As Westerville Central High School football coach John Magistro began duties such as collecting uniforms and equipment, he started to reminisce about his nine seasons with the program but also looked to the future.

Magistro announced earlier this season that this would be his final year with the Warhawks. However, he isn't likely to retire.

"Going to the school the last few days it gives me a sort of empathy," Magistro said. "I just want to sit back and see what happens for the next two months and then when the new year starts hopefully I can make some kind of a decision."

In Magistro's final game with Central, the Warhawks lost at Olentangy 35-31 on Oct. 27 to finish 4-6 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Buckeye Division.

Looking for their fifth postseason berth under Magistro, the Warhawks ended up 12th in Division I, Region 2 as the top eight teams qualified for the playoffs.

"I would have liked to see what we would have done the last few weeks if we were healthy, if we had all our guys, but it didn't happen that way," Magistro said. "We still had our chances (against Olentangy)."

Senior running back Allen Smith, who led the Warhawks in rushing with 1,368 yards and 13 touchdowns on 210 carries, was named first-team all-league.

Senior Ashton Gilkey (WR/LB), a transfer from Newark, had 41 catches for 486 yards and three touchdowns and was first-team all-league.

"I have no regrets. (Transferring) was one of the best decisions I've ever made," Gilkey said. "I was happy with the season. I liked our team. We grew close as the season went on. I'm upset we didn't make the playoffs, but we did lose some games we should have won."

Senior Ryan Hallinan (RB/LB) had a team-high 70 tackles and was first-team all-league. Seniors Bryson Gilmore (WR/DB) and Jacob Secrest (OL/DL) and juniors Jacob Borcila (P/K) and Dontay Hunter (TE/DE, 45 tackles) were second-team all-league, and senior Jake Kreuzer (OL/DL) was honorable mention all-league.

Senior quarterback Isaiah Healy (special mention all-league) completed 86 of 147 passes for 1,034 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. He missed the finale against Olentangy with a right shoulder injury sustained Oct. 19 against Westerville South.

Junior LaBronz Davis II replaced Healy and finished the season 28-for-66 passing for 412 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Senior Drew Fischer (WR/DB) had 17 catches for 278 yards and one touchdown, and junior Cam Phillips (WR/DB) had 18 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns.

Other key players eligible to return include juniors Justin Carter (RB/DL), Liam Eadie (TE/LB), Cameron Thomas (OL/DL) and Jacob Wallace (WR/DB) and sophomores Rickey Hyatt (WR/DB), J.J. Johnson (OL/DL) and Myles Williamson (WR/DB).

Central finished fourth in the OCC-Buckeye behind Olentangy Liberty (5-0), Olentangy Orange (4-1) and Olentangy (3-2) and ahead of South (1-4) and Westerville North (0-5).

The Warhawks defeated North 21-12 on Oct. 6 and South 42-35 to sweep the season series with their Westerville rivals for the fifth consecutive year.

In Magistro's tenure with the Warhawks, he went 61-37, was named an OCC Coach of the Year three times and shared state Coach of the Year honors in 2011 with Findlay's Mark Ritzler.

"I remember our third season and how you could start seeing a culture change," said Magistro, who previously coached at Bellaire for 23 seasons and has 242 career wins. "We had so many guys who were not only good football players, but they were exceptional leaders."

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank