It's finally here. Opening night of the high school football season kicks off. Below are Week 1 previews of local teams:

It's finally here. Opening night of the high school football season kicks off. Below are Week 1 previews of local teams:


The Worthington Kilbourne and Westerville North high school football teams struggled through disappointing seasons last fall. Each squad is looking to the Friday, Aug. 26, opener at North as a springboard to redemption.

Kilbourne ended last season with a 13-7 win over Thomas Worthington to secure fifth place (3-4) in the OCC-Central Division behind Hilliard Davidson (7-0), Dublin Coffman (6-1), Hilliard Darby (5-2) and Upper Arlington (4-3) and ahead of Thomas (2-5), Central Crossing (1-6) and Westland (0-7).

Westerville North was shut out four times last year and finished 0-10 with a 44-12 loss to Olentangy. The Warriors went 0-7 in the OCC-Cardinal, last behind Westerville South (6-1), Dublin Jerome (5-2), Dublin Scioto (4-3), Olentangy (4-3), Olentangy Liberty (4-3), Marysville (3-4) and Westerville Central (2-5). The winless season extended North's losing streak to 25 games.

Kilbourne defeated North 34-19 in last season's opener.

This year's contest features two first-year starting quarterbacks.

Kilbourne senior quarterback Brian Miller saw limited playing time last year, when he completed 11 of 17 passes for 146 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

"Hopefully we can improve from last season. There is a lot of rebuilding, but we're looking forward to the season," Miller said. "I like the responsibility. I look forward to the pressure. That's just sort of how I am."

Warriors senior quarterback B.J. Campfield will be playing his first season at quarterback after playing defensive back, running back and wide receiver last season. He rushed for 196 yards and one touchdown in 2010.

"You would think he has been playing quarterback his entire life," North coach Mike Owens said. "He's picked up the offense very quickly and worked extremely hard to not only win the position, but also excel at it."

-By Trey Smith


When the Thomas Worthington High School football team travels to Jonathan Alder for its opener on Friday, Aug. 26, it will face a program that Cardinals coach Scott Gordon hopes to emulate.

The Pioneers have made the Division IV playoffs the past 10 seasons, finishing as state runners-up in 2006. Last season, they finished 10-2, losing 28-14 to Kettering Alter in a regional semifinal after beating Waynesville 45-23 in the first round.

"They feed off of themselves every year," said Gordon, whose team finished 3-7 last year. "They lose some players and just reload because repeated success has made football huge in that community. We're working hard toward that here at Thomas."

Thomas' quick, blitz-happy defense will be tested by Jonathan Alder's offensive line. But unlike the past two meetings, the Cardinals' seven returning starters on defense will see a different face under center.

Senior Nate Squires will likely start at quarterback for the Pioneers, following the graduation of quarterback Graham Johnston, who made first-team all-district last season. Jonathan Alder also lost its top running back, D.J. McCray, to graduated, but Gordon has no doubt those holes will be patched more than adequately.

"They spread you out and can hurt you or they get into two backs (formation) and pound you with that big offensive line," Gordon said.

On offense, Thomas will rely on running back Eric Monfort. Running behind three senior starters on the offensive line, Monfort will be looking to get off to a good start after missing the first six games last season with a shoulder injury.

Senior Austin Kaiser will start at quarterback. He saw limited action last season behind 2011 graduate John Chadwell.

Gordon is interested to see how Jonathan Alder's defense handles his wide receiver corps. Senior Eric Sutton is a second-year starter, but the Cardinals' fastest receiver is senior Nana Kyeremeh, who has attracted the attention of several Division I college coaches.

The teams split the past two meetings, with Thomas winning 35-28 in 2009 and Jonathan Alder winning 24-0 last year.

-By Colin Smith