Greenville football team seeks GWOC North title


GREENVILLE – Even though Greenville has a young team, Coach Aaron Shaffer wants the Green Wave to contend for the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s American North championship this season.

“We’re definitely a young team this year,” Shaffer said. “We’ve got a lot of inexperienced juniors and sophomores that got to grow up quick early on.”

Greenville will open its season with non-conference games against Eaton, Wilmington and Urbana before playing Stebbins and Trotwood-Madison in cross-divisional GWOC games. The Wave then will take on GWOC North rivals Vandalia-Butler, Piqua, Tippecanoe, Troy and Sidney in the second half of the season.

“There’s no week off,” Shaffer said. “You have to be ready to play week to week and prepare yourself mentally and physically for the challenges every week. You would be hard pressed to find somebody that plays a tougher schedule than any GWOC school does.”

If Greenville can rise to the challenge of the tough schedule, the Wave could contend for a divisional championship.

“Competing in the GWOC, you’re facing elite competition on a regular basis,” Shaffer said. “We want to win the North, and if we can do that then our secondary goals of making the playoffs and winning playoff games and things like that, those all come through. But our No. 1 goal is win the GWOC North.”

To achieve the goal of competing for championships, Greenville will try to utilize a balanced offense attack. But ultimately the success of the offense, and in large part the team, will depend on the running game.

“Winning football, at least at elite levels, requires you to run the football,” Shaffer said. “Our goal is to be balanced – 50/50, 60/40 run to pass – but obviously we need to be able to do what teams give us. I do think that a good part of our skill is out on the edge so we may be trying to find ways to get the ball out on the edge, but at the end of the day we’re still going to be a team based on inside and outside zone and power off-tackle.”

Looking to replace 1,200-yard rusher Logan Eldridge will be a combination of Micah Light, Landon Eldridge, Jarrad Crist and Landin Brown.

Colton Zumbrun, Ethan Emrick, Jacob Goldsmith, Marcus Wood, Alec Fletcher and Carson Clark all are competing for time at wide receiver.

Noah Vanhorn and Noah Walker are contending for playing time at tight end.

The starting quarterback position is up for grabs with Owen Paulus and Tyler Beyke in the mix.

“It’s started to sort itself out, but we’ll continue to give both guys opportunities this week going forward,” Shaffer said.

Braden Russell, Derrick Smith, Hunter Anderson, Caleb Anderson, Nathan Fry, Tanner Swisshelm and Zane Clark all are competing for playing time along the offensive line.

“Generally speaking the strength of our team is our experience on our O-line,” Shaffer said. “As a group they’ve worked hard. They’re willing to work. They’re taking the coaching and being pushed harder than maybe we’ve pushed in the past.”

Defensively Greenville will utilize a variety of schemes depending on the offense their opponents use. They can line up with three or four defensive linemen, depending on what works best to counter their opposition.

Karsyn Fender, Brown and Russell are leading the way for Greenville along the defensive line.

Light, Tony Sells, John Butsch, Walker and Tytan Grote all are in the mix to play at linebacker.

In the defensive backfield, Wood, Fletcher, Crist, Zumbrun, Eldridge and Goldsmith all are contending for playing time.

“We’re still trying to get it all sorted out, but we’ve got a good group of guys to try to find the right mix of players so we can have success on Fridays,” Shaffer said.

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The Greenville football team is inexperienced this year but still hopeful for a championship season.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_Greenville-WEB-1.jpgThe Greenville football team is inexperienced this year but still hopeful for a championship season. Kyle Shaner | The Daily Advocate

By Kyle Shaner

kshaner@dailyadvocate.com

Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.