The Dublin Jerome High School football team put together a solid season a year ago under first-year coach Bob Gecewich.

The Dublin Jerome High School football team put together a solid season a year ago under first-year coach Bob Gecewich.

The Celtics won their final five games last year to finish 6-4 and are looking to carry that momentum into this season's opener at Logan on Friday, Aug. 26.

Jerome finished 20th in the Division I, Region 2 computer ratings last season, falling four spots shy of a playoff berth. Gecewich said a better start this season will improve the Celtics' postseason chances.

"We just have to continue to get more disciplined and more fundamentally sound," Gecewich said. "We can't kill ourselves with penalties and dumb mistakes. We can't afford that. We don't have the athletes to get us out of those situations this year."

Logan, a member of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League, went 8-2 last season, but failed to qualify for the Division II, Region 5 playoffs.

The Celtics and Chieftains have met once previously, with Logan winning 23-7 at home in the first round of the Division II, Region 7 playoffs in 2008.

Jerome enters the season with a competition at quarterback. According to Gecewich, seniors Joe Dunnan and Hunter Schell will split snaps against Logan.

Senior Thomas Henderson, who was named first-team all-OCC-Cardinal Division and honorable mention all-district last season, will be a key contributor at wide receiver as well as in the secondary.

Seniors Ty Henderson and Matt Nesbit are other key receivers for the Celtics.

"Logan is going to try and smash us in the mouth, so we just have to be prepared," senior two-way lineman Matthew Preininger said. "Our defense has to have a solid game. We know they have a pretty good quarterback (junior Brady Walsh), so they're going to be a tough opponent, but our preparation for them has been really good."

Logan, which is led by fourth-year coach Billy Burke, has won 26 SEOAL titles and has qualified for the postseason eight times. However, the Chieftains enter this season largely inexperienced, as they return just nine letterwinners.

During a scrimmage against Thornville Sheridan on Aug. 19, Walsh and freshman Braeden Spatar split time at quarterback, while sophomore running back Preston Yates rushed for 61 yards on 17 carries.

"They can put up some points if you look at their scores from last year," Gecewich said. "They're spread (out) and they run it very well. Defensively, they run to the ball very well. They're tough-nosed kids. That's what you get in a one-school town."

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