Ohio aims to have fun in Stateline showcase
With area all-stars getting ready for Thursday’s 42nd Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic, United’s D.J. Ogilvie will be a head coach in the event for the first time in his career.
Ogilvie, who first got a taste of the all-star contest back in 1999 as an assistant, said his staff has noticed a key element of the Ohio roster.
“One thing that the coaches have noticed is how smart these kids are with learning the schemes,” Ogilvie said.
But, like many all-star games, there’s a lot that coaches may not know about their squads because of the lack of time.
Ogilvie said he wasn’t sure what his team’s strengths and weaknesses are, but both sides of the ball have done a stellar job.
“In practice we will do inside running and the offense will look unstoppable. Then, we’ll do a team session and the defense is stifling,” Ogilvie explained.
With every Ohio player emerging as leaders, Ogilvie added that a certain Crestview linebacker has caught his attention since they’ve been on the gridiron.
“The player that has jumped out to me is (Crestview’s) Willie Hardenbrook. We have him playing the rush end and also playing him at tight end. He is the only one that we are playing both sides of the ball,” Ogilvie said.
Hardenbrook had 73 total tackles and three sacks for the Rebels this past season. He also caught 24 passes for over 450 yards and three scores. The senior also had 83 carries for over 900 yards and 10 trips to paydirt.
A huge reason why Ogilvie has enjoyed coaching the Penn-Ohio classic is being able to spend it with players he has coached and his family.
“For me the experience of coaching three kids from United. And what will make it more fun is that I get to coach my son one last time,” Ogilvie stated.
His son, Brutus, will be the starting quarterback for Ohio during tomorrow’s game. He was the starting signal-caller for United for one full season.
The multi-sport athlete threw for nearly 2,800 yards, 26 touchdowns, and he completed roughly 68 percent of his throws during his senior season. Brutus only had six interceptions in 10 games played for the Golden Eagles.
With Ogilvie being around football for a long time, he doesn’t believe much has changed with the Penn-Ohio game.
“I think our coaches association puts on a first-class game for these kids,” he said.
Ogilvie is in his second head-coaching stint with United after spending six seasons in Florida with Lemon Bay High. He coached United from 1998 through 2003 and again from 2018 to present day. Ogilvie also spent six seasons as the coach for Boardman.
Besides winning the Penn-Ohio classic, Ogilvie said there are a few other goals his team is keeping in mind.
“Our goal is to win, have fun, and represent Ohio in a first-class manner.”
Kickoff for the 42nd annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic will be 7 p.m. on Thursday at East Liverpool’s Patterson Field. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with player introductions at 6:30 p.m.
Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic
Ohio’s starting lineup
Quarterback: Brutus Ogilvie, United Local
Tailback: Marco Ferry, Leetonia
Split End: Keaton Baker, United Local; Andrew Coffee, West Branch
Slots: Brad Sloan, Southern; Jax Booth, Salem
Center: Brady Brungard, Springfield
Tackles: CJ Berlin-Bates, Western Reserve; Wyatt Babik, Crestview
Guards: Mason Mellinger, Toronto; Christian McCon, United Local
Nose Guard: Gannon Shepard, Leetonia
Defensive Tackles: Cameron Bryant, East Liverpool; Colin Bryant, East Liverpool
Inside Linebackers: Clayton Nezbeth, Springfield; Matt Schaefer, Indian Creek
Outside linebackers: Alek Wilson, West Branch; Willie Hardenbrook, Crestview
Cornerbacks: Xathon Cross, Columbiana; Tanner Johnston, Beaver Local
Safeties: Howard Williams, East Liverpool; Brandon Yanssens, Crestview