Welcome Stadium – Dayton, Ohio
Chaminade Julienne vs. Troy – 5:30 p.m.
Just a few years ago (2002) Dayton (Ohio) Chaminade-Julienne High School was crowned Division II State Champions. Gone from the glory days are longtime head coach Jim Place and many star players that found their ways to college campuses and now even the NFL.
It's been since 2005 that the Eagles have tasted post season play and head coach Andy Helms knows the time has come for the program to emerge as a team to be reckoned with.
While many feel Helms will turn to sophomore quarterback Michael Simpson as his starter, there also could be a season long battle for the position with junior signal caller John Buerschen if Simpson fails to deliver early.
Simpson is a player many have been watching and Helms resisted on pushing him last season while he used a veteran signal caller to go 6-4.
Playing Troy is no easy task as the Trojans are a Division One program (Big School) and are known for playing hard knocks football against everyone and anyone over the years.
Simpson's main target looks to be wide receiver Laron Brown who has great physical size at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds. He'll also have offensive lineman Andy Jomantas a 6-foot-8, 250-pound tackle that college coaches are just starting to take serious interest in.
Last season these two teams opened up against each other in a hard fought battle with the bigger program, Troy knocking off the Eagles 14-17.
Have the Eagles returned to their glory days? They'll find out early on Thursday night against the Trojans.
The Troy Trojans are also coming off a 6-4 record in 2008 and will look to rebound. The four losses the Trojans suffered proved they can hold their own against most programs in Southwest Ohio. But two of the losses came against powerhouse programs Centerville and Wayne with the other two found the Trojans losing tight hard fought battles against Lebanon and Trotwood-Madison.
The Trojans have a deep and rich football tradition and fans are sure to be looking for a return to glory with veteran head coach Steve Nolan still at the controls.
Over the years the Trojans have used a power running attack and don't look for anything different this year.
A win over the Eagles is a must for the Trojans to have any chance of proving their critics wrong.