A pair of hypotheses will begin to be deciphered when the Reynoldsburg High School football team plays host to New Albany on Friday, Aug. 24, in the season opener for both squads.

A pair of hypotheses will begin to be deciphered when the Reynoldsburg High School football team plays host to New Albany on Friday, Aug. 24, in the season opener for both squads.

With returnees such as University of Cincinnati-recruit Mykel Traylor-Bennett at wide receiver, running back Kumar Collins and standout defensive lineman Emmanuel Beal, the Raiders appear to have as much returning talent as any in central Ohio.

New Albany senior Darron Lee has all of the flash (6-foot-3, 205 pounds and runs 40 yards in 4.5 seconds) and accolades (has verbally committed to Ohio State) to be one of the area's breakout stars.

Up for debate is how well the Raiders and Lee will react to the increased expectations that surround them.

Reynoldsburg went 6-4 last season but hasn't been to the Division I playoffs since 2001, while Lee was a contributor a year ago but wasn't asked to take on a leading role until this year.

Lee played defensive back and spent most of his time on offense at wide receiver last season but is expected to play quarterback as well as in the secondary this fall.

"They have some exceptional athletes at some of their skill positions and you can tell their kids do a good job of coming off the football," Raiders coach Buddy White said. "They have an exceptional quarterback who is also their free safety in Darron Lee and coach (Mark) Mueller is a very good coach. (Lee's) a very capable passer and an exceptional runner."

New Albany went 9-3 last season and tied Big Walnut and Olentangy Orange for the OCC-Capital Division title.

Lee, senior wide receiver Carson Tunney and senior running back Emanuel Owusu-Antwi are expected to lead the Eagles' offense this season. Among their key players on defense are linemen Cameron Horch and Matt Smith.

"I know (Reynoldsburg) has some kids who are excited about their program and that they've got some excitement over there," Mueller said. "I know they have a kid who's going to Cincinnati and a running back who is somebody they're excited about.

"We're beat up a little bit because two-a-days are a grind. We're going to have to run the ball and stop the run."