Injuries hampered the success of the Grandview Heights High School football team this fall, leaving 11th-year coach Jason Peters looking for a solution.
The Bobcats finished only 5-5 overall but showed the heart and spirit Peters looks for in his players, so the program's offseason preparation could be in for some adjustments.
"We had our fair share of injuries, which is unusual because the last several years we have been relatively healthy," said Peters, whose team finished 10th in Division VI, Region 23 as the top eight teams reached the postseason. "I can't give the kids enough credit for the way they persevered and stepped up and answered the bell.
"But we need to get stronger. We didn't have the turnout in the weight room in the offseason like we had had in the past and maybe that's why the injury bug bit us. We have to get in the weight room so we can get ready for next fall and have some fun."
Some of the injuries included seniors James Lachey and Luke Sterneker and sophomore quarterback Kyle Casey. Sterneker, a linebacker, suffered a leg injury in a 24-12 loss to Whitehall on Sept. 29, and that limited his play for the remainder of the season. Casey suffered an injury to his left (non-throwing) arm in a 22-13 win over Liberty Union on Oct. 20.
Lachey, a Bowling Green commit, started the season at tight end but moved to the backfield and then took over at quarterback after the injury to Casey. Lachey suffered an arm injury in the first half of the season finale, a 41-7 loss to Columbus Academy on Oct. 27.
The Bobcats finished fourth (2-3) in the MSL-Ohio Division behind tri-champions Academy, London and Whitehall (all 4-1). Liberty Union (1-4) was fifth and Bexley (0-5) sixth.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Lachey also played on the defensive line, where he had 80 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery to earn district Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-league honors. On offense, he led the Bobcats with 762 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns on 123 carries, caught 10 passes for 209 yards and one score and was 6-for-11 passing for 162 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
In addition to Lachey and Sterneker (52 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Grandview's senior class included Matthew Kennedy (OL/DL; 45 tackles), Joe Kotte (OL/DL), Brandon Spaulding (OL/DL; first-team all-district and all-league; team-high 82 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles), Blaine Stanley (WR/DB; 7 catches, 81 yards) and Bryce Stanley (RB/DB; 222 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 38 tackles).
"The senior class won 32 games in four years and that makes them the winningest in Grandview history," Peters said. "They were a great group of kids and a very successful class."
Leading the list of expected returnees is Lachey's sophomore brother, Luke Lachey, who played wide receiver and defensive back. The 6-6, 185-pounder was first-team all-district as a wide receiver and first-team all-league, catching 15 passes for 416 yards and six touchdowns. He also had three interceptions.
Junior Jack Wallace (OL/DL; 30 tackles, 1 sack) was special/honorable mention all-district and second-team all-league. Sophomores Trey Cook (RB/DB; 41 carries, 204 rushing yards, 47 tackles, 2 fumbles recoveries, 1 interception) and Charlie James (RB/DB; 27 tackles, 3 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery) were both honorable mention all-league.
Casey was 44-for-80 passing for 717 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Junior Harrison Morosky (RB/DB) rushed for 355 yards and one touchdown on 63 carries and had 47 tackles. Sophomore Darrion Davis (WR/LB) had 66 tackles, and sophomore Alex Sterneker (RB/DB) had 45 tackles and two sacks.
"When Kyle gets back, we can work on some routes to get ready for next season and that should help us out," Luke Lachey said. "We need to make sure we go out and have fun next year."