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Published: Thursday, 8/26/2004

2004 High School Football: Top 10 Returning Players

Kevin Leady Kevin Leady
ALLAN DETRICH Enlarge

Blaine Maag literally ran the Bulldogs to the D-VI state championship last season, rushing 40 times for 287 yards and three TDs in a 28-26 title-game win over Marion Local. On the 2003 season, the 6-1, 185-pounder, who was Ohio s D-VI offensive player of the year, carried 352 times for 2,713 yards and scored 43 TDs. While it is debatable whether or not a D-VI player is the best offensive player in any division from Northwest Ohio this year, there is no one likely expected to produce so much for his team than Maag.

Orta was another workhorse last season as a junior, rushing for 1,937 yards in helping Defiance reach the D-II regional playoff finals, where the Bulldogs lost to eventual champion Avon Lake.

The slippery Fought was the perfect complementary part to Whitmer s record-setting tailback Edwin Hood during a 9-2 season last year. He is adept at recognizing enemy defensive alignments and making correct aubible calls a the line. He is also a pretty elusive runner, even in close quarters. He rushed for over 600 yards and passed for another 800-plus.

Leady, who has verbally committed to Bowling Green, was a true two-way threat as the D-III district offensive player of the year and first-team All-Ohio last season, when he led the SLL in rushing (1,433 yards), was second in passing yardage (1,907) and scored a league-best 26 TDs.

Milletti, despite missing some action with a calf injury, rushed for 1,583 yards in helping the Titans to a 10-4 finish in the D-I state semifinals.

Krauss earned first-team D-V All-Ohio honors for PH, when he caught 64 passes for 1,451 yards and 15 TDs.

Keys, a 6-1, 205-pound speedster, is rated by at least one scouting evaluation service, as one of the state s top 50 senior football players this season. Last year he rushed for over 1,200 yards.

Gawronski, a guard/defensive end, has received a scholarship offer from the University of Toledo. He has won regional and national martial arts competitions, and down about 35 pounds from two years ago, is very quick for his size.

Amato is a polished veteran as a third-year starter. He quarterbacked a 10-2 playoff team as a sophomore, and last season completed 118 of 200 passes for 1,332 yards and 10 TDs, and was also a D-II second-team All-Ohio punter.

Franklin had some of his offensive production cut down by an early-season injury last year, and because of Start s pass-heavy scheme. But, he still managed 710 rushing yards on just 84 carries (8.5 average), and this 5-11, 180-pound speedster he is one of the top outside threats in the area.

Waugh is arguably the best all-around football talent in this corner of the state, combining superior skill at linebacker (127 tackles), powerful blocking and running (983 yards) at fullback, and was the D-I All-Ohio first-team punter for a 10-4 state semifinal Titan squad. He combines 4.5 speed in the 40 and a 410-pound bench press with his 5-11, 228-pound frame.

Goatley was St. John s leading tackler as a sophomore linebacker before transferring back to Maumee last year. His season was hindered by injuries, but he is still regarded as a top college prospect.

Ingram, a strong, quick and versatile6-2, 230 pounds, is one of the most dominant front-line defenders in the area.

Like Waugh, Waldie could be on this list on either offense or defense. He made the All-Blade defense in the secondary, and also received second-team All-Ohio honors as a receiver. He led the NLL with 1,126 receiving yards on 52 catches and scored 13 TDs during Southview s 10-0 regular season.

Boyle is another terrific two-way player. He had 579 rushing yards at fullback, and recorded 110 tackles to lead the Irish.

Oates had 130 tackles last year for Findlay en route to second-team district honors.

Dyko, is also a two-way force, and is a D-I college prospect at 6-3, 315, probably on the offensive line.

Moss, ferocious at just 5-5 and 160 pounds, included 13 sacks in his 80 tackles and was named D-IV first-team all-district and special mention All-Ohio.

Andrews, who doubles at flanker on offense, returns as a solid D-I first-team all-district DB. He had seven interceptions last season.

Wheeler, another two-way standout, is a solid cover man in the secondary to go with his 20 catches for 400-plus yards in 2003.



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