2023 HS Football Preview: Greeneview set to contend for another OHC title


JAMESTOWN — Rosters reset each year. One thing that hasn’t lately for Greeneview football is its defense prowess.

The Rams have allowed 70 total points against fellow OHC South Division teams over the previous two campaigns. Each of the past three seasons has seen the team allow fewer than 20 points per game.

“I think it starts with having a head coach who is a defensive minded guy,” said Ryan Haines, who is entering his eighth season leading the Rams. “Anytime that you have a defensive minded head coach, day in and day out in practice guys are willing to tackle, willing to get off blocks and be physical because ultimately you practice as you play and we want to translate our practice habits.”

There will be some turnover for Greeneview this year with many new roles to fill on both sides of the ball. There were 14 seniors who graduated from a successful class that won two league titles, never finished a season with a record below .500 and included one of the OHC Players of the Year in Hawkeye Hickman.

Changes can bring growing pains, which Haines said he has identified in preseason scrimmages. At the same time, he already said he can see how this new group will emulate previous teams.

“It’s a group that’s going to close the gap,” Haines said. “It’s a team that comes to practice everyday and is as coachable as you can get. They want to learn, but there’s just a lot of inexperience.”

Greeneview will be aided having one of the best two-way players in the area from 2022 in Cooper Payton. The junior is the county’s leading returning rusher with 648 yards and second leading tackler after accumulating 110 at linebacker.

The roster is bolstered with additions that are ready to step up such as Chase Walker on both sides of the ball and Blake Midlam with the line, while some newcomers bring experience as Arman and Eli Walker transferred in from Cedarville.

The schedule is difficult with only four home games scheduled and opening trips to Northridge and Waynesville taking place before the league schedule gets underway.

A weekly goal the Rams have been using is to not allow more than 10 points to the opponent. They’ve achieved it in more than half of the team’s games the previous two season.

Haines said how much discipline the team shows to their assignments will likely be the determining factor for if that strong run can continue and to what the final record will show in 2023. Despite some of the inexperience the team has as a group, they have had the model to success set up from them by previous squads and may continue the team’s recent run of staying near the top of the OHC South Division standings.

“This year we’ve got guys who are being asked to step into roles for the first time that may be first-year varsity guys and they will continue to get better,” Haines said.


Greeneview Rams

Coach: Ryan Haines (7th year, 45-17)

2022 record: 9-2 (OHC Champions, first round D-V playoffs); Points Per Game: 39.5 (Off.) 14.1 (Def.)

What to expect: Greeneview has been able to put teams into submission in recent years with its strength up front on both sides of the ball. The Rams have not finished below .500 in the OHC in the last decade.

Key Players: Alex Horney, Jr., QB (29-55 passing, 595 yards, 9 TD, INT); Blake Midlam, Jr., OL/DL (14 tkls, 11 solo); Cooper Payton, Jr., RB (75 att., 648 yards, 13 TD); Arman Walker, Sr., DB (52 tkls, 37 solo, 3 TFL, 2 INT); Chase Walker, Jr., LB (18 tkls, 11 solo, 1 FF)

Captains: Jett Daniels, Jacob Daugherty, Alex Horney, Cooper Payton

Schedule (all games 7 p.m.)

Aug. 18 — at Northridge

Aug. 25 — at Waynesville


Sept. 8 — at West Jefferson

Sept. 15 — TRIAD

Sept. 22 — at Greenon

Sept. 29 — at Southeastern


Oct. 13 — at Catholic Central


Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.

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