @GEPaintCrew makes every game Halloween.
“Our school spirit is unbelievable,” Ayers said. “I would bet every student knows the fight song and the alma mater. They stay after and do it win or lose.”
The next goal is to play more than one game in November. Last year, Glen Este lost to the eventual Division II state champion La Salle in the first round, 48-28. If current computer rankings holds, the Trojans could possibly see rematches with Turpin, Kings or Mount Healthy and maybe the Lancers.