2023 HS Football Preview: Cedarville ready to become OHC title contender


CEDARVILLE — The 2022 run to the postseason was no surprise for Cedarville head coach Brian Bogenschutz.

Despite the team struggling in seasons prior, Bogenschutz saw a group that wanted to win. And they put that on display by reaching five wins in the regular season for the first time in eight years.

Bogenschutz thought it could have been even better.

“I think we didn’t perform some like we should have, so I don’t like how we ended the season, but I didn’t go into the season thinking we weren’t going to do well,” he said. “I’m not surprised at last year at all.”

The majority of the roster returns in 2023 after only having lost one senior. Cedarville has four all-state performers coming back, which combined to lead the county’s leading passing attack.

Jackson Pyles nearly threw for 2,000 yards, targeting Josh Flora and Jackson Howdyshell with plenty of success while Chase Baldwin gave them time with his work on the line.

The group got to test their skill against one of the state’s best groups and did well as they kept a game close with eventual Division VII state champion New Bremen in the opening round of the playoffs.

“They got that playoff experience,” Bogenschutz said. “Now this year they need to build upon that and execute down the line to get some playoff wins to go with it.”

The potential for an exciting year has jump started the growth process of the program too. The Indians have added Brayden Criswell and Tyler Cross to the roster in their senior years with overall numbers up.

“The kids are bought in,” Bogenschutz said. “I can already see the improvements and it’s definitely exciting. … If we have a good year this year, we’re going to continue to get more and more bodies and that’s the goal.”

Another short term goal that surely would be satisfying is capturing an OHC South Division title. Tying for second place in 2022 is the team’s highest finish in nearly a decade, and that leaves only one step remaining to reach the top.

The time has quickly arrived for Cedarville, and Bogenschutz believes as long as his team remains mentally strong that everything else can take of itself.

The goal for most teams every year is to win a league title, but for Cedarville it’s a realistic and exciting possibility.

“It’s just year two,” Bogenschutz said. “But we finally have the chance to build a program instead of starting over from scratch year after year. They know what to expect now and they’re excited.”


Cedarville Indians

Coach: Brian Bogenschultz (2nd year, 5-6)

2022 record: 5-6 (OHC South t-2nd, first round D-VII playoffs); Points Per Game: 21.1 (Off.) 27.2 (Def.)

What to expect: The table is set for Cedarville after a strong 2022 campaign. After getting to .500 in the regular season, the Indians will look to finish 2023 with a winning record for the first time in 10 years.

Key Players: Chase Baldwin, Sr., OL/DL (44 tkls, 15 solo, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 FR); Colt Coffey, Jr., RB (147 att., 617 yards, 6 TD); Josh Flora, Sr., WR (36 rec., 542 yards, 2 TD); Jackson Howdyshell, Sr., WR (43 rec., 741 yards, 7 TD); Jackson Miller, Sr., DB (93 tkls, 54 solo, 1 FF, 2 FR, 5 INT); Jackson Pyles, Sr., QB (162-278 passing, 1,950 yards, 13 TD, 16 INT)

Captains: Chase Baldwin, Jackson Pyles

Schedule (all games 7 p.m.)


Aug. 25 — at East Clinton

Sept. 1 — at Fairbanks


Sept. 15 — at Northeastern


Sept. 29 — at Catholic Central


Oct. 13 — GREENON

Oct. 20 — at Greeneview

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

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