The first recruiting letter Watkins Memorial High School football player Reno Reda opened came from the University of Wisconsin.

The first recruiting letter Watkins Memorial High School football player Reno Reda opened came from the University of Wisconsin.

"Coach (Jeff Severino) gave it to me on the first day of school (last month)," the junior lineman said. "I thought, wow, that's pretty cool."

And thus began the painstaking process of finding the right college although Reda's case will be aided by his fine academic standing. A 4.0 student, he's considering medical school someday, after all.

Reda also will have an insider's viewpoint to rely on during his search. His father, Sam Reda, played on the offensive line at Ohio University in the early 1980s after graduating from Youngstown Chaney.

"I've always said if you're a player (college recruiters) will find you, but there's no question it's become a marketing game," Sam Reda said. "I'm trying to read up as much as I can, and we're putting together a highlight film for Reno. It's just so different than it was in my day."

Reno's stock rose after attending an evaluation camp in Athens this past summer, his father said. It did raise questions as to what position the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder might best be suited for at the next level, however.

"I think he did pretty well, and they gave him good numbers," Sam said. "Some of the schools said they were pretty excited about his defensive end play, and some others said they wanted to see him play on the offensive line.

"His length with those long arms, that's an advantage for him either way. His athleticism is very good; his footwork, too. And he's becoming a better pass blocker. He's creating opportunities for himself."

One thing most recruiters agreed on is that Reno still needs to bulk up.

"Several of them said they'd like to see him about 245 pounds at the next camp," said Sam, who added that he was about 6-2, 265 pounds when he played for the Bobcats. "He's added about 25 pounds since last year so that's a good pace for him."

Reno started at tight end as a sophomore but was moved to right tackle this summer after the Warriors went to the triple-option offense, which does not feature a tight end. He plays defensive tackle much of the time but does move to end in the 40 defense against a spread.

"I think he was a little disappointed moving on offense because he really enjoyed being a tight end," Severino said. "He was up for it, though. He never complained because that's the type of kid he is."

Running to Reno's side of the line much of the time, the Warriors are rushing for more than 200 yards per game and averaged 39.5 points during a 3-1 start. They averaged just 13.5 points a year ago while finishing 2-8. He's also the team's second-leading tackler behind linebacker Tyler Cruikshank even though Reno is seeing plenty of double teams and opposing offenses tend to run away from him.

"I blocked a lot last year as the tight end so offense hasn't been a big change, really. My dad's been a big help, obviously," Reno said. "I probably prefer defense, though. There's not as many rules, no holding or anything like that. It's more intense."

Reno, who also pitches and plays first base in baseball, said he will take his time in selecting a college. Despite his pedigree, it's not necessarily a given that football will be his sport of choice.

"First off I'll consider academics, then a location and then a sport," he said. "I know it'll all work out in the end."


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Watkins Memorial High School cross country, football, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 18 - Boys: Finished ninth (266) in the Division I race at the 29-team Galion Cross Country Festival, behind champion Cincinnati Elder (74). Gage Marek placed first for the Warriors and 31st overall (16:39); Girls: Finished 12th (351) in the Division I race at the 28-team Galion Festival, behind champion Toledo Notre Dame Academy (102). Morgan Reichert placed first for the Warriors and 12th overall (season-best 19:28). Last Saturday - At the Bob Reall Invitational in Lancaster Saturday - At the Woodridge Invitational in Stow

FOOTBALL

*Sept. 17 - Lost to Big Walnut 28-21. The Warriors rallied from a 21-0 deficit with three second-half touchdowns, including Devonte Marable's 98-yard kickoff return. *Last Friday - Played New Albany *Friday - At Delaware. The Warriors lost 21-0 last year and have dropped both meetings since the Pacers rejoined the OCC-Capital in 2008.

Of note: The Warriors were 3-1 overall and 0-1 in the OCC-Capital entering last Friday.

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 18 - Finished sixth (335) at 15-team Howlett Invitational in Worthington, behind champion Westerville Central (317). Last Monday - Tied for fifth (328) at inaugural 16-team OCC Fall Invitational, behind champion Pickerington North (310). Jake Miller was medalist (73). Second-place New Albany (313) was the only OCC-Capital school to finish ahead of the Warriors. Last Saturday - At Rodney Butt Invitational at Granville Monday - At Lancaster with Reynoldsburg Tuesday - Vs. Upper Arlington, Cincinnati Moeller and Westerville North at Medallion Thursday - Vs. Gahanna at Little Turtle Friday - Watkins Fall Invitational at High Lands Saturday - Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley

GIRLS GOLF

Last Monday - Lost to Dublin Scioto 193-197. Emily Dixon was medalist (40). Last Saturday - At final OCC-Ohio meet at Darby Creek Thursday - Home vs. Pickerington Central at Broadview

BOYS SOCCER

*Last Tuesday - Lost to Olentangy Orange 1-0 Last Thursday - Def. Reynoldsburg 4-1 *Tuesday - Home vs. Mount Vernon. The Warriors lost 2-1 last year. Thursday - At Warsaw River View

Of note: The Warriors are 8-2 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Capital.

GIRLS SOCCER

*Last Tuesday - Lost to Olentangy Orange 9-1. Alisha Hastilow scored for the Warriors. Last Saturday - Played Hamilton Township *Tuesday - At Mount Vernon. The Warriors won 5-4 last year. Thursday - Home vs. Liberty Union

Of note: The Warriors were 2-6-1 overall entering last Thursday and are 0-3-1 in the OCC-Capital.

GIRLS TENNIS

Last Monday - Defeated Centennial 5-0. The Warriors dropped only seven games in four contested matches, which included Katie Gram's 6-0, 6-0 victory at second singles. *Last Tuesday - Lost to Hilliard Bradley 5-0 Last Thursday - Def. Central Crossing 5-0 Tuesday - Home vs. Briggs *Saturday - At OCC-Capital tournament at Hilliard Bradley

Of note: The Warriors are 8-8 overall and 2-5 in the OCC-Capital.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Last Tuesday - Lost to Hilliard Bradley 25-12, 25-12, 25-17 *Last Thursday - Lost to Big Walnut 25-16, 25-6, 25-8 Last Saturday - Played Pickerington Central and Whitehall Monday - At Amanda-Clearcreek *Tuesday - At New Albany. The Warriors lost 25-21, 25-11, 25-23 on Sept. 2. *Thursday - Home vs. Delaware. The Warriors lost 25-21, 25-22, 25-15 on Sept. 7. Saturday - At Lakewood

Of note: The Warriors were 1-10 overall before last Saturday and are 0-7 in the OCC-Capital.

*OCC-Capital match