Central Crossing High School football coach Trevor White spent one afternoon last week poring over nominations for the Division I all-district teams.
It ended up taking him several hours, not just because the Comets finished below .500 but because White said when the team found success, it was not because of any particular player.
"Our success came as a result of the team playing well together, more so than any particular individual playing well," said White, who concluded his first season. "We had some flashes this year of being a very good team. We just were not nearly as consistent as we need to be."
Central Crossing went 4-6 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Central Division, tying Marysville and Upper Arlington for third behind Dublin Coffman (5-0) and Hilliard Davidson (4-1) and ahead of Westland (0-5). That was the Comets' most wins since they went 7-4 in 2015, the second of back-to-back seasons in which they made the play-offs, but they still fell one win short of the third non-losing campaign in the program's 15 seasons.
After beginning the season with losses to Marion-Franklin (36-25 on Aug. 25) and Hartley (31-6 on Sept. 1), Central Crossing won two of its next three games, sandwiching victories over Grove City (49-48 on Sept. 8) and Groveport (27-7 on Sept. 22) around a 21-7 loss at Reynoldsburg on Sept. 15.
Hartley and Marion-Franklin both qualified for the Division III, Region 11 playoffs. Hartley is seeking its third consecutive state championship, the past two having come in Division IV.
The Comets struggled to start league play, as they were shut out in consecutive weeks by Davidson (40-0 on Sept. 29) and Coffman (35-0 on Oct. 6) before a 48-21 win at Westland on Oct. 13.
A 24-19 loss to Upper Arlington followed on Oct. 20, although that later was forfeited because the Golden Bears were found to have used an ineligible player.
Central Crossing finished the season with a 29-7 loss at Marysville on Oct. 27.
Junior Kameron Peck, who was the Comets' starting quarterback as a sophomore, began this season at defensive back before replacing senior Ben Bohne behind center in early October when Bohne went down with an injury. Bohne completed 42 of 106 passes for 694 yards with five touchdowns and 10 interceptions and rushed for 180 yards and four touchdowns on 49 carries.
Beck was 19-for-44 passing for 301 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Junior Pierre France led the running game with 384 yards and seven touchdowns on 91 carries. Senior Tirese Kelso added 223 yards and a touchdown on 44 carries.
Senior wide receiver Owen Lakso caught 29 passes for 474 yards and four touchdowns.
"We had some adversity on offense," White said. "We were replacing a lot of starters anyway, and Kameron had some experience (at quarterback) but had been on defense more this season. When we moved him to quarterback, we had to fill in another spot at safety, things like that. ...
"Owen was always a big-play kind of guy. When we needed a spark, he was there."
Lakso, junior offensive lineman Bobby Logan, Peck and junior linebacker Aaron Reasoner were named first-team all-league. Kelso, classmates Keason Lowe (DB) and Jon Tiegler (LB) and junior linebacker Daniel Ewald were second-team all-league, France was special mention all-league and senior lineman Daquan Taynor was honorable mention all-league.
Reasoner had a team-high 110 tackles. Senior defensive back Jaden Mattox had 81 and Peck finished with 43.
"The first thing we need to work on (in the offseason) is consistency," White said. "We'll need leadership. We'll need guys to step up. They grasped a lot of overall concepts this year; they took more ownership as the year went on. We need that to continue."